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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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Ornamental Trees and Shrubs Tropical Plants Houseplants Winter Gardening

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

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There are Strange Things Done in the Midnight Sun By the Pigs Who Search for… Truffles??
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

The truffle is an expensive, highly sought-after fungus about the size of a walnut, famous in French cuisine, and grows 15-20 inches deep among the roots of trees. (Think underground mushrooms.) They are indeed hunted with female pigs capable of sniffing out the delicate, perfumery aroma said to mimic the male pig sex hormone. Here in the United States we have recently begun cultivating truffles and have trained dogs to sniff them out. Apparently dogs are not as likely to eat the valuable crop as are pigs.

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Read more articles about:  fungi mushrooms cooking truffles
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Proper Pruning of Pear Trees
By Catherine Smith (doccat5)

Are you confused about pruning fruit trees? It's really not that hard, but let's start with the easiest, most forgiving of all the fruit trees. Pear trees are generally easy to grow and maintain. This is one type of tree that tends to be self-thinning to save you some work.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening pruning fruits and berries pears Pyrus
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Caladium hybridizing - Making your own unique plant creation
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Each year at this time of year, we begin seeing Caladiums show up for Spring planting. Most of the varieties seem the same, or similar, from year to year. Does that mean that new varieties are pretty much a thing of the past? Well, even though Caladiums have been hybridized for over 100 years, you can still come up with some that are your own unique creations. Read on and I'll show you how . . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals hybridizing aroids Caladium

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

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Dyeing Eggs Naturally
By Karen Jones (karri_sue)

Do you remember dyeing eggs with the little color tablet? It seemed that you were only limited by your imagination. Now that you're grown, are you looking for something a bit more sophisticated?

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Read more articles about:  garden crafts holiday celebrations plant-based dyes

Monday, March 17, 2008

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Add a Little Leprechaun Magic to Your Houseplants: Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a GREEN blooming African Violet
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

Am I seeing things, or does that African violet blossom look a little green today? Maybe it’s green with envy because that ever-blooming trailing violet has taken center stage again. Maybe it’s seasick because I’ve overfilled the water tray. Wait – check the calendar! It’s St. Patrick’s Day, and the Leprechauns have been up to mischief. That must be it. Maybe that’s why green blooms seem so magical…

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Read more articles about:  African violets houseplants green flowers garden humor
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Aroids of the imagination XII - Snake Tongues, Right-Handers and other Wonders
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

From right-handed pinnate leaves to spathes shaped like a snake's tongue, here's a group of different and fascinating Aroidian flora for your viewing pleasure . . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals aroids
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Thinking Ahead 103: Planting for the Future
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

We've all done it - filled a small empty spot in the garden with a darling little tree or shrub. Then one day, we notice that it's not so little and no longer darling. What was used as filler has now overgrown its appointed place in the landscape. Nurseries and garden centers use the phrase "right plant for the right place." This means not only considering water, light and soil, but thinking farther ahead than the immediate future.

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

Sunday, March 16, 2008

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Roses ~ In the Pink
By Jan Recchio (grampapa)

Pink roses are feminine, soft, romantic...and my absolute favorite. So in this article, instead of listing the most popular pink roses on the market, I'm going to share the ones that I love the most. Here is a bouquet of two dozen pink roses from my garden to yours!

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Read more articles about:  roses rose gardens
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Thrills and ills of seed trading
By Dinakar KR (Dinu)

As I moved on, trading has taught me many lessons as failures far outweighed successes, not in terms of the seeds reaching destinations, but the reached ones germinating as I [foolishly] desired. That led to great disappointment but the positives that resulted from all that has been a worthy outcome.

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Read more articles about:  swapping plants and seeds

Saturday, March 15, 2008

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Make-over Your Old Flowerpots: A Face-lift For Weathered Plastic
By Melody Rose (melody)

As winter fades to Spring, gardeners everywhere are looking at their poor, tired plastic pots. They slink by them with averted eyes, as the faded and weather-worn plastic sits unloved and unused in a corner of the basement, or garage. The dread of putting fresh and cheerful flowers in these eyesores can now be banished. There is a wonderful product on the market now that will give old pots new life.

