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

Welcome to our library of articles, where you can search and browse over 2,000 articles written by our own team of garden writers. Interested in becoming a Dave's Garden writer? Submit an article to apply.

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Gardening Tips Cactus and Succulents Vines Spring Gardening
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Annual Flowers Garden Humor Herbs and Herbalism Fall Gardening
Ornamental Trees and Shrubs Tropical Plants Houseplants Winter Gardening

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

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

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Introduction to Bromeliads
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Bromeliads are among the most spectacular house and landscape plants available, but they are also one of the most overlooked. The following is a brief introduction to most of the bromeliad genera available in cultivation.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals houseplants bromeliads
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What makes good Brix? Good soil!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

All fruits and vegetables can be easily measured for Brix. So you ask: What is Brix? Why should Brix matter to me? The answer is that Brix measurements tell us how flavorful and nutritious our foods are, or could be.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening Brix

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

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The Garden’s ABCs-- A-M
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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Head Over Heels in Burdock
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

A child's imagination will take her a very long way. But when that imagination is combined with travels with Aunt Bett, said child would have been wise if she had carried a first aid kit with her.

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Read more articles about:  herbs folklore and legends Aunt Bett stories
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Unusual and Bizarre Plants - Fasciation Fascination
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

The beauty of our everyday plants is one reason why we garden and keep plants in our environments. However, sometimes Nature throws us a curve ball and we find an intriguing anomaly to add to our collection. Read on to learn more about a most unusual phenomenon . . .

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Read more articles about:  botany cactus and succulents unusual plants

Sunday, October 12, 2008

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A visit to Florida Colors Nursery
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Blink and you’ll miss it – unless you have what we call ‘plumie-radar’ – in which case you can sense the presence of a thousand or more plumeria trees long before you get to the entrance. There is no sign, just a whole lot of plumeria trees.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals garden centers and nurseries plumerias

Saturday, October 11, 2008

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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 vegetable gardening peppers

Friday, October 10, 2008

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Starting a small lawn from seed
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Starting a small lawn from seed, while not faster, can be cheaper than using sod. It is not as hard or laborious as most people think; and with a few tips, a healthy green lawn can be right around the corner; nay, right in your front yard!

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Read more articles about:  lawn care turf grass how-to
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When Plants Move - Tropisms
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

In the realm of living organisms, motion is most often associated with the animal kingdom. The surprise is that plants move as well, and some move fast enough so that their motion is visible to a casual observer. Read on to learn more about how and why plants move around . . .

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Read more articles about:  botany tropism unusual plants

Thursday, October 9, 2008

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Meet Dave’s Gardeners in Your Area: Throw a Plant Party!
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Wish you could meet some of the people you’ve chatted with? Want a chance to swap plants, trade seeds, and “talk plants” in person with people who’ll find your begonias as fascinating as you do? You need to get together with some fellow DGers!

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Read more articles about:  swapping plants and seeds Dave\'s Garden members online communities DG round-up events
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Gardening in South Amana: A summer paradise gives way to fall
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

Summer has drawn to a close and the fall season holds sway once more over the garden and the Iowa countryside where I live. I love the colors of the trees as Mother Nature brings out her autumnal paint brush, and the crisp air quickens my footstep. Still, I long for summer to continue just a little while longer.

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Read more articles about:  fall gardening nature leaves garden poetry

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

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Biochar: Good for your garden AND your carbon footprint!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Biochar? What is it, and what is it good for? Biochar is basically charcoal, the natural kind made from charring wood or other biomass by driving off the moisture and volatile gases, leaving mostly carbon. This carbon does 2 main things: it greatly aids soils for plant nutrition, and it holds (sequesters) carbon, creating a negative carbon footprint.

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting biochar
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Unusual and Bizarre Plants - The World's Tallest Trees
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Few nature experiences are as awe-inspiring as an encounter with one of the tallest trees in the world. Pictures simply do not do these trees justice, as they are so large as to be difficult to wrap your mind around. Many think that the giant redwoods are the tallest trees, but a few others are contenders for the title . . .

