Breathtaking fall colors: where to find the best!
Once again, it’s the fall season in America, and as temperatures begin to cool, deciduous trees from coast to coast are changing into their spectacular autumn clothing!
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Pruning shrubs will keep them healthy and safe
One of the major causes of anxiety among amateur landscapers is the subject of pruning shrubs.
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"Ain't No Ticks On Me?" You Hope!
Ticks are parasitic vertebrates that infest every class of terrestrial vertebrate, including mammals, birds, reptiles, and amphibians. A tick is not an insect. They are members of the class Arachnida, which includes spiders, scorpions, and mites.
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"Burn off" weed seeds and pests with solar power
"What exactly is solarizing?" That was a question that was sent to me recently by a reader of this column. Because the subject is somewhat unusual and the results are very effective, I thought I would share the answer with you today...
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"Easy care" plants for the horticulturally challenged!
"I have a brown thumb," a reader of this column recently moaned.She meant that she had the opposite of a "green thumb," often apply to people who seem to have a knack of growing just about anything successfully. Our...
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"Head's up! Literally that is.
Before you plant your tree, take a minute to look UP.
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"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..
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"My weeping cherry is weeping."
Steve, I really enjoy your advice. I planted a weeping cherry a few months ago and have kept it watered and fertilized with miracle gro. A couple weeks ago, I noticed it weeping sap at the base of the trunk. Since then...
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"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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"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...
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"Super seven" list of summer garden jobs
It's official: Summer is finally here as of June 21! And all that talk about "the lazy, hazy days" might make us think there's nothing to do around the landscape, except maybe pull a comfortable wicker chair under a favorite shade tree and...
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"Vanishing Bees" a problem for farmers and gardeners
If you’ve ever said that as you swat away some critter flying around your face, the chances are that it isn’t really a bee at all.
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“Alien” slime mold invades mulch!
A couple of mornings ago, I noticed a strange yellow clump of something had appeared, apparently overnight, in one of our flower beds. It was a bright, almost neon, yellow and very moist and slimy. It looked almost like some kind of alien being!
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“Complement” your plants to create color harmony
Gardeners and landscapers can learn a lot from other artists and craftsmen. For instance, think of the people who work in the picture-framing business.
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“Old Fashioned” plants appeal to modern tastes
What once was old is new again. That’s a saying that can certainly be applied to the world of plants. Quite often a specific plant becomes almost universally popular.
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“Sickly” soil can be saved!
When you have serious soil problems, it can be almost impossible to grow anything successfully. But when you nurse your sick soil back to health, you’ll be amazed at the exciting variety of plants that thrive in your formerly barren wasteland!
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“Sold” on compost? Here’s how to make your pile
Creating a compost pile is one of the simplest jobs you can do around your garden and landscape. However, it is also just about the most effective use of your time because it pays big dividends in the form of vibrant soil and healthy plants.
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“Thinking green” adds beauty, saves money
When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, what color immediately springs to mind? The answer of course is green! For many of us, that date is also when we’re beginning to see “green” reclaiming our landscape that has languished in shades of gray...
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Hedge Question from Ed
I would appreciate it if you could shed some of the wisdom of your field upon a novice. I would like a privacy hedge of evergreen trees. I would like it to grow fast.
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Pat Hope wrote in about wasps:
In a recent column I discussed controlling pesky wasps. I received the following e-mail from reader Pat Pope who said:
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300 Live oaks and a problem with Boles.
QUESTION: "We have about 300 live oak trees on our property, and almost all are covered with what I term "boles" on the leaves. Not just a few; but literally many...
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A berry good time to select delicious fruiting plants
With the Holidays and the Winter Solstice behind us and the days slowly but surely growing longer as we head towards spring, we can start to enjoy mental images of gardens and landscapes alive with colors ...
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A Bog Garden turns wet area into beautiful feature
Unless we are very lucky, most of us have issues with at least part of our landscape. An area that is nothing but heavy clay that won’t drain, a deeply shaded section that receives little or no sunlight, or an area baked by the sun all day,
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A Concerned Instructor In Washington.
Great job again, Steve, I am setting up courses exactly for this purpose, Name Your Neighbors. Kids spend so much time indoors, these days, that I'm afraid they wouldn't know a dandelion from salsify. I've seen kids walk right into a...
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A dose of Epsom salts can help lilac bush to flower
Time for more questions and comments from readers.
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A few quick questions...
From one of our readers: Frost, planting, and tulips!
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A planting primer for trees and shrubs
Right about now, a lot of us are getting ready to plant some new goodies around our landscape.
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A planting primer for trees and shrubs
Perhaps you visit a garden center or look at an online catalog and see various intriguing plants but hesitate to make the buying decision because you’re not sure about the correct planting procedure.
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A Special Lawn Cocktail.
Steve, Per an excerpt from your article: "Help your lawn breathe during the dog days. I recently read about a retired Detroit police officer who claims that his lush, green lawn comes from treating his grass to a...
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A Ticking Solution!
In Aug of 2001, my husband and I decided to build a new house. The land we chose to build on had not been cleared fpr about 45 or 50 years. Needless to say --- ticks were thick. We'd go out and work...
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About Greenwood Nursery
About Greenwood Nursery - Started in 1978, Greenwood Nursery has always been a pioneer in the nursery industry. As one of the first nurseries to go online in 1998, Greenwood has grown to become one of the top 5 online nurseries as rated by about.com
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About Land Steward
News and information for the concerned landowner.
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Achillea: Perennial favorite for easy, colorful gardens
You probably know certain people who are just so easy to get along with. They are popular, colorful characters. They’re great at parties because everyone likes them and they can fit in with just about any company.
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Add flair to landscape with these unusual plants
Looking for something a bit out of the ordinary to plant this fall? I have a few suggestions you might want to check out.
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Add manure, compost now while plants are dormant
It seems that a lot of garden enthusiasts are really beginning to think about spring, judging by the volume of e-mailed questions arriving every day.
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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!
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Advice for growing healthy plants
Dear Steve: Do you have any advice for growing the Oregon grape holly or mahonia? Our Sunset garden guide says that it is a great plant and easy to grow, but the ones we have just seem to shrink, and the leaves get all discolored.
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Aerator
At an estate sale this weekend, I picked up a "Plant Nurse" Electric air machine model 300.
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Allergic to pollen? Some plant ideas to ease your misery!
"Bless you!" If you've been hearing that a lot from your family and co-workers recently, maybe you're one of the millions who begin to suffer from allergies around this time every year.
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American chestnut trees: on their way back
If you had given up hope of ever again gazing up at the vast leafy canopy of an American chestnut tree, take heart!
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An all-natural snake repellent? This one has many benefits!
In a recent "Plant Man" column, a reader asked for suggestions to rid his landscape of snakes without having to kill them. One reader responded with a fascinating (and non-toxic) idea that you'll find in this week's column, below.
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Analyzing Your Soil
Testing Your Soil for Nutrient and Fertilizing Information.
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Another letter from our friend Stravo
Thanks for adding the warning to your column regarding mushroom kits. I see you're gentleman as well as a softy when it comes to kids. Bravo, sir. May you live a hundred years! The idea of planting a tree with a child is a special one.
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Arborvitae propogation & Care
Arborvitae (Thuja) is probably one of the most popular landscape plants being used and sold today.
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Are your trees on thieves' "most wanted" list?
Tree theft – also known as timberjacking – is getting to be a hot topic. A few weeks ago in this column, I discussed how many landowners return home to find bare stumps where their valuable trees used to stand. It can be a very distressing...
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Attack weeds early... and replace with elegant backdrops
Weeds! If you already see them poking their nasty little heads above the surface of your flowerbeds, now is the time for action, if you’d prefer NOT to break your back (and do a lot of cursing) throughout the spring and summer!
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Attractive groundcover can repel deer, too!
Groundcover: Can it really be practical as well as attractive? In a previous column, I discussed the pros and cons of adding groundcover around your trees. In fact, I asked you to imagine yourself as a tree and think how you'd feel about...
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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!
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Azalea propogation & care
Azalea is a difficult plant to explain. A member of the Rhododendron family, this diverse group of plants could make up an entire website of their own.
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Baby Trees
I found two little Japanese maple trees (1") in my flower bed last spring.
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Bamboo starts slow, grows to impressive height
Recently, I was out of the country attending an agricultural conference in Nairobi, Kenya. While there, I gave a presentation about the many uses for bamboo and the benefits of establishing bamboo plantations.
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Bark is peeling off my young bradford pear.
I have a young bradford pear tree that looks as if the bark, at the base of the trunk, is peeling away. I can see...
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Bed sheets keep plants cozy on freezing cold nights
With winter almost upon us, we need to be prepared to protect plants from a sudden cold snap.
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Bees
What type of flowers can get to keep my bees happy?
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Being Thrifty
This is the perfect time for pulling out all of those planting pots out of the garage or basement. Wipe the cobwebs off and wash them out. Decide which you want to use for inside plants and which for outside plants.
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Better drainage will fix mold and mildew in mulch
I have spent waaaay too much money applying redwood bark and cocoa hulls to my front and backyard landscape and flower beds only to find that the cool fall weather has caused the bark to mold and mildew, plus the neighborhood cats are using my lands
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Beware of vines that could damage your house!
I need a very fast growing vine, shrub, or ivy to cover the outside wall of our house. It looks bad and it stands about 10-15 feet tall. Any suggestions?
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Bird bedding, herb gardens and groundcover
I love e-mail. Even with all the spam and the worries about viruses, it's still a modern marvel. For instance, almost as soon as this column is published, I start receiving e-mail from readers commenting on what I've written or offering...
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Bird lovers: these plants make your garden irresistible
Imagine your garden without birds and butterflies. What a quiet, still and lifeless place it would seem!
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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...
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Birds will flock to your winter haven garden
Recently, several readers sent me e-mails about birds and the winter garden, and I had a request from a reader asking me to send her a column on the subject that was published a few years ago. Here’s that column, somewhat updated, with some thoughts
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Birds, bats and butterflies: How to make them welcome!
Lions and tigers and bears (oh my!)... It's my guess that you'd agree with Dorothy on this one. There are some critters you just don't want to invite into your landscape. Lions, tigers and bears are probably right at the top of your...
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Black spots on holly bush: fungus or aphids?
For many gardeners, their plants are like children that they rear, nurture and care for with lots of TLC. When a plant shows signs of illness or trauma, the proud “parent” wants to put things right. But these “kids” can’t tell you where they hurt!
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Black walnut trees can be grown from seeds as well as saplings
Regular readers of this column will know that I also host a weekly e-mailed newsletter. Today I thought you would like to see some recent questions that were sent to that newsletter, as well as some of the answers that I gave in response.
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Black Walnut trees: planting and caring
In my last column I talked about the Black Walnut tree and the value of its wood to manufacturers of high quality furniture, paneling, flooring, architectural features, and so on. I suggested that you might want to consider planting some...
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Black Walnut: A Beautiful Investment
Certain types of Black Walnut are often described as being among the most sought-after native hardwood trees in America. In my opinion, "higher quality" Black Walnut will remain sought-after for a very long time to come, and is becoming...
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Blend color and texture for successful container gardens
Container planting has become quite a hot topic with gardeners over the past few years, and for good reason. There are a number of benefits to using those versatile containers...
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Blending new plants with old takes finesse
Selecting the right landscaping for a brand new house means you are like an artist starting with a totally blank canvas. But when you need to replace trees and shrubs around an older, existing home, you have a different set of issue to consider.
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Blossoming Peach Trees?
Could you tell me when peach trees start to blossom, and how lond does it take to mature fruit.
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Blue Spruce & Varmins
I have several Blue Spruces who are at least 20 to 30 feet tall. Every year at about this time, they get a parasite, that looks like soft cones, brown which hang down from their small branches.
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Blueberry planting and after care instructions
Basic instructions for planting and care for your blueberry plants.
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Bog garden can be Nature’s own water feature
A bog garden can be an attractive feature in your landscape… particularly when Nature has provided you with the raw material: an area that is permanently or frequently waterlogged.
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Bog garden could be solution to waterlogged yard
QUESTION: “We live in a small neighborhood of stone houses built in the late 1920's. Moving into a stone house was a dream come true. However, we quickly found out that the water table in the area is quite high, and the soil is mostly clay.
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Books and products that add to garden fun
I’ve always thought that cooking enthusiasts and garden lovers have a lot in common. For example, cooks tend to have a shelf full of cookbooks and always seem to have room for “just one more.”
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Boxwood propogation & care
Boxwood, known as Buxus in botanical terms, are excellent landscape plants.
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Bradford Pear Tree problem
I have a 5 year old Bradford Pear Tree that is not looking to healthy. It has been growing very full and at a good pace. This spring my tree has dwindled in size and
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Bridget from Ohio. Problems with bad soil.
steve like many other columbus, OH residents, i have a problem: a postage-stamp sized garden plot behind my apartment with crappy, gooey clay soil
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Brilliant color and heady fragrance can fill your garden
In the dreary depths of winter, garden lovers console themselves with visions of gorgeous plants that will soon fill their landscapes with glorious color and heady fragrance.
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Bring “four season” color to your garden
What element is the first to strike you when you look at a garden, yours or someone else’s? Quite probably the answer is “color.”
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Brown lawns giving you the Summer time blues?
Every summer, I get calls or e-mails asking me what can be done to "cure" browned-out lawns. The bad news: To paraphrase Eddie, there pretty much "ain't no cure" for a lawn that's browned out from the summer weather conditions.
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Brown spots in my lawn.
Dave in St. Louis Hello; When is the best time to treat a blue grass lawn for areas of brown spot? Dig it up & start over or treat with?
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bugs on my tree
I hope you can maybe help me with a situation that we are having. I've been getting the run around from everyone else I've asked. We moved to our current location appox. three years ago. When we bought the house...
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Burning bush are dropping their leaves.
I have several bushes, we call them burning bushes, the top half of the bushes have dropped all their leaves. The bush look like they have been dusted with white face powder. they have been
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Burning Bush propogation & care
There are a number of different varieties of Burning Bush, but for the most part they fall into two distinct categories. The older variety (euonymus alata) is often called "Winged Euonymus" or "Winged Burning Bush".
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Butterfly bushes benefit from fall pruning
Today we have questions from several different parts of America… and even one from India!
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C.A.D. simplifies landscape design
You gaze out into the yard from the new deck you put in two years ago...
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Call 811 before you dig this spring
So you’ve decided to plant a couple of trees in your landscape this weekend. What’s the worst thing that could happen? An aching back? Blistered hands? Not even close!
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Can I divide mums?
I was given a potted mum last fall. After blooming,I planted it in my flower bed and pruned it back to the ground. It came back this year and...
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Caring for and Planting a Balled in Burlap Christmas Tree
Tis the season when lots of people drag a real tree into their house and decorate it. Some people buy live trees that are balled in burlap instead of a cut tree.
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Catalpa trees and fishing worms
"Can you tell me any info about a tree that will get fishing worms on it every year? I can't seem to find it on the net because I can't spell it
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Celebrate Earth Day - plant some trees!
There is one very important event we all need to remember: Earth Day, celebrated on April 22 every year.
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Cement under trees
Bark looks ugly but cement is attractive?
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Characteristics
Just like black walnut, as the black cherry trees mature, their form improves to one on a scale of one to five, where one represents a "perfectly straight" central stem and five is basically a bush.
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Check plants’ hardiness before you plant
Take a look at the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone map and you can see just how wide the variations in temperature can be across this great land of ours.
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Chestnut trees can still grace your landscape
Now there's a sight that might have been familiar to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow but would be almost impossible to see today.
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Choosing, planting and care for groundcover.
This section will give some insight in selecting, planting, and caring for the groundcover you choose.
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Christmas tree raises issues!
What do you do with a throw away Christmas tree with a cut trunk after the season is over.
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Cicadas and Ivy: can they damage your landscape?
Plants that some folks call weeds, and insects that are sometimes called "locusts." Working on your landscape and garden can get pretty darn confusing! Later in this column, I'll address a concern that Ivy and Wisteria are no more than...
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Clay
What are the plants and shrubs avaliable for landscape near house that has a clay loam that holds moisture so much so that many plants roots rot?
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Clean up, fix up garden in time for spring
The first day of spring is just around the corner. All over America, garden lovers are coming out of their metaphorical hibernation and beginning to head back outside with that eternal optimism...
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Climbing shrubs add zest to bare walls
Some friends of mine recently moved into a new home built on land that sloped away gently from front to back. This meant that there was a fairly large expanse of bare brick at the rear of the home that needed something to soften it up.
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Colorful plants bring both excitement and tranquility to garden
This time of year has a special place in my heart. Every season has its own characteristics and I wouldn’t want to change any of them, even the so-called bleak midwinter.
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Coloring Woodland Spaces
Isn’t spring great? It really brightens up wooded areas with lots of colors just bursting out saying “Hey, look at me!” I think that is what sparks us to want to add color to our own shaded patches.
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Comment from reader to article on birding.
Instead of putting out lint from the drier for the birds, try putting small pieces of left over yard from your craft projects. Put these in one of the plastic berry boxes and tie to a branch of a tree there the birds can get to it.
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Compost: the free gateway to super soil
Is it really worth starting your own compost pile? Aren’t you simply creating a smelly eyesore that’s just a glorified trash dump?
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Composting made easy
Having an ample supply of good rich compost is the gardeners dream. It has many uses, and all of those uses will result in nicer plants.
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Contact Information for Land Steward
Contact Land Steward
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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...
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Container Grasses
My garden club is going to plant 8 containers on our city 'square'.
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Container water garden: a fun and easy project!
A water feature is a charming addition to your landscape. But with water comes the potential problem of mosquitoes!
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Containers
Tuesday was Steve’s birthday and, although it was coincidence, we had to be in Atlanta on that day. It was chilly, but only because of the winds. Looking around the city, spring was definitely in the air.
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Contributing Writers - Read their articles!
This is where you will find articles written and contributed by our "guest writers". Our guest writers include landscaping professionals, tree and shrub experts, and enthusiastic, knowledgeable amateur "outdoor people".
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Controlling Backyard Pests
Even though it's not always apparent to the naked eye, your land is teeming with life: some good, some bad, some neutral. Your objective to control the bad without adversely affecting the good and the neutral
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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...
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Correct planting gives shrubs and trees a head start
"I don’t understand it. I stuck ‘em in the ground, stamped down the dirt and splashed on some water, but my shrubs STILL died. I think there was something wrong with them.”
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Crape Myrtles bloom with a dose of Epsom Salts
QUESTION: “I have eleven Crape Myrtles in my front yard, Last year they flowered. This year there was limited flowering, and My white Crape Myrtle did not flower this year. What plant food can I give them to make the all bloom for next year?
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Create a haven of privacy with the right trees and shrubs
Ah, privacy! If you live on a ranch in Wyoming or in a cabin in the wilds of Montana, that’s probably not a problem. But if you’re like most of us, you have neighbors quite close on each side of you and maybe overlooking...
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Create a landscape you can eat
Landscaping provides so many benefits from increasing privacy and creating shady areas to preventing soil erosion and, of course, adding eye-appeal. Here’s another benefit that’s hard to resist: landscaping you can eat!
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Create privacy and drama with a living fence.
The wide open spaces might sound romantic or even desirable to us. But, even though America is a vast country, most of us only own and occupy a small portion of it. One or two acres are now described by Realtors as "large lots" and most homes...
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Create seasonal cheer with living window boxes
Time to answer more questions from the e-mail bag… and a tip from a reader who kept deer from munching on his trees.
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Create your own landscape of spectacular fall colors
Fall colors. For me, those are two of the most evocative words in the English language. The moment I hear the words “fall colors,” my mind is filled with visions of gold, yellow, copper and red.
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Creative gardeners find homemade solutions
Gardeners and landscapers are some of the most ingenious and creative people you will ever meet. Just when I think I’ve heard it all, I hear about another novel approach to a garden problem.
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Creative plant names add fun to your landscape
What’s in a name? Some plants have acquired names that boast fascinating back-stories, while others have monikers that are so descriptive, they’re irresistible! Here are two of my favorite examples.
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Creeping fig needs foothold to climb wall
We planted creeping fig all along our back wall which is cement (in the shape of bricks), not smooth, kind of bumpy...but the fig is not doing well in grabbing onto the walls and climbing.
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Creeping plants can climb down as well as up