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Read more articles about:  garden crafts frugal gardening container gardening recycling
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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 butterflies

Friday, March 14, 2008

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Missouri Botanical Garden Orchid Show
By Cathy M Wallace (cathy4)

A small traffic jam forms at the door as visitors take their first sniff of the air at the Missouri Botanical Garden's Orchid Show. How I wish I could make the photos "scratch and sniff" so you could enjoy more than the pictures, as the smells are as scrumptious as the colors of the flowers. Come along as I wander through a beautiful orchid garden.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals fragrant plants and flowers orchids public gardens flower shows Missouri Botanical Garden

Thursday, March 13, 2008

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Watering Wisely
By Paul Rodman (paulgrow)

It seems like every time we pick up a newspaper or turn on the news there is some type of story about water shortages. Double digit water bill increases in urban areas or threats of running out of water in the southeast United States. We all need to do our part in conserving water whether we get it from a municipal water source or from our own wells.

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Read more articles about:  conservation
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Seed Starting 101: Sowing & Transplanting Tips for Strong Seedlings
By Jill M. Nicolaus (critterologist)

How do you turn that packet of tiny basil seeds into pots of lovely herbs for your garden? Starting plants from seed seems like a magical process, but there’s no great mystery to it. A few tips and pointers will help you on your way…

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening seed starting transplanting seedlings

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

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The Story of Iris Part 9 – What to Feed Your Bearded Iris
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

So, we are going to look at bearded for only one article. The big thing is what to feed them and how to take care of them. I am going to show you four of our gardeners here on Dave’s Garden who have different feeding methods and talk to you a little about each one.

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Irises fertilizers
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Hops are not just for beer. They make great ornamentals in the Home Garden!
By Darius Van d'Rhys (darius)

Hops are primarily grown and harvested for use in making beer although historically they have been used as a medicinal herb, a spring vegetable and in many crafts. They are a very attractive vine in the home garden and an easy plant for the novice gardener.

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Read more articles about:  vines herbs garden crafts hops
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Peacocks-Raise your own living lawn art!
By Catherine Smith (doccat5)

Let me introduce you to Larry, the peacock. He's a young guy still looking for the “right” peahen. But as you can see, he already has the makings to be a beautiful piece of living lawn art. He belongs to one our local Dgers and has been a continuing source of amazement and enjoyment to all of us reading the thread for some time. And he is the inspiration for this article.

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Read more articles about:  birds farm life poultry peacocks

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

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A Tale of Two Pretties
By Lori Geistlinger (McGlory)

Do you ever get the feeling that a particular plant is out to get you? Seems everyone can grow it easily except you. Do you spend hours wondering what you should be doing differently, moving it from location to location, trying different fertilizers? Relax and stop worrying. You’re right; the plant hates you. Here are two roses, recent additions to the same neighborhood. And this is their tale:

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Read more articles about:  roses garden humor

Monday, March 10, 2008

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Aroids of the imagination XI - The Keeper of the Gate
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

In my imaginings about Aroidia the idea of technological advancement had not occurred to me. After all, Aroidia was a place of all plants, and even though two intelligent races were present, neither of them displayed any indication of technological or scientific development. Or had I just missed what was so obvious that it was totally hidden until now?

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Read more articles about:  tropicals aroids

Sunday, March 9, 2008

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Garden Design on Your Computer, Part 4: your first garden design with your new software
By Jan Recchio (grampapa)

You've purchased the garden design software that's right for you and worked through the tutorials and practiced with some simple designs. You should be ready to design that new bed for spring. I'm going to show you one that I did last year. It's an herb garden that sits at the center of a 70' long cottage garden. The herb garden has some interesting elements, so I'll just concentrate on that here. This is the final article in this series. Please join me.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping garden design software

Saturday, March 8, 2008

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Welcome to my toxic, painful garden
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

My garden is a living collection of some of the most hazardous plants one can grow, from both a toxic and physical danger point of view. Yet I and my pets, and friends all manage to survive the experience of repeatedly wandering through it. OSHA would never sanction this plant collection due to the potential legal ramifcations of injury. But after one gets over the usual paranoia about eyes being poked out and pets and children being killed by all the toxic greenery, reality sets in and one starts to put things into perspective. In this article, that is what I will attempt to do.

