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Gardening Articles, Tips and How-tos - Dave's Garden

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Gardening Tips Cactus and Succulents Vines Spring Gardening
Perennial Flowers Fruits and Berries Invasives and Weeds Summer Gardening
Annual Flowers Garden Humor Herbs and Herbalism Fall Gardening
Ornamental Trees and Shrubs Tropical Plants Houseplants Winter Gardening

Saturday, November 15, 2008

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Dwarf Ferns for Limited Space
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Do you have limited space AND shade issues? Then why not try some of the dwarf ferns! Suitable for rockeries, rock walls, alpine troughs and as groundcovers, there are quite a number of small (under 12 inches) ferns that make admirable garden ornamentals.

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Read more articles about:  ferns shade gardens
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Composting, on the not-so-grand scale
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Compost articles usually talk about mass quantities of leaves, truckloads of manure, filling big bins and turning heavy piles. But can you improve your soil on a small scale without the heavy work? Yes, you can. Gardeners with small gardens, small waste supplies and only small amounts of extra time and energy can still compost.

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting gardening tips

Friday, November 14, 2008

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Aglaonemas - Houseplants on the Dawn of a Spectacular New Day
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Aglaonemas are durable, versatile plants that are very popular for use indoors and for interiorscape settings. The old standby varieties and newer hybrids come in shades of green with silver or white stripes or splotches. However, the incredible dawn of a new day for this plant is nearly upon us, as you will soon see. Read on to learn about the revolution to come . . .

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Read more articles about:  houseplants tropicals aroids Aglaonema

Thursday, November 13, 2008

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From garden to gift basket: Using essential oils for beautiful handmade soaps
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Whether you embark on the adventure of distilling your own essential oils from your garden or purchase essential oils to use for this project, handmade scented soaps make beautiful, thoughtful gifts.

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Read more articles about:  herbs garden crafts gardening with kids homemade soaps

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

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Curing and Cleaning Gourds for Crafts
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Curing and cleaning gourds for craftwork is easy if you follow a few basic steps. Whether you want to make a birdhouse, a painted Santa Claus, a container, or etch one with a wood-burning pattern, all gourds require proper curing. Gourds usually will be fully cured (dried) by the next summer following harvest and sometimes as early as Christmas.

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Read more articles about:  garden crafts gourds

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

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An uncommon harvest: The Shipova
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

Are you drawn to the unusual in the world of edible gardening? Even if you just like good fruit, you’ll love shipovas.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries Sorbus Pyrus
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Smartweed
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Whoever named this plant obviously did not allow for those of us who use words a little differently than he does. The name itself implies that if you partake of this plant, you will be increasing your intelligence. Right? Well, that's what I thought, too. Not so, says the wise man.

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Read more articles about:  herbs invasives and weeds folklore and legends Persicaria Aunt Bett stories

Monday, November 10, 2008

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Hardy Mammillaria for pots and the landscape
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

This article is an introduction to the genus Mammillaria, one of the most beautiful genera of cacti for cultivation. It is also a discussion of some of the more common and hardy species I have grown. Though I am far from an expert on the subject, I have been growing these cacti for over 15 years and have learned through trial and error--with an excessive amount of the latter--which Mammillarias are relatively easy, and which really should be grown only by those with more expertise and a greenhouse.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents Mammillaria
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Up Close & Personal in the Garden: A Contest
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

The Big Picture in the garden is one of sweeping beauty, but every organism that participates in the landscape is more fascinating up close. See how many of these images you can identify.

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Read more articles about:  garden photography plant identification

Sunday, November 9, 2008

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The Golden Feelings of Fall Time
By Sheri Williams (WigglyPaw)

Days are shrinking and nights are so cool. The frost is here and we are firing up our wood stoves. It's fall in the Midwest! Please come and share my love of the land.

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Read more articles about:  fall gardening nature farm life leaves
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Citrus seeds = easy houseplants!
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

If you've eaten more than, say, five fresh citrus fruits in your life, I'll bet you've picked out and thrown away some seeds. Many edible citrus have plump white seeds in the center. Have you considered trying to grow them? It's easy! Pop them into a pot and grow an easy-care, attractive houseplant.

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Read more articles about:  houseplants seed starting citrus lemons oranges grapefruits

Saturday, November 8, 2008

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Garden Photography ~ part 1
By Diana Wind (wind)

Photography is a treasured art that captures the moment, stimulates memories, conveys a message, educates, overcomes cultural and language barriers, evokes emotion and touches our lives and hearts. Enjoy these inspiring garden photographs from amazing amateurs, and after that...grab your camera and start taking pictures!

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Read more articles about:  garden photography

Friday, November 7, 2008

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The Scarecrow: Its origins and creative ways to make your own
By Stephanie Boles (josette63)

As a gardener I find the scarecrow is a delightful and practical addition to my vegetable garden. And I am not alone; the scarecrow is an accepted method of scaring away birds the worldwide. It is also a familiar symbol of the fall harvest. With the harvest season upon us, I thought it would be interesting to research the history of the scarecrow. Herein are tidbits of scarecrow history, humor, and ideas to create your own unique scarecrow.