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Creeping plants can climb down as well as up
I have a concrete wall that is 4 foot tall, and the only place to plant is on top of the wall. We’d like to have ivy or creeping fig, but everything I read indicates that it "climbs".
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Crimson Pygmy Barberry
Crimson Pygmy Barberry (berberis thunbergii autropurpurea nana) is a great, low maintenance landscape plant. The beautiful red leaves turn a deep burgundy by fall.
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Crisp Fall days: Perfect for planting... and planning
When Autumn comes around we see our trees and plants getting ready for their "long winter's nap" and it's only natural to think that we can begin to take it easy too. However, with a little deeper thought, we can see...
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Critter-proof your shrubs before they’re just stumps!
With the Holidays behind us and spring on its way, I’ve been receiving a number of e-mails from readers who are already working on ideas for the planting season just ahead.
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Cucumber time in the Garden
Cucumbers, although available year round in the stores nowadays, are most plentiful during the summer months when many folks are raising them in their gardens.
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Cutting Roses down for Winter.
WHEN SHOULD I CUT MY ROSE BUSHES DOWN FOR THE WINTER. ALSO, WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO MOVE THEM?
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Cypress trees are dying. Is it fungus or over-watering?
HELP! My three Leyland Cypress trees have several totally brown branches, including the three-foot top of one of them. I believe this is due to over-watering before I went on vacation. (I have taken care of them in every other way for four years.)
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Damp soil? Here are seven plants with wet feet!
So you have soggy soil and everything you plant seems to sink in the mud or drown?
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Dangerous slopes in Minnesota cause problems.
Property owner at wits end trying to tame a wild area in their yard. Plantman offers suggestions to take care of several issues at the same time.
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Daylilies: Mow them down or dig up and divide
Are you supposed to mow down daylilies and [ornamental] grasses? If so, should it be done in the fall or in the spring? I planted blue fescue last year and have not mown down at all yet.
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December: good time to transplant trees and shrubs
December is upon us. Our year in the garden is winding down as the temperature drops. But for landscape lovers, there are visions of more than just sugar plums dancing in our heads.
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Deciduous or evergreen? How to tell them apart
When a description says the plant is deciduous, does that always mean it loses its leaves? Does it lose both its flowers and leaves or just flowers?
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Deer munching on plants.
This hint won't work for hundreds of trees and shrubs but if your readers are having trouble with deer munching on tens of trees and shrubs, we have finally found a totally deer-proof solution, at least...
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Deer resistant plants can keep critters at bay
However much you like wildlife, it can be disheartening to see deer and other critters munching away on plants to which you have devoted so much of your time and money.
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Deer, Rabbits and Moles
Deer, rabbits, and moles, oh my! Deer and rabbits are so adorable. But, then they inch closer and closer and THEN, destroy your landscape. What do you do? Well, there are some measures you can take, or at least try, to keep them at a distance.
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Deer-resistant plants mean less landscape damage
I think we’d all agree that deer are hungry critters. However much you enjoy wildlife, you can be disheartened, or even outraged, to find your prized shrubs chewed down to the stumps with tell-tale hoof prints in the surrounding soil.
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Defensive planting deters moles
In a recent column there was a question from a reader who had a problem with moles. I asked for suggestions from other readers and I received a lot of response. If moles are giving you headaches, you might find these ideas helpful.
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Dense evergreens make perfect living fence
Fences make good neighbors, according to the old saying. This can be particularly true for homeowners living on relatively small lots in urban or suburban neighborhoods or in so-called “cluster home” developments.
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Disclaimer
Land Steward Article Disclaimer
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Disease resistant plants
This year, the Perennial Plant Association has declared that Phlox cv. 'David' to be the 2002 perennial plant of the year.
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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...
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Divert water on slope to prevent erosion
QUESTION: “I have a 5 foot slope that is about 45 to 60 percent in the shade. I have the hardest time getting anything to “take” there and erosion is a problem. I have tried pachysandra and vinca..."
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Do your daisies need a doctor?
Are you looking for a doctor to diagnose your daisies? Perhaps you are wondering if your cucumber needs a cure for the crud?
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Dog-damaged lawns need creative landscape solutions
Pets are people too, even if they have twice as many legs and (usually) more body hair than the other members of the family. Having our pets outdoors with us can add to our enjoyment and it can help to keep them fit and healthy.
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Dogwoods dying? Here's what you should do
Dogwoods are dying. It's a sad fact but a lot of Dogwood trees in America are getting sick and in many cases dying from Dogwood Anthracnose, a disease that mainly infects...
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Dogwoods, cedars or shrubs: spouses have different ideas!
Sometimes, the questions I receive are more concerned with “domestic relationships” than with the specific landscape problems they describe.
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Don Himber has a question about ladybugs
Iwas reading your suggestion to keep wasp away, and I was wondering if you have any for lady bugs. Yes I know lady bugs are a good thing but you know what they say about too much of a good thing.
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Don Shadow: a life dedicated to "new and useful" plants
Don Shadow doesn’t like to use the word "unique" in describing the plants that he grows. But the word can certainly be applied to Don himself.
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Don’t forget the garden this Holiday season
The Holidays are here again, and with short days and so much to do, it’s not easy to focus on what needs to be done in and around your landscape. That’s particularly true when there’s a cozy fireplace indoors and it’s cold and windy outdoors!
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Doomed area?
There is an area in our yard where we have planted (on two separate occasions) 2 birch trees. The trees live for approximately one year and then die at the end of summer. Is it a doomed area...
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Drainage
This is a common issue, especially in new developments where the topsoil has been scraped away and the only thing left behind is compacted clay. There are actually some options.
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Dramatic, colorful grasses perk up any landscape
Ornamental grasses are an easy-care way to add interest and texture to any landscape. Here are some tips about two of our favorites.
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Dry soil? Six plants that will brighten your landscape
For farmers, there are only two kinds of rainfall: too much and not enough. Those of us who are into gardening and landscaping can sympathize with that! However, unlike farmers, most of us don’t have thousands of acres to worry about.
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Dry your own herbs to enjoy all year.
Have you ever sat in a traffic jam and seen a billboard beside a new development that reads "If you lived here you'd be home by now"? Earlier in the spring, I wrote three columns about planting and enjoying container herb gardens. So now...
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Drying Herbs
If you have an herb garden, you'll find that home-dried herbs can be just as tasty as those bought at the store. However, proper handling is as important to the success of your herb harvest as good cultural practices.
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Dwarf hydrangeas bring European accent to your garden
Picture this: It’s next summer and you’re proudly taking a friend for a stroll around your landscape. “Here’s Vienna,” you say, “And there’s Berlin. That’s Venice over there. Oh, and here’s Paris.” Ooh la-la!
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Easy Fall Propagation Techniques
As a home gardener, fall should be a very special time for you. Fall is the best season of the year for plant propagation, especially for home gardeners who do not have the luxury of intermittent mist.
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Easy to Grow Shrub Roses!
Each week, I receive emails asking how to care for their shrub roses. Shrub roses, which include the Knockout Varieties, are great to work with.
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Email this article

