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

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Perennial Flowers Herbs and Herbalism Vines Spring Gardening
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Ornamental Trees and Shrubs Fruits and Berries Wildlife Fall Gardening
Tropical Plants Houseplants Gardening Tips Winter Gardening

Friday, April 11, 2008

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The Thrifty Gardener: Cheap tricks for seed starting
By Susanne Talbert (art_n_garden)

Seed starting itself is a 'cheap trick' gardeners know and love. Why pay for full price for a plant when you can start it from seed? Trading, rather than buying seeds, makes seed collecting and starting even cheaper. Once you've got the seeds, try these money saving tricks to make your next garden your most thrifty yet.

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Read more articles about:  frugal gardening seed starting propagating plants swapping plants and seeds paper pots
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Trash To Treasure: How To Make A Planter from An Old Pair Of Bluejeans
By Melody Rose (melody)

Gardeners are a creative and thrifty group. They take pride in using unique materials to enhance their gardens. Here’s a fun use for those old blue jeans that will make a wonderful gift for a gardener, or simply a conversation piece to hang from a tree in your own yard.

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Read more articles about:  frugal gardening recycling garden crafts
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Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve
By Kelli Kallenborn (Kelli)

The picture may look vaguely familiar. You may have seen something like it in a calendar, picture book, magazine, poster, or as a stock photo. The caption may say "Mojave Desert",or something else equally vague and fitting for this mysterious land covered with millions of orange poppies. However, this is not some isolated Shangri-La. It is the highly-popular and visitor-friendly Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening nature North American native plants poppies

Thursday, April 10, 2008

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Creating Height In The Garden
By Lee Anne Stark (threegardeners)

A few fairly simple, reasonably inexpensive ways to create height in a flat garden.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping gardening tips
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Seed Starting 101: Hardening off Seedlings Before Planting Out in Your Garden
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

The weather is warming, your garden is tilled, and you can’t wait to plant out all the little seedlings on your light shelf. Stop! Put down your trowel. Your seedlings need a little time and help to get used to the Great Outdoors before you put them into the ground.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening seed starting transplanting seedlings

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

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Growing the "Man-Root" (Ginseng)
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

The shape of the highly sought-after ginseng root gave it its Chinese name that described the root as fork shaped like the legs of a man.

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Read more articles about:  herbs herbalism ginseng
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How to Plan a Garden
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

So you have the new house ready, or you are finally ready to tackle your old house. How do you go about setting up the new garden? How do you know what goes where for the best show, use, and enjoyment for years to come? Get ready and let’s walk through the steps to a well thought out garden.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping vegetable gardening
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Toxins used in the Garden from a Veterinary Perspective- the Rodenticides
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

In our constant efforts to battle the forces of nature while attempting to create our own perfect versions of nature (our gardens), we are often 'forced' to use substances to thwart or even kill garden pests. This article discusses some of the toxins used to kill rodents, but what deadly consequences those may have on our own pets.

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Read more articles about:  insects gardening and our pets garden safety
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Using safe gardening practices
By Catherine Smith (doccat5)

Having read a thread here on DG about a fellow gardener who lost her thumb due an infection caused by a cut on her thumb that did not heal properly. I wanted to do some research and this is what I found and want to share with all of you.

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Read more articles about:  gardening tips garden safety soil-borne diseases
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Plants of Many Colors - When Green is Just Not Enough!
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

We all know that the default color for plant leaves is green, whether it is a blue-green or a lime green, or any other shade of green. That's why we are so taken by leaves of other colors, such as fall foliage, or garden plants with white-splotched, yellow-splotched, orange, pink or red colors on the leaves. Here is the explanation for why we see colors such as these on some of our plants . . .

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Read more articles about:  botany foliage plants leaves

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

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Hyacinth Forcing- My First Attempt
By Sally G. Miller (sallyg)

Years of flipping through various gardening books had given me a vague general idea of how to force bulbs. It sounded easy enough. Pot up some bulbs, chill them and take them out. But if it was so easy, why didn’t I know fellow gardeners who had even attempted it? Maybe experience would be the best teacher.

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Read more articles about:  winter gardening bulbs hyacinths forcing bulbs
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Cruising the Canopy in Costa Rica
By Larry Rettig (LarryR)

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to find yourself in the midst of a tropical rain forest? Smitten as I am with tropical flora, I certainly have. Yes, I’ve seen rain forests on TV, and I even have a mini one on the second floor of our home,* but I wanted to experience the real thing.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals butterflies Costa Rica rain forests Zingiber

Monday, April 7, 2008

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The Jewel Alocasias - Spotlight on Alocasia rugosa, a.k.a. Alocasia melo
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Of all the Jewel Alocasias, this one has the award for the thickest leaf, as well as the most heavily textured leaf. If you didn't know this was a real plant, you'd have good reason to believe this plant was made from plastic. It is real, though, and you, too, can try growing it. That is, if you know how to care for Jewels. . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals aroids Alocasia

Sunday, April 6, 2008

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Botanical Prints
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

Antique botanical prints challenge the distinction between art and science. We are all familiar with the work of Audubon in his great books on birds, and many engravings on botanical subjects reach the high quality of his prints, which are considered great works of art and sell for astronomical prices today.