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Read more articles about:  fall gardening folklore and legends vegetable gardening scarecrows
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Focus on Encelia farinosa (Brittle Bush)
By Jacqueline Cross (libellule)

For a naturally mounding shrub that can really take the heat, try this desert plant.

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Read more articles about:  xeriscaping desert gardening Encelia ornamental trees and shrubs
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Spathiphyllum - The Peace Lily
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Did you know that keeping certain plants indoors can actually improve the air quality of your home or office? The Peace Lily, or Spathiphyllum, is one of these plants, and while they help clean up your inside air space, these plants are beautiful and durable as well. Read on to learn more . . .

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Read more articles about:  houseplants tropicals aroids peace lily Spathiphyllum

Thursday, November 6, 2008

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Lessons from a lavender farm: Growing, harvesting and using lavender blooms
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

I love lavender! The color of the blooms, the wonderful scent, the lovely silvery-green of the foliage, all combine to make it one of my very favorite plants. Recently, I had the remarkable experience of visiting a lavender farm in Washington State, where I picked up some great tips for harvesting and using lavender…

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Read more articles about:  herbs perennial flowers lavender Lavandula fragrant plants and flowers

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

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Handmade decorative paper with added flowers, seeds, leaves
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

As fall rolls around and we begin to put our gardens to bed for winter, we also begin to think of holiday cards and gifts. Why not combine the two activities and make some handmade paper with seeds, leaves, dried flowers and other garden items formed into the paper? How about some gift cards made of seeds? All these are easy projects, limited only by your imagination, requiring very little equipment.

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Read more articles about:  fall gardening garden crafts gardening with kids gifts for gardeners

Monday, November 3, 2008

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Unusual and Bizarre Plants - A Contender for Strangest Plant in the World
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

In a previous article I introduced you to a parasitic jungle plant called Rafflesia, the world's largest single flower. Here I'll introduce you to a group of parasitic desert plants that are even more bizarre. One species actually flowers underground! Read on to learn more about these enigmatic plants . . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals desert gardening

Sunday, November 2, 2008

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Spotlight on Hardenbergia, Australian Native Lilac Vine
By Jacqueline Cross (libellule)

This Australian native is easy to grow and has beautiful spikes of vibrant color to grace your garden trellis or arbor.

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Read more articles about:  Australian native plants Hardenbergia

Thursday, October 30, 2008

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Rainwater harvesting - the need of the day
By Dinakar KR (Dinu)

Gardeners must do this; So should farmers and others! You will never regret for its benefits! Let's do our small bit to 'save our only Earth'.

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Read more articles about:  conservation rain barrels
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Not-so-scary necktie snakes are a fun and educational kid craft
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Making a snake from an old necktie is a great way to get kids past the fear factor to the fun factor of learning a bit about these helpful garden companions.

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Read more articles about:  gardening with kids garden crafts snakes

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

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Wheat - you can live without it!
By Carrie Lamont (carrielamont)

In fact, many people are better off without wheat in their diet, and most of us would benefit by expanding our palates to include more grains. There are other kinds of nuts, seeds and grains to cook with besides all-purpose wheat flour. My journey began when my daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease, but it taught me about foods I never knew existed, and forced me to reexamine everything in my kitchen.

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Read more articles about:  recipes grains allergies nutrition
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The Hardiest of Hardy Perennials
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Can you even imagine trying to garden in USDA Zone 4 or lower, which can get down to temps of 30 below zero? It kind of makes you think that the rest of us are just borrowing the term “perennial,” and using it loosely. If you are looking for the hardiest of hardy perennials for your garden, due to your zone or because you just want tough plants, you might want to try some of these plants.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers cool-climate gardening hardiness zones ligularia geraniums and pelargoniums liatris goldenrod Astilbes
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It’s Time to Plant Garlic and Shallots!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Now is the time in most zones to get garlic and shallots planted for next year’s harvest. The price of garlic in the grocery stores is fairly reasonable so many folks do not grow their own. But, buying garlic at the grocer’s limits you to the taste of one or two common varieties, whereas growing your own opens doors to the many and varied tastes of garlic. The last count I knew, there were over 600 varieties of garlic available, ranging from a very sweet roasting garlic to a fiery, pungent garlic that sears your taste buds. Shallots are always expensive at the grocery stores, and too easy to grow not to grow your own.

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Read more articles about:  fall gardening vegetable gardening onions and garlic shallots

Monday, October 27, 2008

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Johnny Appleseed and his contemporary counterpart
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

With a pot on his head, skipping merrily about the countryside in bare feet while tossing apple seeds with gay abandon is the image of Johnny Appleseed I grew up with. I suspect that my grade school peers in other parts of the country did so as well. But is that image accurate?

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries folklore and legends garden history apples orchards October apple series
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Unusual and Bizarre Plants - The World's Smallest Flowering Plant
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

After considering the world's largest organism, one might wonder what the world's smallest flowering plant is like. You'll be surprised to find out that this extremely diminutive plant is actually small enough for a specimen in full bloom to sit on the head of a pin! Read on for the incredible facts . . .