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English Dogwood
This year it had something very strange happen. For the first time it is covered with small fruit about an inch in diameter that looks like a cross between...
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English Ivy
I have an interest in putting some English Ivy on a bank that is along the side of the St Lawrence River in Clayton, NY. I believe this is zone 4.
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English oaks: why so rare in America?
It’s a beautiful tree but not the best choice for landscapes in many parts of the USA. However, there are good alternatives to the English oak.
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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...
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Erosion Problem
I am writing now for a suggestion from you as to how to best control an erosion problem.
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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...
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Evergreen Shrubs Turning Orange
I'm located in eastern part of NY state, the shrubs are about 2.5 round and about 2.5 high.
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Evergreens, holly and mushrooms: Q&A's
It's time once again for me to try and answer some of the many questions sent to me via e-mail from readers of this column. But first, I want to mention something I read recently about the health benefits of mushrooms, after being alerted by a...
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Evict mosquitoes from your landscape this summer!
Mosquitoes. Just hearing that word is enough to bring a scowl to the face of most people who spend time working on their garden or landscape. Not to mention a few choice cuss words!
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Exotic hibiscus bring a hint of the tropics to your landscape
The names given to plants can be highly evocative, creating a delightful mental image before we have even seen the plant.
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Fall garden fix-its now save problems next spring
Here’s what you DON’T want to say next spring: “I wish I’d taken care of that in the fall!” To avoid giving yourself a dope-slap a few months from now, follow this fall fix-it checklist.
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Fall planting to create a “bird friendly” garden
For most of us, one of the joys of creating a garden or landscape is watching the birds that are attracted by the plants that we have so carefully nurtured.
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Fall planting: Four hot tips to help you plan
Yeehah! It's fall planting season! Or at least it's fall BUYING season; the time when you buy the plants for fall planting. This is always an exciting time... choosing the plants and shrubs that will give you so much pleasure next season...
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Fall planting: should you fertilize now?
The crisp weather... the golden leaves swirling in sudden gusts of chill breezes. Yes: fall is definitely here, and for landscapers and gardeners, this is that special time when we devote our outdoor time to planting... with visions of...
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Fall planting: your plants will thank you next spring!
Professional gardeners and landscapers know an important “trick of the trade”: Fall isn’t the end of the growing season, it’s the beginning! And here’s why you should be thinking about planting right now.
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Fall weather is perfect for planting! 09-21-03
Crisp, cool mornings. Perfect "sleeping weather"at night. Plant catalogs and landscaping "how to" books piling up on the coffee table. It must be Fall! Fall is my favorite time of the year for so many reasons, not just the wonderful weather.
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Fallen leaves give reader "natural" way to feed soil
When I get a particularly interesting e-mail I like to share it with other readers of this column. Usually, it involves a question about a landscaping problem, but sometimes it’s a fascinating story, such as this one from Jan Frame...
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Falling leaves: love ‘em or leave ‘em?
There’s a reason they call this season “fall.” Those leaves that look so beautiful as they turn from green to gold to crimson don’t look so attractive when they’ve become a sodden carpet on your lawn.
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Falling Pear Leaves
I have two 3 1/2 month old Bradford Pears. They're part of new construction. About two weeks ago, the leaves started turning yellow and falling off.
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Family Fun
Flower gardens, landscaping and other outdoor projects enhance our property in many ways...
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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..
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Fertilizing to Create more Blossoms on Your Flowers, Flowering Shrubs, and Trees
The secret to making your flowering trees, shrubs, annuals, and perennials bloom more is in the numbers. All fertilizers have analysis numbers on the package. These numbers represent the percentage of each chemical the product contains.
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Fertilizing: Yes, No, Maybe!!!
My staff asked me if I would address fertilizing this week. Our office receives many emails and phone calls on this very topic.
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Fig Tree Care
We have a young fig tree that is doing very well with just giving it plenty of water. Our relatives in Italy have many trees and only give them water and they produce beautiful fruit.
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Finding natural solutions to garden and landscape
From time to time I hear from people who are interested in finding alternatives to chemical-based products to use as fertilizers or for weed control.
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Five "must do" tips for winter landscapers
Once again, it's that special time of year between Thanksgiving and the New Year. The days are shorter and there seems to be more to pack into each of them. With so many demands on our attention, it's easy to forget about our landscape at...
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Five new books to fascinate armchair gardeners
With spring fast approaching, this is a good time to catch up on some practical and fun how-to advice from garden experts. Here’s my look at five new garden books.
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Five quick tips to enhance your May landscape
If you are like me, you’ve noticed that there are plenty of activities to keep you busy around your landscape right now!
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Five resolutions to make your garden bloom in 2007
The New Year is upon us! With all that pre-Holiday hustle and bustle finally behind us and spring not yet on the horizon, it's a good time for all of us gardeners and landscapers to draw up our annual list of New Year's Resolutions.
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Five ways to keep it simple in your garden
“Simplify, simplify!” said Henry David Thoreau. But you don’t have to live in an isolated cabin at Walden Pond to enjoy the benefits of simplification, particularly when it relates to your garden and landscape.
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Five ways to protect plants from Old Man Winter
A single night of harsh winter weather can undo all the TLC you lavished on your plants from the spring to the fall. But a little care and attention now can ensure your plants survive to thrive again next season.
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Flavorful Fungi
Different sizes and ages of mushroomsensure several harvests from a single box!
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Flowering trees add vivid bursts of color
For me, at this time of year, nothing lifts my spirits quite like the sight of the beautiful flowering trees that Cheryl and I have planted over the years as part of our landscape. And it’s not just our trees.
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From crab apple to grape vines: readers need help!
So many great questions in my e-mail this week. Let's see if I can help... QUESTION: "I hope you can maybe help me with a situation that we are having. I've been getting the run around from every- one else I've asked. We moved to...
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Frost bitten plants need your patience
Just when we thought that spring was definitely here and settled in… Wham! Winter came back with a vengeance across many parts of the country.
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Fruit trees need summer care for best yield
It seems hard to believe, but we'll soon be enjoying the "fruits" of our hard labor... literally! I'm talking about those fruit trees and bushes we've carefully grown and nurtured. We'll be picking apples, peaches, raspberries, pears and...
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Fruit trees: the ideal edible landscape
Sometimes, a beautiful landscape looks good enough to eat. But why not have a landscape you really CAN eat?
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Full sun or shade: groundcovers for your fall planting list
The month of August is winding down, the kids are back at school and we’re beginning to look forward to cooler weather. For gardeners, this can only mean one thing: fall planting is almost upon us.
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Fungi thrive in waterlogged soil
QUESTION: “I am asking for your advice to rid my shrubs of what my agricultural county agent has told me is a 'fungus'. The shrubs are large, about 8 ft tall, and I let them grow at will with not much trimming as a divider in my huge backyard.
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Future Value
We believe that barring unforeseen circumstances, prices for prime veneer-grade cherry should increase at an average of about 4% per year above inflation.
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Garden Care Clinic
The ER Room for the Garden - get practical tips to deliver needed care and attention to trouble spots.
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Garden gifts help cure the winter blahs
You’ve seen the tell-tale signs. The garden lovers in your household stand by the window, gazing out at a barren landscape.
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Garden goodies lure birds to your backyard
What makes a garden into a welcoming club room for birds? Simply put, food,
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Garden Musings
This is a place where you can read other reader's art, poetry, or musings about gardening.
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Garden tools can make outdoors more fun, less tiring
If there’s anything that garden lovers enjoy almost as much as plants, then it’s finding new garden tools and gadgets.
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Garden tools need some winterizing TLC
It’s getting to feel a lot like Christmas. But it’s not so much Santa as Old Man Winter that gardeners and landscapers need to be thinking about right now!
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Gardener’s “resolutions:” Here are five you CAN keep
The New Year is upon us! With all that pre-Holiday hustle and bustle finally behind us and spring not yet on the horizon, it’s a good time for all of us gardeners and landscapers to draw up our annual list of New Year’s Resolutions.
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Gardening
Land Steward provides free gardening articles on gardening, for gardeners and their gardens
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Gardening 101
All the basics, get practical know-how and tips for all beginner to intermediate gardeners.
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Gardening books bring the outdoors to your armchair
Avid garden enthusiasts will tell you that, given the chance, they would spend a good part of every waking moment pottering around in their landscape.
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Gardening for Lazy Bones Part Two
I was busy finishing my outdoor chores and winterizing my cars. Get ready for Wonderful Winter, folks.
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Gardening for LazyBones Part Four
The phone’s ringing off the counter, the e-mails are coming in like rain, and now both my friends won’t speak to me.
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Gardening for LazyBones Part One
If you like to work hard, sweat, grunt, and hurt, read no farther. Seek counseling instead.
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Gardening for LazyBones Part Three
Take a deep breath, stretch, and slowly bow in front of a mirror.
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Gardening Help