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Read more articles about:  garden art botanical prints antiques Audubon
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Purple Roses Majesty
By Jan Recchio (grampapa)

There is something regal about a purple rose. Purple is the royal color, reserved for kings... and some of the most beautiful roses.

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Read more articles about:  roses rose gardens

Saturday, April 5, 2008

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Clean Clip Tips: Disinfect Your Tools to Prevent Disease
By Tamara Galbraith (TexasTam)

As your spring garden clean-up gets underway, don't sabotage your efforts by using dirty, infected tools.

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Read more articles about:  garden tools diseases gardening tips
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Introduction to the Chamaedorea Palms- excellent genus for both out and indoor use
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Chamaedorea palms are a large genus of Central and South American palms that include some of the most commonly grown and attractive species in the whole world. This article is an introduction to many of the more commonly grown species in cultivation along with a few comments on cultivation and availability, along with at least one photo of each.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads gardening tips chamaedora Mediterranean climates
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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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Friday, April 4, 2008

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Aunt Bett, Bee Balm and Battling Bees
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

Every journey up the mountain with Aunt Bett was an adventure. Gathering bee balm was one of the most exciting since we had to battle the hungry bees to get our fair share, not to mention the fact that the uniform for bee battling was never to be forgotten. This is the third in a series of stories about my great Aunt Bett, the mountain medicine woman.

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Read more articles about:  bees herbs Monarda recipes Aunt Bett stories

Thursday, April 3, 2008

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Snakes- Good for the Garden
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Most people seem to have an innate fear and loathing of snakes, which sometimes works out for the snakes (people leave them alone) and sometimes it doesn't (people kill them when they find them in their gardens). There is no way I can convince someone who is terrified of snakes not to be, but perhaps a discussion of their benefits and harmlessness to the garden will deter a few would-be killers of these wonderful and efficient garden predators.

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Read more articles about:  wildlife snakes
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Companion Planting- The how and why planting flowers and vegetables together make for a better garden
By Catherine Smith (doccat5)

Companion planting is not an old wives tale.. there are scientific foundations for using these methods to improve your garden.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening gardening tips annual flowers juglone companion planting

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

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The Story of Iris Part 12 – Why Grow Iris?
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

This series has come to a close. With all the information I have given you, I wanted to appeal to you one last time to add iris to your landscape. So here are the top five reasons to grow an iris.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Irises
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Rock Dust… DUH!!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

I have had bits and pieces of information about using rock dust in the garden scattered among my garden notes and in my books for years. Recently some neurotransmitters in my brain finally worked together and I had a really big DUH! about why I should use rock dust in my garden, and what it can do. It is all so very simple to me, finally.

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting fertilizers micronutrients rock dust
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Bee balm (Monarda)
By Lee Anne Stark (threegardeners)

This versatile member of the mint family is often overlooked for use in the perennial garden. Let us try to change that.

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Read more articles about:  herbs perennial flowers Monarda bee balm
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Music to your plants - Using microbes in concert to protect against pathogens
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Natural soil is a veritable cornucopia of bacteria, fungi, viruses, and other small organisms, all living together in a delicate balance. Any disruption of that balance can result in one or more of the microbes gaining an upper hand over the others. In some cases, the ones proliferating are pathogenic, or damaging to your plants. Now, imagine a soilless media, practically devoid of any microflora, becoming inoculated with a pathogen. Without competition, the surprise is that any plant growing in such a medium survives! Fortunately, the means to restore a population of beneficial microbes to your soilless medium is available. Read on . . .

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Read more articles about:  soil and composting microbes fungi

Monday, March 31, 2008

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The Jewel Alocasias - Spotlight on Alocasia reginula 'Black Velvet'
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Of all the smaller Jewels, Alocasia reginula 'Black Velvet' is one of the most familiar and recognizable. The dark, almost black leaves, adorned with brilliant silvery-white veins and velvety look make for an unmistakably beautiful sight. You just want to hug and baby this wonderful little plant, but in so doing you may kill her with kindness. Read on. . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals aroids Alocasia

Sunday, March 30, 2008

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The Many and Varied Uses of Rosemary
By Karen Jones (karri_sue)

With a huge plant like this, I have learned to be very creative when it comes to using rosemary. I sell plants, make bath products and cook with it as well.

