A makeover for milkweed, for the sake of butterflies
QUEBEC CITY (AP) — For generations, North American farmers have despised milkweed and done their best to rid their lands of it. "I hate to have milkweed in my strawberry field," Nathalie Leonard says from her farm by the Quebec village of Lac-du-Cerf.
So why does she have 60 acres of milkweed growing on purpose? It's for the sake of butterflies — the iconic monarchs. And for a chance to turn milkweed into profit.
Plant lovers have long gotten together to trade seeds and growing advice, and the latest generation is following suit with modern plant swaps.
Benevolent or fearsome? Yellowjackets can be both
Yellowjackets play a supportive role in gardening but can be dangerous around families and pets. People sensitive to bee venom should be especially careful from August through October, when...
Gardeners, let’s praise the hoe
Hopefully, I've caught you in time, before your weeds have grown lusty. I want you to consider the much maligned hoe.
Wait! Don't stop reading. I know hoeing is the activity that (perhaps...
WAVERLY, Ga. (AP) — A Georgia woman who was bitten by a rattlesnake while gardening has died.
News outlets report 62-yaer-old Priscilla Meridith was bitten last month and suffered an...
The cemeteries of yore existed as much for the living as for the dead. People would picnic and relax there as they would in a park today.
LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — Chellie Doonan hopes that working in the garden during the coming weeks while going through treatment at DCCCA First Step at Lake View, a residential drug treatment facility...
COVENTRY, Conn. (AP) — Another legal fight has erupted in a long-running dispute over the fate of the late, famed herbalist Adelma Grenier Simmons' farm in Connecticut.
Peter Sarsgaard’s gardening obsession
Dentist vows to put racy Easter display back up
CLIFTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey dentist who created a racy Easter display is vowing to put it back up after a female neighbor used gardening shears to damage it.
FORT SMITH, Ark. (AP) — Three local high school students have teamed up with a nonprofit organization to provide a way for children to try their hand at a fun, useful activity.
‘Brew’ up your own potting mix
My gardening season begins on my garage floor. Here I mix potting soil that will nourish this season's seedlings and replace worn-out soil around the roots of houseplants.
Why make potting soil?
Why bake bread?
There's really no special magic in good potting soil.
The three basic ingredients in my mix are garden soil, mineral aggregate and organic matter. Used alone, garden soil is too dense for containers.
Educator wins for garden that ‘is about sustaining life’
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — After a hard day's work, few of us want to come home and spend our leisure hours consumed in the same labor.
Famed Connecticut herbalist’s widower ordered off farm
COVENTRY, Conn. (AP) — Since the death of famed herbalist Adelma Grenier Simmons, her Connecticut farm that once drew visitors by the busload has fallen into disrepair, with green tarps covering parts of the roof on the 18th century house and the perennial gardens overgrown.
Her estate faults her widower, Edward Cook, who is now fighting a judge's order to vacate the farm in Coventry.
"I think it's a tragedy," said Cook, an 81-year-old science professor who denies the allegations against him.
Eau Claire man’s hostas to be sold internationally
EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (AP) — To Charlie Kwick, hosta gardening was always just hobby — something the 78-year-old decided to take up in his retirement along with golf and making jam.
But during the last decade, as the Eau Claire resident has gradually filled up his south side front yard with hostas, most of which of his own creation through hybridizing, it's becoming clear Kwick's passion for the shade-tolerant foliage plants isn't just another hobby. It's a talent.
Probation agency hopes gardening program will help kids grow
PHOENIX (AP) — Maricopa County juvenile probation officials hope vegetables and other plants won't be the only things growing around the raised-bed gardens at the county Juvenile Probation Facility.
For ‘weedless gardening’ next spring, begin now
I take a four-pronged approach to keeping my vegetable and flower gardens free of weed problems, and suggest you try it.
First, keep dormant weed seeds asleep by not tilling or otherwise churning the soil. (All soils contain many weed seeds that lie dormant until they are exposed to light, which happens when soils are tilled.)
Second, avoid soil compaction by using beds and paths, or stepping stones, to make permanent areas for planting and for walking.
- The Brownsville HeraldSPI Community Garden Pilot Program seeking participantsAugust 10, 2019
- The Spokesman-ReviewHow about gardening for your summer self-improvement project?May 29, 2019
- Houston ChronicleVolunteer gardeners help spiff up old cemeteriesMay 23, 2019
- Idaho State JournalAnnual Master Gardner Plant Fair draws big crowdMay 12, 2019
- The News-ReviewExtension Spotlight: When should I plant warm season plants?April 29, 2019
Dish gardens bring gardening inside for the winter
There's no need for gardeners to go dormant along with their landscape when cold weather arrives. Arranging plants in small dishes and pots can be an enjoyable indoor alternative at the end of the summer growing season.