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Gardening in the shade
My main question for you is this: which herbs can I plant in fully shaded areas?
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Get lawn and garden ready for spring!
It happens every year. I tear the last “February” page from my desk calendar and suddenly feel a touch of spring fever when I realize the first day of March is finally here!
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Get tools ready for winter
There's a subconscious belief more of a superstition, really that if we don't winterize our landscaping tools then Old Man Winter will somehow be prevented from invading our piece of the planet.
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Get your garden ready for spring
Spring at last… almost! The official first day of spring is March 21, but in many parts of the country, it is beginning to feel like spring is already in the air.
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Getting rid of standing water in your yard.
Do you have one or more areas in your yard that hold water after a rainfall? This is a common problem, and sometimes difficult to solve.
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Give plants a healthy head-start with robust soil
In some locations, it seems the soil is of such poor quality that most plants look permanently sickly, and those that do thrive get nibbled away by deer and rabbits.
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Give yourself time to “grow” into your landscape
Don’t be tempted to go for “instant landscaping.” That’s the message in this comment from a reader and the response to him from my wife, Cheryl:
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Good news for the American elm... and for its fans
If, like me, you love trees, I have some good news for you. Then maybe some even better news.
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Grafting adds new variety to your trees
I received several interesting e-mails this week from readers who had questions about pruning trees and grafting fruit trees. Of those two activities, pruning is certainly the easier. You might recall that not long ago...
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Grass will go green with this lawn cocktail
Many of us around the country had to deal with major lawn problems during 2007, not least of which were those dead-looking, dry, brown patches caused by drought or semi-drought conditions.
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Greenwood Gardening Club