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Read more articles about:  ponds and water gardens Wolffia unusual plants

Sunday, October 26, 2008

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Balanophagy - It's Not Just for the Birds
By Kelli Kallenborn (Kelli)

Balanophagy is the practice of eating acorns. Acorns are more than just food for birds, squirrels, and hogs. They have been used for food by millions of humans over the ages. Acorns compare favorably in nutrition with common grains, though acorns contain more fat. (That was not a bad thing during most of human history.) If you have any ancestry among people of the northern hemisphere, there is a reasonable chance that you have some ancestors who ate acorns.

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Read more articles about:  wildlife nuts foraging acorns ethnobotany

Friday, October 24, 2008

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Rooting Brugmansia Cuttings
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Even if you are completely propagation challenged, starting brugmansias from cuttings is a breeze. With a few tips and a tiny bit of care you can have your own plant thriving in no time.

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Read more articles about:  propagating plants Brugmansias
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Growing up in New York: From apples to cider
By April (Aunt_A)

Upstate New York state, a delightfully beautiful land watered by lake effect snows and kissed by gentle rains, is far removed from the busy streets of New York, New York. My memories are full of the beauty and produce of the land. Take a walk with me today in an old-fashioned apple orchard.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries apple trees orchards apples October apple series

Thursday, October 23, 2008

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Totipotency - The Wonder of Stem Cells in Plants
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

The topic of stem cells is in current discussion and not free from controversy. In plants, however, the existence of cells that can produce any kind of plant tissue, or even a whole plant, is vital to plant propagation and survival. Read on for more about this fascinating subject . . .

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Read more articles about:  botany propagating plants totipotency

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

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Tools for Making Applesauce
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

When life gives you too many apples, make applesauce! Here are a couple of labor-saving tools that will help you more quickly and easily process a lot of apples into sauce.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries cooking apples October apple series
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Harvesting Leeks
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Leeks have been a favorite food of mine for many years, but they have become SO expensive that now I grow them in my own garden. If you have never grown leeks, they are quite easy to grow. This is a bit of information on how to harvest them, how to store them, and how to save their seeds.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening onions and garlic recipes seed saving leeks

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

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The Gardener's ABCs - N-Z
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

A fun look into the wonderful and illogical world of the garden and all the great things we can learn and do with our time there. This is just meant for fun, but maybe you can learn a little too.

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Read more articles about:  garden humor
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Unusual and Bizarre Plants - The World's Largest Living Organism
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

The concept of the world's largest organism conjures up images of some immensely large animal or monstrously huge tree. Actually, the world's largest living organism could be missed entirely if you didn't know it was there. The great bulk of this organism is located underground; read on to learn more . . .

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Read more articles about:  fungi mushrooms

Monday, October 20, 2008

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Hand Lotions and Scrubs for Gardeners
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

As the weather cools, the air outside and in your home will likely begin to dry out a little bit. Dry air can make our hard working, gardening hands dry out quickly and become a source of unneeded pain. Here is an overview of several popular commercially available products specifically made to ease our industrious and sometimes abused hands.

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Read more articles about:  fall gardening gardening tips hand creams

Saturday, October 18, 2008

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This Toad Will Become Your Fall-Flowering Prince
By Tamara Galbraith (TexasTam)

If, like me, you get a little tired of "Mum Overkill" around this time of year, know that there's a toad which turns to a flowering, handsome prince with the kiss of autumn.

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Read more articles about:  fall gardening Tricyrtis perennial flowers
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You Supply The Caption - Gardening Fun :)
By Dea O'Hopp (Dea)

On Saturdays, the Writer's Group would like to say thanks by presenting a "You Supply The Caption" photo. A gardening related photo will be presented, and you the Readers will provide humorous captions. The wit available on Dave's is some of the best around, so please join in the fun! This feature is not a "for compensation" article - just our way of saying Thanks for reading. Hope you enjoy...now let's hear some funny stuff!

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Read more articles about:  garden humor vines tropicals

Friday, October 17, 2008

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Top Twelve Garden Plants to Grow from Cuttings
By Jacqueline Cross (libellule)

Fill your gardens with new plants year after year and do it for free. The small print here is, this becomes addictive very quickly. Root at your own risk!

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Read more articles about:  propagating plants cuttings

Thursday, October 16, 2008

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Seeds without Sex: Apomixis in Plants
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Sexual reproduction in flowering plants involves the production of seeds, while asexual reproduction takes place by way of plant parts such as offshoots, cuttings, corms or tubers. Plants resulting from asexual reproduction are identical copies, or clones, of the original plant. However, some plants can produce seeds that yield new plants identical to the parent. This unusual type of reproduction promises tremendous possibilities for the future of agricultural crops. . .

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Read more articles about:  propagating plants dandelions
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Shake down your plants for free seed: an introduction to collecting seeds
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Collecting your own seeds is a great way to save money. If you trade seeds with others, you can end up with a great variety of seeds for only the cost of postage. If you need flats of ground covers or other plants, starting from seed is a good way to economize. Not having to buy the seed is better yet! But first you have to get out into the garden and find the seeds…

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Read more articles about:  seed saving swapping plants and seeds

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