"By creating a dish garden, you are in fact creating a miniature landscape," said Dawn Pettinelli, an Extension educator with the University of Connecticut. "It can be as plain or as frivolous as one desires."
Community initiative turns guns into gardening tools
NEW HAVEN, Conn. (AP) — A Connecticut community's initiative is turning guns into gardening tools to promote nonviolence.
Plants, but no pants: Florida man gardens in the nude
STUART, Fla. (AP) — Being in touch with nature is one thing. But gardening au naturel is quite another for some neighbors of a Florida man who's been doing yard work in the nude.
The miffed residents tell news outlets they've called the Martin County Sheriff's Office, but the man continues to do yard work naked.
Museum gardeners grow deep roots of friendship
FREMONT, Neb. (AP) — Jan Lutz started gardening 23 years ago after her husband, George, died.
"Moving things around, getting my hands in that dirt. It is wonderful therapy," the Fremont woman said.
On Aug. 28, Lutz was in a garden, but not the one at her house.
Michigan Tech students help community before new year
HANCOCK, Mich. (AP) — Nearly 200 college students in the Upper Peninsula have been serving their community before hitting the books.
Students from Michigan Technological University in Houghton visited schools Monday for yard work, gardening, window washing and more. It wasn't hard to find jobs: Local school leaders offered plenty of chores.
George Stockero, superintendent of the Copper Country Intermediate District, replied by saying, "We'd be happy to have you."
Cooperative Extension adapts to a less agricultural America
In its century of existence, the Cooperative Extension System has been a valuable resource distributing university-driven, science-based information — mostly about farming and gardening — to the public. But in today's less agricultural America, the Extension network is adapting, expanding its rural focus into cities and suburbs too.
Wattle fences: Weaving branches takes time, yields rewards
CONTRADA PETRARO, Sicily (AP) — They come in the middle of the night and are gone by morning. But without fail, they leave their calling cards: Pronged footprints and gashes in the ground where they've dug with natural abandon.
This nocturnal troublemaker in mountainous northern Sicily is the "cinghiale," the wild pig, a bane to those who tend a garden.
Monarchs and milkweed, at a glance
Some facts about monarch butterflies and the milkweed plants they need to survive:
—The migratory monarch population that overwinters in central Mexico from eastern Canada and the U.S. declined 84 percent between 1997 and 2014. A similar decline was observed for the smaller population of migrating Western monarchs that winter in California.
NAIROBI, Kenya (AP) — School children in Kenya are helping to fight deforestation by planting seeds using slingshots.
It's part of an initiative by the company SeedBalls Kenya, which makes and sells seedballs globally. It encourages children to have slingshot competitions using the charcoal-covered seeds instead of stones.
About 2 million seedballs have been planted in Kenya in the past year and a half in what has been called "guerrilla gardening."
ALEXANDRIA, La. (AP) — Raised garden beds at the Alexandria VA Hospital are providing recreation and therapy for the veterans who tend to them daily.
The gardens are located outside the hospital's nursing home and acute psychiatric units. They were planted in April, thanks in part to an outreach agreement between the Alexandria VA Health System and the Natural Resources Conservation Service, a USDA agency.
MIDDLETOWN, R.I. (AP) — A Massachusetts great-grandmother dives right into her 90th birthday in death-defying fashion.
The Newport Daily News reports that Yvonne Mair has completed her third skydiving trip Saturday with Skydive Newport in Middletown. Mair's family set up a picnic while they waited for their matriarch to take the plunge.
Many schools keep gardening efforts going all summer
The school year runs just the opposite of the growing season, making it difficult for educators to teach kids how to garden. But many school systems enlist volunteers to prep garden beds while students are on summer break, making the crops ready to tend when classes resume in September.
Iowa early childhood center gets learning garden
SIOUX CITY, Iowa (AP) — In a backyard garden at the Clark Early Childhood Center, Ayden Smith, 4, removed a sunflower from a container, then placed it in a hole before covering the plant with some fresh soil.
"I don't know if Ayden really cares that much about gardening," Charity Smith said while watching her mohawk-haired grandson. "I think he just enjoys playing with dirt and getting messy."
MUSCATINE, Iowa (AP) — While putting down roots in Muscatine, Esther Deseh is also pulling a few out of the ground.
She and other Liberian in the community plant vegetable gardens near Mulford Church. The space, plots and water supply are provided by the church. Many people garden in the early evening after work.
How to fertilize your garden organically
In gardening, whether you're talking about pest control or fertilization, "organic" generally means natural. The word "organic" refers to "organic matter," the linchpin of organic gardening and, traditionally at least, all good gardening. "Organic matter" is material derived from what is or was once living.
SANDUSKY, Ohio (AP) — An Ohio gardening company where immigration agents arrested 114 workers this week in one of the largest workplace raids in the U.S. in recent years says it doesn't know if workers used fake documents to get jobs.