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs nature unusual plants

Monday, October 6, 2008

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A facelift for your "same old" plants
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Take a break from your double-digging and bush whacking to do some easy, nip and tuck, maintenance on houseplants. They'll thank you for it! If you don't believe me, read "The secret life of plants" by Carrie Lamont.

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Read more articles about:  houseplants tropicals propagating plants cuttings
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The secret life of plants
By Carrie Lamont (carrielamont)

Houseplants lead a much more interesting life than you might suspect. Let's listen in ...

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents houseplants palms and cycads coleus garden humor

Friday, October 3, 2008

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Tree Care - Only you can prevent tree abuse!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

As avid gardeners, we treasure our plants and trees and want only the best for them. Sometimes, we call in professionals to help with landscaping of our homes, or are involved in commercial landscaping of some type. Often everything goes well, but sometimes wonderful trees are ruined by lack of care or attention

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Read more articles about:  ornamental trees and shrubs garden design and landscaping pruning

Thursday, October 2, 2008

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Macrozamia cycads: the larger landscape species
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

This is an introduction to some of the most ornamental of the Australian cycads, the larger Macrozamias.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads Australian native plants Macrozamias
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Turn green tomatoes into “raspberry” jam that’s fun for kids to make and eat
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Raspberry jam from green tomatoes? No way! Set aside your doubts. It’s easy to make and looks just like the “real thing.” Plus, it’ll give you something entertaining to do with those last few green tomatoes…

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Read more articles about:  fall gardening canning and preserving foods recipes jams and jellies green tomatoes

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

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Beauty from Ashes: California Wildfires
By Kelli Kallenborn (Kelli)

You see the pictures on television every autumn - clouds of smoke dwarfing water-dropping helicopters, firefighters silhouetted by walls of flame, and harried evacuees loading up their cars. It's wildfire season in California. Although everything possible should be done to minimize human loss, injury, and death, fire is actually necessary for the long-term health of many southern California plant communities.

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Read more articles about:  fall gardening nature fire ecology chaparral
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The Tiny Seed with BIG Flavor You Can Grow at Home: Sesame
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

We all know ‘sesame seeds’ from the McDonald’s Big Mac ad :"Two all beef patties… on a sesame seed bun". Many are familiar with the phrase “Open, Sesame” from Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves. We have had fresh baked bread garnished with sesame seeds, and tasted tahini (sometimes called the butter of the Middle East), a ground toasted sesame seed paste used in hummus, baba ganoush, halvah and other traditional Middle Eastern dishes.

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Read more articles about:  herbs spices cooking sesame seeds

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

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Bad Gardeners
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

Bad Gardeners, Bad Gardeners, what are you going to do, what are you going to do, when they come for you? Are you a bad gardener? What side of the thin blue line do you stand on? Here are some profiles of common garden criminals. See if you fit into any of them.

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Read more articles about:  garden humor
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Focus on the Four O'Clock
By Jacqueline Cross (libellule)

Marvel of Peru, Belle de Nuit, False Jalap, Four O'clock...no matter what name is attached to this plant, it brightens afternoon and moon gardens around the globe. As early as the sixteenth century, it was in fashion and made its way around the world to win hearts and surprise gardeners of all levels.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers fragrant plants and flowers moon gardens hummingbirds

Monday, September 29, 2008

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10 Hardy vines you should know
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Unfortunately for gardeners in more intemperate climates, most interesting vines are annuals, tropical or completely invasive. If you are on a search for vines that will remain robust perennials in your zone, here are 10 hardy vines you should know.

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Read more articles about:  vines annual flowers invasives and weeds Clematis Wisteria

Saturday, September 27, 2008

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Focus on the Florida Native Lupine
By Jacqueline Cross (libellule)

I have always been a proponent of using native and heirloom plants in the garden. The Florida Lupine is one such plant. Here we will take a closer look at it.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants heirloom plants lupines
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Cowboy coffee: Keeping it real
By Summer Walla (summerkid)

I first had “cowboy coffee” – by name at least – in France.