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Helpful Gardening Resources
Check out our helpful links to government and gardening information.
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Greenwood Nursery Media
Our tips and how to videos are now available and we hope you'll enjoy them!
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Greenwood Search
Try this powerful search engine to find what you're looking for at Greenwood Nursery.
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Ground cover and grass fight soil erosion on slopes
At this time of year, lawn problems seem to be top of mind with most garden enthusiasts. However, some problems can take on a more “personal” aspect, as you might guess from this first question:
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Ground cover on slope can prevent risky weed trimming
QUESTION: “I am not too much of a gardener. I am looking for a pretty, low-growing plant that can survive in clay, in a steep incline in a ditch area and will also be low maintenance.
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Groundcover can solve problem of sloping clay yard
"I have a problem with a side yard. The ground is red clay that currently has no vegetation on it except weeds. The yard is a rather steep slope. We tried to grow grass for a few years but due to the slope it was very difficult mowing the area..."
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Groundcover is more than just a lawn-alternative.
Take a look out of your window and survey your land. Probably a large percentage of what you see consists of grass in some form or other. What would be a good alternative to all that sod?
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Groundcover: Careful prep yields great results
“Low maintenance!” That’s the clarion call I hear frequently from readers who contact me for ideas that will enhance their landscape without devouring hours of their valuable time.
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Groundcover: good or bad for your trees?
One of the subjects I get asked about quite frequently is groundcover. More specifically, many people want to know the pros and cons of planting ground cover around trees. One of the main reasons that you might consider planting...
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Ground Cover Plants: Great-looking greenery year ‘round
Groundcover is an excellent alternative to a high-maintenance lawn and can enhance the look of your landscape beautifully while reducing the amount of sweat-equity you need to invest.
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Groundcovers can replace lawns… and mowing
Is there a groundcover that doesn’t need mowing, is kid-friendly but uninhabited by critters and insects? That’s a tall order as this reader finds out…
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Groundcovers provide solutions for many landscape problems
A good groundcover can be a landscaper’s best friend, but despite being a relatively simple family of plants, there can still be some confusion and misunderstanding.
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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...
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Growing Blueberries in Your Home Garden
Selecting a site; Selecting a cultivar; Establishing your planting; Care of established plants; Harvesting; Pests
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Handling plants and planting techniques.
Once the box or bag of trees is opened, the trees are immediately exposed to a new environment where the humidity is lower, and air movement and direct sunlight may be present. Seedlings...
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Having trouble with Dogwood
Steve, the year before I put a circle of landscape bricks around my dogwood tree. I put in some flowers and top soil.
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helleri holly
Help! A few months ago I replaced some overgrown evergreens in my front shrub bed. I planted several helleri hollies along with dward youpon hollies.
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Help kids "dig in" to the wonderful world of plant
This morning, I waited in line behind a school bus in a rural area and watched as the kids climbed on board, toting their backpacks and lunch sacks. Suddenly I wondered how many of those children could name even one of the many trees and plants that
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Help my tree is drowning!
We bought a forest pansy redbud tree on April 25. We planted it in our front yard where we could enjoy it and where also others could see and enjoy it.
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Help on plant trimming.
Are you able to help us? Our landscaping plants are growing (too) vigoroully. Are we now able to trim, or must we wait on the following? If so, when?
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Help your lawn breathe during the dog days.
It's time to catch up on answering some of the questions you've been e-mailing to me recently. But first... the hot, dry weather that many of us are "enjoying" right now can be a tough time for our lawns. So here are a few brief reminders of how to..
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Help your lawn breathe: organic or mechanical treatment?
Investing a little “sweat equity” right now will pay dividends next spring in the form of a greener, healthier lawn!
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Help! a sap sucker is attacking my Birch trees!
Steve help! a sap sucker is attacking my Birch trees. Any suggestions?
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Help! I have a water problem.
Help! My neighbor's house sits on higher ground than mine. When it rains heavily, water accumulates on the side of my house due to the downward slope and my house floods
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Help! My dogwood is drowning!
Several readers have asked for help this week, so let's go straight to the e-mail bag...
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Herb garden needs better drainage to thrive
Some plants seem to do just fine in clay soil, but for others you will need to provide much better drainage. Here’s a question from a reader who is faced with that problem.
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Herb gardening can be simple and rewarding
Where would we be without herbs? It's not a very appetizing thought. Our food would taste blander, our world would smell less pleasant and we would all be a lot less healthy. For my wife Cheryl and me, herbs play an important part...
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Herbs are good for more than just cooking
Herbs not only stimulate your taste buds when added to your cooking, they can also enhance your quality of life in many other ways! In this, the final part of a three-part look at herbs in your landscape, I'll focus on the beneficial...
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Herbs for Beginning Gardeners
Beginning herb gardeners may have a problem deciding which herbs to plant because of the large number of herbs from which to select. A quick check of your supermarket shelf will give you some idea of the types of herbs used in cooking and...
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Herbs: the finishing touch for your human habitat
Don’t forget herbs when planting that special garden that will become your own unique human habitat. Plant a variety of herbs around the perennial shrubs and you’ll enjoy a fragrant haven that both soothes and stimulates the senses.
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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...
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Heucheras: easy-grow perennials in “gourmet” varieties
As regular readers know, Cheryl and I are strong advocates of native plants because they are less inclined to come with the potential problems sometimes associated with exotic imports.
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Hey kid! Where are my baby trees?!
It seems impossible, but here we are, about to start a brand new year! Spring planting is just around the corner, even if it feels like the middle of a bleak midwinter when you read these words. As you begin to put the Holidays behind you,...
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Hibiscus plant grown from seed
I had a large hibiscus purchased from a florist that sat in a west facing window. The non-stop blossoms were show-stoppers and I managed to harvest 3 seeds from the plant.
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Hide eyesore foundations with eye-pleasing plants!
Does this sound familiar? You find a home that seems ideal for you and your family. Great location. Attractive design. Nice sized lot. In fact it would be perfect if it were not for just one little thing that seems to attract your eye like...
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History of Herbs
Herbs have played an important part in man's life for countless years -- in his politics, romance, love, religion, health, and superstition. Celery was used by the Abyssinians for stuffing pillows. Ancient Greeks and Romans crowned their heroes...
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Holiday gift ideas for gardeners and landscape lovers
The Holidays are fast approaching, and no doubt there are some garden enthusiasts on your gift list. Here are some gift ideas for all those Green Thumbs... and some for the “horticulturally challenged” as well.
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Holiday gifts that gardeners will love
The Holidays are upon us! If you have a garden lover on your gift list, you might be wondering what to buy for him or her. After all, it’s not as if you can cram a dogwood tree into a stocking. No, really, I mean it. Kids, don’t try this at home.
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Hollies on my mind!
What to do when Holly needs to move to a better location. She's grown to large for the space she's in. What can this homeowner do?
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Holy Mole-y! Reader needs help with burrowing critters
Garden pests come in all shapes and sizes. Some have four legs, some have six or even eight legs. Some, with no legs at all, slither on their bellies, while others fly or creepy-crawl.
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Homebuyers love these trees and shrubs
You never get a second chance to make a first impression. This well-known saying is certainly true when it applies to your home.
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Horrors! Gardens invaded by worms and snakes!
It seems that several readers have found that their landscape is being invaded by crawly things, from the quite tiny (but voracious) to the larger, reptilian variety! This first one sounds a bit like a sci-fi horror movie...
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Hot curb appeal warms up cold housing market
Are you selling your house? Or rather, are you trying and hoping to sell your house, but becoming increasingly depressed about the soft real estate market right now?
[more...]