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Read more articles about:  plant dangers toxic plants
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Thinking Ahead 101: Following the Sun
By Toni Leland (tonileland)

In Zones 1 through 7, March is probably a little early to be digging in the dirt, but this is the perfect month to do some long range planning. Need to move shrubs or transplant perennials? How's your soil? Does it need amendment? Tired of looking at bare branches all winter? This series of articles will address these issues, so cozy up to the fire with your dreams and a notebook and think about exactly what you'll do when spring finally arrives.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening garden design and landscaping
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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 farm life poultry

Friday, March 7, 2008

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Raised Beds Why and How
By Paul Rodman (paulgrow)

Poor soil? Rocky hard pan slow drainage. No organic materials, nothing will grow? Bad back or other disability? A raised bed may be the answer to your problems; I’ll explain how to build them and where they should be placed.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening raised bed gardens gardening tips

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

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The Story of Iris Part 8 – Pearls of Wisdom
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

So, I have been there, looking at stunning gardens cared for by someone much my senior. They are perfect, full, lush, and just stunning… I stand in awe knowing my own little piece of heaven costs me so much blood, sweat, and tears. I wonder how do they do it. So I asked our iris team to tell me – what is their greatest pearl of wisdom for growing iris?

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Irises

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

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Plant a Tree, The History of Arbor Day
By Paul Rodman (paulgrow)

“Other holidays repose in the past; Arbor Day proposes for the future” These words were spoken by J. Sterling Morton 136 years ago and still hold true today to reflect the necessity of planting trees. Mr. Morton was responsible for the founding of Arbor Day in Nebraska, other states followed his lead and soon all of the United States was celebrating this holiday.

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Read more articles about:  garden history ornamental trees and shrubs conservation Arbor Day

Monday, March 3, 2008

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Aroids of the imagination X - Beauty times three
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

Of all the plants I've imagined, this particular one has the most beautiful inflorescence. It represents the most advanced version of the "three becoming one" growth habit shown most often by plants in the Aroidian genus Triklados. . .

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Read more articles about:  tropicals aroids

Sunday, March 2, 2008

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Cold Hardiness and Palms- what does it mean and what can be done about it?
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Palms are a mostly tropical species. However, thankfully, many palms can grow in subtropical and temperate climates, providing a wonderful 'touch of the tropics' to less than tropical climates throughout the world. This article is not about what these palms are (that article was already published a few weeks ago), but more about cold hardiness itself and how it relates to palm growing. As one will see there are many related complexities that pertain to marginal palm growing one might not guess at just thumbing through a list of cold hardy palms.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads hardiness zones
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Cabbage: Its History, Uses And Culture
By Melody Rose (melody)

"In the night the cabbages catch at the moon, the leaves drip silver, the rows of cabbages are a series of little silver waterfalls in the moon." - Carl Sandburg

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening brassicas cabbage recipes
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Pest Profile: The Imported Cabbageworm
By Tamara Galbraith (TexasTam)

Early spring is the time of year to grow cool season crops of the brassica family, such as cabbage and cauliflower. Soon after doing so, you will almost hear the ringing of the dinner bell at the party of the imported cabbageworm, aka Pieris rapae.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening butterflies insects brassicas caterpillars cabbageworm

Saturday, March 1, 2008

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Lettuce-Growing Basics: Start a Salad in Your Backyard!
By Tamara Galbraith (TexasTam)

With warm weather just around the corner, but temperatures still in the cool range, it's a great time to start some lettuce seeds in your garden. Lettuce is easy to grow, matures quickly, doesn’t take up much space, and offers a "cut-and-come-again" growth habit that can give you several salads from the same plant.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening lettuce greens salads

Friday, February 29, 2008

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Diseases That Attack Roses
By Paul Rodman (paulgrow)

The old football adage “The best offense is a good defense” so aptly applies in avoiding diseases in your rose garden. Regular observations and spray programs are the only effective way to prevent diseases before they get started and spread to other plants.