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Read more articles about:  garden humor nature coffee coffee grounds September coffee series
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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 wildlife

Thursday, September 25, 2008

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Coffee tasting on the Big Island of Hawaii
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Some folks go on wine tasting tours of Napa Valley. We’re coffee drinkers. Hawaii’s “Kona Coast” has some of the best coffee in the world!

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Read more articles about:  coffee tropicals island life September coffee series
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I've Been Expecting You -- PART TWO
By Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)

I had prepared a special place in my garden to hopefully attract some butterflies. One sure way was to plant passionflower vines. With the vines planted, I waited anxiously for some butterflies to arrive.

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Read more articles about:  butterflies insects backyard habitats Passifloras
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Botany for Gardeners - Plant Growth Hormones
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Plant growth and development is mediated by biochemicals known as plant growth regulators, or plant hormones. The discovery of these compounds has made possible the reproduction of plants via micropropagation, or tissue culture. Read on to learn more about these hormones, and what they do . . .

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Read more articles about:  botany propagating plants

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

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Save your money: Delicious cups of wonder from the world of COFFEE
By April (Aunt_A)

Go way beyond cream and sugar. Why should a cup of coffee cost you $4 or more? Do you love specialty coffee drinks? Enjoy these delicious and easy cups of wonder.

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Read more articles about:  recipes coffee September coffee series
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The Green Bean that’s an Open Pollinated Wonder: The Kentucky Wonder!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

I always thought green beans were just that: ordinary green beans… no difference in any of them, except for the very thin and expensive French Haricots Vert that I dearly love. As Fate would have it, I was recently proved wrong, resulting in a delightful and tasteful experience. Now my first green bean “love” has an equal.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening beans green beans heirloom plants
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I’ve Been Expecting You
By Benjamin Hill (BennysPlace)

The title of this article should really be “Be careful for what you wish for because it just may come true.” When I hear the word passionflower vine I automatically recall a visit to a friend’s house. As he gave the tour of his garden he pointed up and said “And this is what is left of the passionflower vines once the caterpillars were finished with them.”

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Read more articles about:  butterflies insects backyard habitats Passifloras

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

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A Short History of the Garden
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

Ever look out your window and wonder how everything you have there got started? How did we get beds and rows, pots and planters? When did the homes have their own gardens? This will be a short dive into the world of gardens and its rich and very ancient history.

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Read more articles about:  garden history
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The Truth about Chicory
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

The sun comes up and we blindly make our way to that first cup of morning sustenance. With the first sip, our eyes open slowly and we decide we might be able to make it through another day. There is nothing like that first cup of coffee, unless it is your first cup of chicory!

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Read more articles about:  cooking recipes folklore and legends plant-based dyes chicory September coffee series

Saturday, September 20, 2008

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The Monochromatic Garden-Pinks
By Jocelyn Wyatt (crimsontsavo)

Ring around the rosy, pocket full of posies...

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers annual flowers color theory Dianthus pinks bouquets
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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!

Continue reading »

Read more articles about:  garden humor insects

Thursday, September 18, 2008

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Seed swapping FUN for the uninitiated (or The Rules Ain't that Bad)
By Jan Recchio (grampapa)

Autumn is in the air, this season's flowers are developing seedheads and that means that the fall seed swaps will be starting soon here at Dave's Garden. Here are some thoughts about how to have fun trading seeds.

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Read more articles about:  fall gardening swapping plants and seeds gardening tips seed saving
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Botany for Gardeners - Mitosis and Meiosis in Plants
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Here I intend to make plant growth and reproduction at the cellular level--a very complex subject--much more understandable. As a trained scientist, I, too, have found many descriptions of these processes to be difficult to grasp. My hope is that you will have a good handle on these after this article...

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Read more articles about:  botany

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