How can I improve the structure of my vegetable soil?
I believe it is a problem because the soil clumps and seedlings fail to thrive.
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How do I care for my daylilies?
The wise daylily gardener will apply a proper cultural program which includes watering, fertilizing, mulching, possibly spraying, grooming, controlling weeds, and sanitation.
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How do I get rid of Deer Flies?
How can I get rid of "Yellow Flies" (Deer flies)? I am extremely allergic to their bite and cannot tend to my garden because they immediately attack.
[more...]

How do we obtain an honest appraisal of the value
This is in regard to your September 18, 2002 article in the Columbus Dispatch about black walnut trees. We have four approximately 30-40 feet high black walnut trees on an investment rental property (the house was built in 1940). How do we...
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How Much Are the Trees Worth?
Black cherry is one of our most cherished hardwoods.
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How much water for new trees?
Steve, I just recently read a column in my local suburban paper by you and was thrilled to read the topic was on new trees. I had 2 planted in April, a redbud and an apple serviceberry. Neither came with any instructions about watering.
[more...]

How to ball and burlap dig plants
In order to create this page I had to talk my buddy Larry into letting me dig one of his dogwoods for him. That wasn't hard to do! Especially since I was willing to pay for the tree so I could give it to my son for his new house.
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How to be a Gardener
I feel that it is one of my missions to not only share my own experience and information, but to search out new and helpful information that will make gardening and landscaping easier and more fun.
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How to Build a Simple Potting Bench
The potting bench that you are about to read about is not fancy, but very functional. It is also very easy to build and use.
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How To Establish A Wildflower Meadow
This article will give anyone a good start in how to prepare and manage their own wildflower meadow.
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How To Establish A Wildflower Meadow
Mow or cut existing vegetation close to the ground. If you live where summers are routinely sunny and hot, you can clean your soil of weeds by solarizing it (using the sun's heat to kill the seeds). more...
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How to get started on your landscaping project
You look out of your window and all you see is wide expanse of nothing but grass, but what you really want to see is a vista of attractive landscaping with colorful shrubs and trees.
[more...]

How to Get the Best Price
The best way to get high prices is to attract multiple buyers who will then bid against one another for the trees.
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How to Get the Best Return
The best way to maximize the return on investing in a plantation of genetically superior black cherry trees is to minimize the risks to those trees by optimizing their growth and health.
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How To Keep The Gobi Desert Away From YOUR Land
So what's the connection between the Gobi Desert and your piece of the Good Earth? The answer: Soil, and the vegetation that keeps it stable.
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How to Make a Weed Dabber
The tool that I am going to tell you about is for using herbicides such as RoundUp.
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How's your soil? Here's how to find out!
As you make your plans for spring planting, don't overlook a very important element: the soil. The quality of your soil can determine whether your shrubs and trees will be healthy and robust or sickly and weak. In last week's column, I...
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Hurricanes, Tornadoes, Flooding and Storms
After these natural disasters, I always receive emails from our members who are concerned about how to go about saving their trees or what to do about their lawn. It seemed to me to be a good topic of conversation for this week’s notes.
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hydrangea flowering-not
my hydrangea plant is healthy but has only put out 1 flower in last 4 years.
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Hydrangeas are failing to bloom
I have two hydrangea plants that grow every year in a sunny location, with large bright green leaves.
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I love to Cook! What to do with Herbs.
I love to cook and bake. I'm forever cutting out receipes and testing them on my wife. Could you recommend a "starting herb" garden? You know; something like chives, sage, thyme, etc. Thank you very much. Jerry Welshoff
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I need some help with my landscaping problems.
I have a new home that is one year old. I have had a terrible time getting my shrubs in front of my house to live.
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I think it might be a worm??
Please help!!! I have no idea what I just found on my bush outside..
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I would like to move a Japanese Red Maple about 5 feet tall.
How much dirt do I need to dig up with the tree and how deep do I need to dig.
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Ideal Alternative Investment
People seek alternative investments for a variety of reasons. Some want a greater chance of equity growth, but unfortunately that's usually accompanied by a greater chance of equity loss.
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Important Shipping Information

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Important Hosta Growing and Shipping Information
According to trade information, the genus Hosta is now the most favored herbaceous perennial in the United States, overtaking Hemerocallis as the biggest seller in American nursries.
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in the SHADE?
Which of your flowering shrubs or large perennials would work well here in the SHADE?
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Indoor Herb Gardening
Herbs can also be grown indoors for year-round enjoyment. Growing herbs indoors is no more difficult than growing them in the garden. Indoor plants will need essentially the same conditions as herbs grown outdoors -- sunlight and a well-drained soil
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Inter-crop to Generate an Earlier Return
Many growers find the 30-year waiting period normally required for the genetically superior black cherry trees to reach harvestable size a bit discouraging.
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Internet offers an abundance of information
When it comes to dreaming up new projects at the home-front, don’t overlook one very important resource ... the very place you are reading this story or the World Wide Web!
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Invite flying guests to your "bird motel!"
I hope your landscape is a winter haven for birds right now! Gardens in places as diverse as the frozen north and the balmy south can come alive with a variety of birds that provide color and movement at a time when everything else is...
[more...]

Invite these social climbers into your garden
If you have an ugly fence or a bare expanse of wall, a lush, green vine might be the answer you’re looking for.
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Is there an easy way to remove st. augustine grass
I just bought my 1st house on 1/2 acre - is there an easy way to remove st. augustine grass around trees to make tree rings? I applied Round-up and am trying to pull out by hand but...
[more...]

It’s official: Trees are GOOD for you!
Those of us who enjoy the outdoors have always known that being around trees somehow makes us feel better. The sound of the rustling leaves, the sight of the dappled sun light filtering through the gently swaying branches.
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Items Under $10
Find many of our best selling trees, shrubs, perennials, and ornamental grasses online and for under $10, including flowering shrubs, and herbs and ground covers. Order Online now!
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It's Fall... And your landscape needs some TLC
It seems only a few days since we were in the middle of Summer. And yet here I am to talk about getting your land ready for the onset of winter. We might want to hang on as long as possible to the memory of those long, lazy days, but it's time to...
[more...]

It's time again for the War on Weeds!
It's just about time for yet another re-enactment of that epic conflict: The Annual Battle of the Weeds. Once again, it's you versus the weeds. And the weeds are winning...
[more...]

Ivy alert! It can be a wall killer
Ivy is a beautiful plant that creates mental images of both dignified, established structures and cozy old homes. Think Ivy League Universities on one hand and Hollywood’s idea of a quaint English cottage on the other hand.
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Japanese Beetles
Wasps have always been a problem for us also.
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Japanese Beetles
Can japanese beetles kill an otherwise healthy tree?
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Japanese Beetles can devestate your greenscape
Many Japanese imports - from cars and trucks to electronics and video games - have helped to make our lives easier and more enjoyable. But there's one import that gardeners and landscapers wish had stayed at home: The Japanese Beetle.
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Japanese Red Maple & Trees
Without a doubt, Japanese Maple Red Maple Trees are by far, one of the most popular ornamental plants in the plant kingdom. People absolutely love them, and for good reason. They are beautiful!
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Jim Thompson on Catalpa Worms.
Steve, I raise worms. I have 38 trees. the stumps of the trees are knee to waist high, 3 to 10 inches diameter. Every winter I remove what growth there was that year. The new sprouts can get up to 30 feet high. The Catalpa Spinx Moth comes out...
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Just not enough blossoming..
I have 12' bradford pear and it only gets a few blossom on it each year.What can I do to get more?
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Keep deer and rabbits away from your tender plants
My family and I all love wildlife. It’s a pleasure to take our coffee out on the back deck in the morning and sip quietly as we watch deer (and sometimes more exotic creatures) while they forage.
[more...]

Keep lawns lush as spring becomes summer
In most parts of the country, this is a very pleasant time of the year as spring begins to transition into summer. If rain has been falling in reasonable quantities, lawns are looking lush and verdant.
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Keep those pesky deer at bay!
Wildlife in the garden can be a pleasant sight for most of us. But when the garden is being eaten down to the bare stalks, the sight is far from pleasant.
[more...]