Corso's Flower & Garden Center says Friday in a statement that it demands proper documentation from employees and ensures they pay taxes.
The arrests had occurred Tuesday at the company's northern Ohio locations in Sandusky and nearby Castalia.
PALM HARBOR, Fla. (AP) — A Florida Congressman who is running for his seventh term in office will hold his first-ever Women's Summit, which will include topics like weight-loss and gardening.
HARLINGEN — Just look at it as a way to get your hugelkultur on.
Hugelkultur, a German-inspired technique for raised-bed gardening and composting without irrigation or fertilizer, will be demonstrated at the upcoming Gardeners Market in San Benito Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Also on the agenda of the Cameron County Master Gardeners’ “Gardeners Market” is hypertufa, a way to make garden pots from Portland cement and old towels.
JUNEAU -- The Dodge County Association for Home and Community Education invites the public to attend its upcoming learning session on container gardening Monday, April 30, at 6:30 p.m. in the Dodge County Administration Building auditorium in Juneau, 127 E. Oak St.
“Educational programming. That’s what we do,” said Roy Flora, county extension agent for Texas A&M Agrilife Extension in Liberty County.
Flora, who has only been an extension agent for three years, was an ag teacher in Tarkington for five years, and in Gonzales prior.
He’s also been a commercial turkey producer and worked in the cow business, too.
HARBERT, Mich. — The gardening season kicks off with the 11th annual River Valley Garden Club’s plant sale on May 19 at the Harbert Community Park from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. (Michigan time), 13300 Red Arrow Highway, Harbert, just north of the Chikaming Township Center.
Perennials, bushes, trees and native grasses will be available – all locally grown and propagated by members to be sold at the sale. Gardening books, magazines and homemade baked goods will also be available.
It’s that time of year again when people head to stores to buy seeds, plants and bulbs, eager to begin another gardening season.
Some gardeners plant seeds indoors in pots or trays. That way, they can start flowers and plants weeks before it’s warm enough to move them outdoors. Information on how to do this can be found on the back of individual seed packets.
This spring, plan your best garden ever — or maybe even your first garden ever.
The first step to achieving a well-organized garden is planning. Here's what you need to know.
Talk With Local Experts
If this is your first time planning a garden, consult with a regional garden-planting guide. You can find one at most hardware stores or nurseries.
I've spent the past few weeks making shopping lists of plants I want to buy for my display garden at the OPC in Rochester. Preparing a garden for a garden walk is a scary prospect when April showers are dominated by ice and snow. But sitting around moaning about the unseasonably cold weather will only put me further behind. So I moan on the move.
I do check the weather and 10-day forecasts daily, but of course that effort won't help. As the old saying goes, "a watched pot never boils."
One of the most fun,easy and rewarding ways to make a big Beesponsible impact is to plant your own bee garden. Bee-friendly flowers and plants not only help keep bees healthy and thriving, but also provide beauty and even increase the yields of any fruits and veggies you may be growing. Whether you plant a big garden, little patch or even just a flowerpot, you’ll contribute a wonderful, healthy and valuable habitat for bees and other pollinators.
Spring Plant & Flower Festival returns to Pee Dee State Farmers Market
FLORENCE, S.C. – The 33rd annual Spring Plant & Flower Festival will start today at the Pee Dee State Farmers Market. The festival will end Sunday.
A vast selection of spring plants and flowers will be available, as well as other lawn and garden décor items. The Florence County Master Gardeners will be on hand to answer questions and offer free gardening advice. Vendors will sell a variety of Certified SC Products, and food trucks will be on site to grab a bite to eat.
How to hybridize, harvest and more at Cuyahoga County Master Gardeners Spring Seminar, April 21
How to hybridize, harvest and more at Cuyahoga County Master Gardeners Spring Seminar, April 21
CLEVELAND, Ohio - - With gardening season right around the corner, Cuyahoga County Master Gardeners once again is hosting a spring seminar, with topics ranging from preserving fruits and vegetables with the most up-to-date tools, to when and how to harvest.
Gardening: quick and easy strawberries
Given how quickly strawberries begin to bear fruit and how easily they are grown, it's a wonder that strawberry beds aren't as common in backyards as lawns are in front yards.
The most compelling reason to grow strawberries is, of course, flavor.
You might have seen it pop up on your Pinterest feed — cabbage, herbs or even flowers grown out of straw bales.
“It’s the hot new gardening trend,” said Holly Froning, program coordinator for the master gardeners for the University of Illinois Extension.
But this is more than just a trend, Froning added, at a seminar at the Bourbonnais Public Library last week.
“You can grow earlier in the spring and later in the season than using soil,” she explained. “All said and done, you gain about six weeks.”