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The Plant Man Article Archive

Here is an archive of "The Plant Man" columns, written by LandSteward's Steve Jones, published weekly in more than 78 newspapers across America.

SHOPPING INFORMATION: You will find "hot links" imbedded in these columns that will take you to the appropriate page at the website of Greenwood Nursery, the sponsor and underwriter of Land Steward. Click on the links to find descriptions and buying information about the plants and products that interest you.

You can also click on the Greenwood Nursery logo at the top right hand corner of this page to go to Greenwood's homepage. Be sure to join our free Land Steward club and take advantage of a 10% new members discount, too! Click on "Become a member of Land Steward"

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Lawn drainage problems – and plants that love shade
It's always a pleasure when one of these "Plant Man" columns generates a flurry of e-mailed comments and questions from readers! That was the case with two recent columns about creating a "shade garden" area in your landscape. I received...

Dish the dirt! What's your soil type?
It feels a little odd to be saying this with the August sun beating down on us, but it's a fact: Fall is just around the corner! The other day I saw a string of orange school buses and suddenly was struck by the thought...

Fast-growing vines add shade and color 08-10-03
"Hot enough for you?" You've probably heard that question at least once in the last week or so. And today, I'll give you a few ideas that should help you make the best use of your landscaping to cool things down a little. In my last column..

"Made in the Shade" on a hot summer's day
Does this sound good to you right now? You are outside on a pleasant summer's day. You can hear the chirp and twitter of various birds, and maybe the distant drone of a faraway tractor or mower. You trace a fingertip through the droplets of..

Lawn brown spots cured with... tomato juice?
In one of my recent columns, I included a question from a reader who was having problems with brown spots on his lawn, apparently caused by urine from his pet dogs. In response, I received an e-mail from...

Take action now to keep summer grass green
There Ain't No Cure for the Summertime Blues. I heard that Eddie Cochran song on an oldies radio station this morning.

Reader needs help with a "puppy spotted" lawn!
Yes, it's summer and there isn't too much planting to be done right now. But that doesn't mean your landscape doesn't need any attention. In fact, summer is the time when many problems become apparent, and...

Plant a few trees and reduce the ‘greenhouse gas'!
"We're from the Government and we're here to help." If you're like a lot of people, when you hear those words you might mutter a cynical "Yeah, right!" But from time to time, it seems that our leaders really DO come up with strategy that...

Add pathways to your landscape and save your lawn!
Recently, a reader asked me what to do about some well worn patches across her lawn. It seems that her family continues to "beat a path" across a particular area, despite her gentle requests, more forceful suggestions and downright threats!

Perennials bring years of beauty to your landscape
Perennials. They're the plants that you simply stick into the ground and they keep coming up year after year, for ever and ever, amen. Right? Well, not exactly.

Timberjackers might have their eyes on your valuable trees
If you are like most people today, you take steps to protect yourself from thieves and burglars. Let's run through your nightly checklist... Your car is locked and the alarm is on. Outside security lights illuminate the driveway. All doors...

Birds and bats and butterflies! Oh my!
As you know, this column is about trees, shrubs and all things "landscaping." So it might seem strange when I tell you that today I'm talking about houses. Wait! Stay right there! This...

Make It Easy On Yourself!
Taking care of your piece of the planet shouldn't be all hard work. Rather, it should be enjoyable, rewarding and pleasurable. Yes, there will be some work involved, and for most us that is part of what makes it rewarding. But...

Training Wisteria, evergreen screens and more of your questions!
You must be devoting more time to thinking about your landscape and the trees and shrubs that grow – or WON'T grow – there, judging by the increase in the number of questions I've received recently! You're welcome to ask my advice by sending

Controlling landscape pests – without chemicals
When it comes to landscaping there's one word that seems to evoke strong feelings from opposite sides of the subject: pesticides. It seems that there are very few people who are neutral about pesticides. Generally, you're...