Keeping deer away from your plants
So what can you do if you want to make your property "deerproof"?
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Keeping dogs away from tender plants
Having your pet dog join you for some outdoor fun is one of life’s pleasures. But when Fido decides to hone his digging and chewing skills on your tender plants, man’s best friend can find himself in the dog house!
[more...]

Knockout Roses
Need some help in maintaining the Knock out Roses.
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Kwanzan Cherry Tree isn't blooming
I have a Kwanzan cherry tree that I planted about 2 years ago. Over the last couple of years I have noticed that the tree is flowering less each year.
[more...]

Land Steward Privacy Policy
As a leading provider of Gardening, horticultural, and Nursery related information, we want you to feel comfortable searching information on our site.
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Landscape architect a good investment for big projects
Designing your landscape can be a fun and rewarding project. But sometimes it makes sense to utilize the skill and experience of a professional, particularly when the project is quite extensive.
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Landscape Design
Learn about the available tools landowners can use to simplify landscape design.
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Landscape for privacy and sound barrier around new home
Moving to a new home, particularly if it’s your first, is an exciting venture. But deciding what to do about your new landscape can seem overwhelming.
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Landscape tips for a faster home sale
If you are hoping to sell your house during these challenging economic times, remember the old saying: you never get a second chance to make a first impression.
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Landscaping
Special feature articles from About.com's David Beaulieu.
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Landscaping
Land Steward provides helpful tips and free articles on Landscaping, about landscaping for landscapers.
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Landscaping advice please!
I was wondering if you might be able to give me a few suggestions on landscaping.
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Landscaping Around Decks
Once the weather warms and decks, patios and porches are back in use, queries begin coming in requesting assistance in landscaping these areas.
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LandSteward Links
Useful links and helpful resources.
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Landsteward Reader Response
A Landsteward section to list what our "Plantman" column readers have to say. Along with helpful hints from members around the world.
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Late spring cold snap created summer garden woes
A late spring frost hit a large part of the country earlier this year. Although the weather is back on track, many readers are still feeling the fallout from that cold snap.
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Late Summer Maintenance
For the most part, we have seen much milder weather than we did last summer. This is showing in our gardens as they are less stressed. (Remember those triple digit temperatures that even crept into September last year?)
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Laurels and lattice panels add privacy and a noise barrier
There are benefits to living in the suburbs, but sometimes privacy issues and noise from traffic or neighboring homes can be a nuisance. Some creative landscaping can often bring some peace and quiet.
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Lavender brings fragrant history to your garden
Today we’ll take a look at a very old plant with a long and storied history, but one that deserves a fragrant place in your garden.
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Lawn & Garden
Articles from you on care and feeding of great lawns and gardens.
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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...
[more...]

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...
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Lawn Weed Control
Everyone wants a lush, green lawn, free of weeds. The urge to do this usually hits in the spring and wanes during the summer. However, with proper planning weeds can be taken care of for the entire year.
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Lawns take a "heat beating" in the summer
Summer is the season when you and your family look forward to relaxing on the lawn. Whether you're playing catch with the kids, working on your tan or simply strolling around barefoot, there's something special about the feel of lush...
[more...]

Layering tall plants adds height to tight spaces
In recent Plant Man columns, we’ve looked at plants that you might want to avoid because they can become invasive and take over your landscape to the detriment of other plants.
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Leaf spot on Oak trees from one of our readers.
QUESTION: "For the past three years, I have had a terrible problem with leaf spot, dollar spot etc and in the spring red thread. I have not been able to control it and it has gotten worse every year. I had a lawn service one year and have...
[more...]

Leyland Cypress mysteriously turning yellow and brown
Because this column appears in something like eighty-five newspapers, I frequently receive comments and questions from readers in every part of the United States.
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Lights... Camera... COLOR!
There seems to be one thing that almost all of us can agree upon: One of the most important aspects of any landscape is... Color!
[more...]

Little Worms
I moved into a house in the middle of the woods. Last year for most of the summer months I get these little worms.
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Living Fence
I just read your article on a living fence and I think this is what I am looking to do.
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Location, Selection, and Establishment for groundcover
Ground covers are low-growing plants that spread quickly to form a dense cover. They add beauty to the landscape and, at the same time, help prevent soil erosion. Come home with Greenwood for helpful hints in planning your landscape.
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Looking for Low Maintenance.
I would like to decrease the lawn expanse with trees. Low maintenance, natural setting. I enjoy gardening, flowering trees, & evergreens for winterscaping. I read your hedge article and could use your input/suggestions on scaping.
[more...]

Lovely landscapes... even when water is scarce
A recent e-mail question from a reader got me thinking about a subject that we haven't discussed before in this column. Monette West wrote: " We get your column in the Zapata County News in Zapata, Texas. Can you give me some info on xeriscaping.
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Low maintenance groundcover ideal for sloping area
QUESTION: “I have a bank on one side of my property where I would like to plant a low growing, low maintenance ground cover. My goal is to not have to mow it, other than a spring clean up.
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LS ALL - Earl

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LS ALL - Earl

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Lush lawns begin with autumn action now!
In a recent column, I discussed some of the autumnal chores that gardeners and landscapers should be addressing now to ensure an easier and more productive spring next year. That column included some brief lawn tips. Bu that wasn’t enough!
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Magnificent Black Walnut trees need compatible “neighbors”
“What can I plant near my Black Walnut trees?” That’s a question that I sometimes hear, and it’s a very good question, because not every plant will thrive in close proximity to a Black Walnut.
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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...
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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...
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Make use of your trees' "free gifts" this fall!
"Nature's first green is gold, her hardest hue to hold." You might think of those words by Robert Frost while you're raking leaves this weekend. No doubt you'll agree with Mr. Frost that trees seem to find it difficult to...
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Make your garden "bird friendly" this winter
Birds and gardens. They just seem to belong together. A landscape without birds would be a sad place indeed. In fact, we take the presence of birds in our lives so much for granted that we hardly even notice them for the most part. They're...
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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...
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Manure adds essential nitrogen to garden soil
Is all-natural farm manure right for your garden? Could be. But manure is one of those rare things that is better when it is NOT so fresh, as I remind the reader who e-mailed me this question:
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Marge from New Mexico (a new gardner)
Thanks for being there. I never in my life have ever planted anything. I live in Las Cruces NM.
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May yard chores: think "floral therapy" instead!
At last! We can be thinking "May" and all the pleasant images that word creates in our minds...instead of dealing with thoughts of February freeze-ups, March gales and an unpredictable April! Yes, May is a favorite month for gardeners, lands...
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Meet the beetles. And say goodbye to them!
If you are having problems with certain kinds of beetles who are uninvited guests in your landscape, you’ll want to read these two recent e-mails from readers.
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Member Login

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Mix shrubs with trees to retain soil on river bank
With winter fast approaching, and a fresh, new spring not far behind, it seems that even more readers than usual have questions and comments about trees, shrubs and all things landscaping.
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Moist mulch leads to fungus epidemic
QUESTION: “I just laid several inches of fresh, high-end dirt, an inch of shredded hardwood mulch and planted 150 bare root vinca (periwinkle) under a large pear tree in the front yard.
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April Value Page
Greenwood Gardener's Club Monthly Value Page offers deep discounts and closeout items.
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More must-have Web links for garden problem solving!
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column that listed some helpful Web sites, hosted by the USDA, for gardeners and landscapers. A number of readers have contacted me and asked if I know of any more Internet resources. You bet I do!
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Mornings best for tending summer landscapes
July is here and it can be one of the busiest times of the year when it comes to your landscape. If your outdoor “to do” list isn’t quite full, here a few ideas to keep you busy...
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Mulch and compost helps drought-threatened trees
QUESTION: “My mother has an established Kwanzan Cherry tree. Last year the leaves turned yellow and dropped off prematurely and this year they are doing the same and are noticeably smaller than they have been in the past...
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Mulch: Why, When, Where, and with What?
Mulch has to be the single best thing you can do for your plants and have such grand results from. You can take a drab landscape and apply mulch around the plants, and garden areas, by evening the same drab landscape looks as though...
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My cypress is brown
Hi, I have what I believe is a small Cypress Tree which I recently transplanted into a larger pot using miracle grow soil.
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My garden is thick and lush, just not Green enough
My lawn is thick and lush but i'd like for it to be much darker green. It is a zoysia w/ a little bermuda coming in.what can i apply to the lawn to make it dark green?
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My wife handed me your article
It is weird that I am writing you. I came home last with with a bag full of black walnut seeds from my uncle's farm. My wife handed me your article on proper care for black walnut trees today.
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Native plants lessen invasive concerns
Selecting plants that are right for your landscape takes more than sticking a pin in a catalog or clicking a picture on the Internet. It’s important to consider what impact that plant could have on the rest of your landscape.
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Nervous about pruning? New book shows you how
If there’s one subject that makes novice gardeners anxious, it’s pruning. I receive so many e-mails from readers who want to prune some of their shrubs or trees but are nervous about the process.
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Never too early to plan fall planting
Fall planting? But it’s only just summer! It’s way too early to be thinking about fall planting, isn’t it? Nope.
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New and useful plants from unique nurseryman, Don Shadow
There are some plants that just demand the description “unique.” They are remarkable, unlike anything you’ve seen before; as fascinating as they are unusual.
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New garden books in time for spring planting… and reading
Like most garden lovers, Cheryl and I enjoy reading books on our favorite subject. However experienced you are, you can always learn something new (or re-learn something you had forgotten)
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New plant varieties surprise even seasoned gardeners
One of the delights of owning a nursery, as Cheryl and I do, is the continual discovery of new plants or plants we never before knew existed.
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newly planted red maple leaves burning
I recently planted a red maple tree small but reently it appears that the existing leaves are burning from sun exposure.
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Newspapers that publish "The Plant Man"
Is your local newspaper listed here?
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No TLC needed for these out-of-the-ordinary plants
Instead of the “same old same old,” how about putting some pizzazz in your landscape this spring with some plants that are a little out of the ordinary!
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Noisy or nosey? Either way, screening can help!
Creating some form of screening on your land can be a fun project and a very practical one, too. You can choose some form of fencing or trellis, or you can plant some fast-growing shrubs or a hedge.
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Non-commercial deer repellant from a reader
Deer have access to my property through a nearby woods. I am experimenting with ways to deter them from pillaging young trees and shrubs, not wanting to spend a lot of money on high fencing or expensive commercial repellant.
[more...]