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Read more articles about:  roses diseases soil-borne diseases pests blackspot

Thursday, February 28, 2008

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The Dutch Bulb Fields and Tulipomania
By Hetty Ford (Dutchlady1)

It is virtually impossible to access any travel website focusing on The Netherlands without encountering colorful photographs of the Bulb Fields in Springtime…… but bulbs, tulips and otherwise, are BIG business for Holland, not just for the tourist industry.

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Read more articles about:  spring gardening bulbs tulips the Netherlands

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

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The Story of Iris Part 7– The Big Things That Can Go Wrong.
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

I have been there – I babied this plant, fixed its soil, fed it, watered it, cared for it… then right before it starts to bloom….poof like magic it is a goner…but why?

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Read more articles about:  perennial flowers Irises gardening tips
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Episcia cupreata
By Lee Anne Stark (threegardeners)

This wonderful member of the Gesneriad family is an easy plant for the indoor gardener. Learn how to enjoy them in your home.

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Read more articles about:  houseplants Episcias gesneriads

Monday, February 25, 2008

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Aroids of the imagination IX - Spirals and Floaters
By LariAnn Garner (LariAnn)

On Aroidia, nearly every available niche is populated with some type of plant. Here I investigate those plants that float on the ocean and those that grow as hemiepiphytes on other, larger species.

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Read more articles about:  tropicals aroids Pistia Anthurium
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Windowsill Orchids...the Easy Way!
By Todd Boland (Todd_Boland)

Are you enthrawled by orchids but too intimidated to try and grow them? Well, many orchids grow easily as houseplants simply on the windowsill. This article will explain the basics of growing orchids as houseplants. A few easy rules and even you too can be successful in growing the ULTIMATE houseplant!

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Read more articles about:  tropicals houseplants orchids gardening tips
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The Encephalartos Species: THE collector genus of cycad
By Geoff Stein (palmbob)

Most cycads are excellent landscape and potted plants choices and most tend to be sought after by thousands of collectors who love these plants (sometimes a bit too much). But all the cycad genera Encephalartos are easily the most popular and sought after (hence, the most expensive, too). All Encephalartos sepces are considered endangered (though some are actually not currently threatened) making the struggle of collecting them that much more costly and difficult. Few collectors are obsessed wtih common, 'everyday' species of plants, so it shouldn't surprise anyone that this is one of the most over-collected and prized of all the succulent plants. The following article is an introduction to most of the species one might encounter in their pursuit of learning and collecting these rare and beautiful plants.

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Read more articles about:  palms and cycads cactus and succulents Encephalartos

Sunday, February 24, 2008

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V for Victory - Victory Garden That Is!
By Mitch Fitzgerald (MitchF)

Victory gardens---an idea that was lost to me. I had never heard of victory gardens before I came across this old photo of my great-grandfather with my grandfather and his brother. The story I am told is that this photo was taken on the day they planted their first WWII victory garden.

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Read more articles about:  vegetable gardening garden history Victory gardens
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Garden Design on Your Computer, Part 2: choosing the best software for you
By Jan Recchio (grampapa)

It's time to choose your garden design software now. There are some things you need to consider before you make your decision. When I was first contemplating such a purchase, I was in the process of having a new home built and had a completely unlandscaped 3/4 acre lot that was purely mud and rocks; a blank canvas, if you will. You may be in a similar situation, or you may have 25 acres, or possibly a tiny city lot that's already planted and you just want to rearrange. Your software should be tailored to your needs.

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Read more articles about:  garden design and landscaping garden design software

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