Container gardening opens up new landscaping options
When it comes to getting creative with your landscaping, don't overlook containers! Perhaps you haven't really considered container gardening because you think of it as only for...

Grow lush grass – not weeds – on your lawn!
It's that time of the year when we suddenly start thinking about lawn care again. The grass is beginning to grow again, and so are the weeds. And the brown patches are even more noticeable against the new, fresh green growth. There are some...

Transplants make tree planting easier.
Quite often I'm asked a variation on the same question. Sometimes the question is asked by visitors to my nursery; other times I find the question in my e-mail from a reader of this column. And sometimes the question remains unasked by...

Avoid these landscaping hazards!
Reports tell us that the majority of personal-injury accidents occur in the home. If that's the case, then garden and landscape-related injuries can't be far behind!

Making your landscape a bird and wildlife ‘magnet'
Part 1 of a 2 part series. For some of you, that phrase will conjure up an idyllic visions of birds and small woodland creatures happily playing in your backyard. For others, the blood pressure will already be rising as you picture deer...

Wildlife – and pond life – in your landscape
The presence of birds and other wildlife can dramatically enhance your enjoyment of your landscape. Although there might be a few critters you'd rather not invite over to feast on your shrubs!

Use trees and shrubs to "define" your landscape
In my previous column, I began a discussion about planting a "living" fence that will add drama and interest to your landscape, while providing privacy, a windbreak and a wildlife habitat.

"Roses are red..." and so are these trees!
Roses might be red... but so are some of the world'smost beautiful trees! In your "members only" preview of this week's "PLANT MAN" newspaper column, you can read about some "red" trees and see if they could add a little color to your...

Your "edible landscape:" more than just apples!
In a previous column, I discussed the enjoyment you can derive from planting "edible landscape" or trees and bushes that produce fruit. The emphasis then was on apples and the benefits of some of my favorite varieties. However, there's no need to...

Enjoy the look and taste of a "fruitful" landscape
It shouldn't be only rabbits, squirrels and deer who get to enjoy the taste of your landscape. You planted it and you should get to eat some of it too! A phrase you may have been hearing recently is "edible landscaping". As you might guess...

Try this "color countdown" to beat the winter blah
Color! That's right, color. When the landscape looks bleak and barren, it really can dampen our spirits. Studies have shown that we are more likely to become depressed during the winter. Of course, there are many reasons for this, but I believe...

Trees grow big benefits, wherever you live
When I was a kid, the main reason I liked trees was because I could climb them, hide behind them and, with a bit of luck, persuade my Dad to build a tree house in one. Since then I've grown to appreciate trees a whole lot more as I've added to...

Make a wildflower garden your next landscaping...
If you think that planting wildflowers is about as sensible as planting weeds, you could be in for a pleasant surprise. Now, I will agree that at first it might seem...

Evergreen planting brings year-round life to your garden
This time of the year is perfect for planning some of the exciting projects you can get started on in the spring. This week I have a suggestion for a project that is a lot of fun to plan and will be very satisfying to create. And if the land...

Here are some fun landscape ‘resolutions'
Perhaps those of us who work closely with nature are more aware of the change of the seasons and the cycle that seems to begin again as each winter turns to spring. Having said that, The New Year is rushing up to me just as...

There's still time! Let Steve plant some...
There are only a few more days before Christmas ("shopping days" as we've been indoctrinated to call them) and I'm willing to bet that you're still trying to find at least ONE more gift to put under the tree for that special someone. Don't panic!

Plan now for spring planting!
The days are getting shorter, the weather is getting chillier, and the outdoors is looking a little less inviting than it did just a few short weeks ago. In fact, there doesn't seem to be much of an incentive to be out there surveying...

"Natural" decorations make Holidays special
With Thanksgiving behind us for another year, and the last of the cold turkey sandwiches just a fading memory, it's time to start thinking in earnest about the Holiday season that is now almost upon us. And the Holiday Season is a great time to...

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