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Read more articles about:  herbs cooking rosemary
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The Zodiac Garden
By Ian Maxwell (GranvilleSouth)

Following lunar phases in the garden is the first step down a more obscure path . According to occult gardeners, there is as much significance in the moon's traverse of the astrological wheel. Through both the Zodiac & Aristotle's system of four elements, fortunes in the garden are foretold in the stars. Or so some say. Old wives' tales or esoteric wisdom? It's time to explore this next level & find out for ourselves.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening gardening tips folklore and legends lunar calendar

Saturday, March 29, 2008

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The weather is awful….
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

So it’s Saturday morning, you have the day off and a bunch of new acquisitions to plant, and you wake up to the sound of – OH NO – it’s BUCKETING and a gale is blowing, not even the ENGLISH* will garden in this weather. So – do you crawl back under the covers…. or make good use of the day in other ways? Here are some suggestions of things you have probably vowed to do for ages but have never gotten around to. Now is your chance!!

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening gardening tips weather and storms garden humor
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One Technique for Painting Succulents with Watercolors
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

This article is an introduction on how to do some watercolor paintings of some of the simpler succulents (aloes, agaves etc.). Some painting tips will be mentioned and some sample paintings will be shown as they develop from start to finish.

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Read more articles about:  cactus and succulents garden art botanical prints

Friday, March 28, 2008

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Dwarf 'Needled' Conifers
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

If you have a small garden but want year-round attraction, there are multitudes of dwarf conifers that can fit the bill. This is part one or a two part series on the more common dwarf conifers that mature at about 1 m in height. This article will cover some examples from the 'needled' conifer genera which include Abies, Cedrus, Cryptomeria, Larix, Picea, Pinus, Pseudotsuga, Taxus and Tsuga.

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Read more articles about:  conifers
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The Invaders: Ivy (Hedera helix)
By Lois Tilton (LTilton)

Who does not love an ivy-covered cottage? An ivy-covered wall? The friendly confines of ivy-covered Wrigley Field? Even the gods loved ivy. But it seems that quite a few mortals do not love ivy at all.

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Read more articles about:  vines invasives and weeds ground covers ivy

Thursday, March 27, 2008

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Master Gardeners, Who they are, What they do
By Paul Rodman (paulgrow)

I’ve been a Master Gardener for 11 years; I’ve been a DG member for 7. During that time I’ve read many posts on Dave’s Garden regarding exactly what a Master Gardener is. I believe there are a lot of misconceptions about the Master Gardener program. I'm going to clue you in on who they are and what they do.

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Read more articles about:  gardening tips
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Watering African Violets 101: Different Strokes for Different Folks
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

How to water, when to water, how much to water… Watering might be the most discussed topic in African violet care. While there is no “one true way,” a look at several common techniques might help you figure out how to keep your African violets happier and healthier.

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Read more articles about:  African violets houseplants gardening tips

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

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The Story of Iris Part 11 – True to Name
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

You love your new iris. The blooms are not the color you thought they should be but they are stunning. So you post a photo of the wonderful new iris blooming for the first time in your garden and someone says that is not it – you have an imposter. Where did you go wrong and what can you do?

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Irises plant identification
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The owl and the pussycat went to sea in a beautiful pea green boat. They dined on mince and slices of quince...
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Quince, a very popular fruit in past generations, has fallen almost into obscurity and is now one of the most under-rated fruits. It is related to apples and pears and has a pear-shaped golden yellow “pome” fruit. Quince fruit is used mainly in desserts and as fruit butters, jellies, relishes and chutneys.

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Read more articles about:  fruits and berries cooking ornamental trees and shrubs quince
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Trees Of North America: Eastern Sycamore, Platanus occidentalis
By Melody Rose (melody)

The white branches reach into the winter sky, making a stark contrast to the dark gray trunks of the other forest residents. A streak of light among the dreary sameness. Like the painted ponies of the Native Americans, the Sycamore tree is an unexpected splash of excitement in the uniform monotones of the commonplace landscape.

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants ornamental trees and shrubs
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Thai Caladiums - Will they rock the Caladium world?
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

The Caladium community is being turned on its ear by the newest varieties coming out of Thailand. There's no telling what they are doing over there, but one thing is for sure, they have developed some stunning plants that are now available in the U. S. A. Before you plunk down your cash, however, let me tell you my experience with these entrancing beauties . . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals hybridizing aroids Caladium

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

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Aunt Bett's Sure Cure for Croup: Hawkweed
By Sharon Brown (Sharran)

During all the years of following my Great Aunt Bett up the mountains of eastern Kentucky searching for one illusive plant after another, I never missed a trip with her. Well, until the year I was seven.....

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Read more articles about:  North American native plants herbs herbalism asphidity bags Aunt Bett stories

Saturday, March 22, 2008

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Gardening in the Zone
By Tamara Galbraith (TexasTam)

Ok everyone, hold up a trowel if you know what USDA Hardiness Zone you're in. As a gardener, knowing your zone is one of the most basic and important pieces of information you can possess. Your hardiness zone helps to tell you what plants grow well in your area.

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Read more articles about:  hardiness zones gardening tips

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