Non-flowering plant needs “spa therapy” to bloom
QUESTION: “My hydrangea plant is healthy but has only put out one flower in last four years. Do I need a second plant to make it flower?” – Darlene
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No-sweat ideas for dog-day gardening
t’s August. It’s hot and dry, or it’s hot and humid. But pretty much everywhere... it’s hot. And that means, for most of us, it’s not much fun being outdoors.
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Nurse sick plants back to health with patience, TLC
It’s so disheartening. You carefully plant a row of shrubs, envisioning a dense, glossy green hedge in the months ahead. Then they begin to look a little sickly, and then go from bad to worse.
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Oak trees targeted by voracious caterpillars
A new year is upon us and already landscape and garden enthusiasts are anticipating the coming spring! Here are some recent questions I received from readers of this column.
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Old newspapers can smother wild strawberries!
In response to a previous question regarding wild strawberries, I am also trying to rid an area of them. I don't want to use chemicals so I am trying to smother them out by laying down newspaper (3 or 4 sheets thick, making sure...
[more...]

Organic solutions can create stronger, healthier lawns
Taking care of a new lawn can seem confusing with so many options being promoted. But organic products often provide the best long-term answers.
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Organic solutions can help compacted soil, thatched lawn
QUESTION: “I am very interested to get more information on soil conditioners that can help with soil that is compacted from new construction and also contains a large amount of clay.
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Organic solutions can solve lawn care problems
We have zoysia in our sunny front yard that we plugged 9 years ago. We decided on zoysia to get a lawn that we would not have to water and pamper as much as a fescue lawn.
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Ornamental grasses add tranquility to human habitat
A human habitat is a haven you create in your landscape where you can relax, recharge your emotional batteries and feel as one with nature.
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Ornamental grasses add year-long garden pleasure
A great landsteward article for all you ornamental grass lovers
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Ornamental grasses enhance and showcase your flowers and shrubs
Your flower beds are finally free of weeds and you want to showcase your annuals and perennials with something special. This could be the perfect place for ornamental grasses.
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Our column on Catalpa trees rekindles memories.
You wouldn't think a woman who lives in a suburban Brentwood home with a manicured lawn would have a personal acquaintance with the very interesting catalpa worms, would you? Your article on the creatures took me on a trip down memory lane.
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Outdoor Herb Culture Tips
Most commonly used herbs are easy grow. If you have room, you can make herbs part of your vegetable garden. However, you may prefer to grow herbs in a separate area, particularly the perennials.
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Over watering can kill plants with kindness
It might be tempting to give new plants a treat by flooding them with water, but too much can be as bad as too little.
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Overall benefits to tree and shrub planting
Most trees and shrubs in cities or communities are planted to provide beauty or shade...
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Overspraying
I have a young dogwood tree that I believe got overspray of MSMA on it this spring when I treated my lawn.
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Pandas and pygmies and kings, oh my! Some more new plant ideas
The trouble with “new” ideas is that they’ll always be “old” to anyone who already knew about them. I received quite a lot of e-mail from readers following my recent column that featured plant suggestions that were a little out of the ordinary.
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Pear trees need a pair for pollination
Even without a partridge, a pear tree can add a special touch of beauty to almost any landscape. But, depending on your needs – ornamental or fruiting - you should do a little research before you plant.
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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.
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Perennials reward your landscape investment
When you want a landscape that will come back – bigger and better – year after year, who are you gonna call? Perennials!
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Physically challenged people can still enjoy garden
Recently, I received an e-mailed letter from a lady who described herself as disabled. She wrote that she had always enjoyed tending her garden, but, due to her physical disability, she felt nervous about trying to work around her flowers and shrubs
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Pick the right trees now and you'll have it ‘made
There's something about those two words... "Shade Trees" ... that summon up visions of lazy summer afternoons, hammocks and ice clinking in a tall, frosty glass.
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Pine Bark Adelgids
Jeff Hahn, Assistant Extension Entomologist Adelgids are very close relatives of aphids. Like aphids, they are small, soft-bodied insects with piercing-sucking mouthparts.
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Pine cones keep kitty out of flower beds
If neighborhood cats or other critters are digging in your flower beds, try this neat tip from reader Nancy Jones:
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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...
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Plan Your Plants Before You Plant!
Here's a useful tip you should remember when you next plant trees, shrubs or any other type of flora.
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Planning and Planting for Fall
The calendar says that the first day of Fall is September 23. But when it comes to Fall planting, the season feels as if it begins in those end-of-summer days immediately following Labor Day! No, you might not be planting just yet, but you...
[more...]

Planning new home landscaping takes time, patience
Where to begin? When you move into a brand new house that is surrounded by nothing but an expanse of curling, just-laid sod or, even worse, rutted mud and construction debris...
[more...]

Planning spring planting? Here are some ideas
Winter may seem kind of “blah” but in fact it can be an exciting time for those of us who enjoy landscaping and gardening.
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Planning to dig? Beware of buried utilities!
If you are planning to go outside as soon as you finish reading this column and start digging a hole in your landscape for that new tree you bought… hold that shovel!
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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...
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Plant Finder Wizard
This is a special Plant Finder that we've enabled on our site that will allow you to drill down to the products you need, based upon a special search that you control!
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Plant Man column celebrates seventh year
'The Plant Man,' the self-syndicated gardening column by Steve Jones, marks its seventh year of continuous publication in February 2009.
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Plant perennials for investment landscaping
Gardening and landscaping can be considered investments. Much as you would put money into a savings or retirement account for future use, plantings are there for future enjoyment.
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Plant Raspberries for a great home treat
Our slow, cool spring means there's plenty of time to plant trees and shrubs in your landscape.
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Plant Spacing
One of the questions that we are asked frequently by our customers is plant spacing. How far apart do I plant my trees or shrubs?
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Plant your way to a private backyard haven
During spring and summer we all tend to spend more time enjoying the outdoors part of our home. A lazy lunch on the patio on Sunday, perhaps, or relaxing on the deck with a cool drink as the sun goes down. Maybe an impromptu picnic in the backyard.
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'Plant’ your own personality on your landscape
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote this column on the subject of new and unusual twists on old favorites for folks who want to create a landscape look that is just a little out of the ordinary.
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Planting and care for apple trees
care and feeding of apple trees!
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Planting and care instructions for Raspberries
Raspberry Planting and care instructions, including soil prep to after-care.
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Planting and Care Tips for Peach Trees
care and feeding of peach trees
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Planting and general care tips for strawberry plants

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Planting berries attracts birds to your garden
"Better Birds and Gardens?" Maybe that would be a good title for a magazine and it appears that it would be very popular judging by the e-mail I received regarding two columns I wrote about making birds feel welcome in your landscape.
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Planting for privacy and peace of mind
QUESTION: “I am wanting to plant something around one end of my pool for privacy. My only concern is that the plants should not have a very big root system due to it being around 2 – 3 feet from my cement...
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Planting is easy… when you know how
What do these activities have in common: Riding a bicycle. Playing a guitar. Roasting a turkey. The answer: They are all activities that are easy to do once you know how, but are very intimidating when you’re a beginner.
[more...]

Planting seeds from Crepe Myrtle!
This is a reply to your e-mail to confirm my order. I hope to make many more. Im glad to become a member of Greenwood Nursery. I do have one thing to ask; can you plant seeds from a Crepemyrtle Plant? If so when is a good time and how do you...
[more...]

Planting trees this spring? These pre-plant tips will help!
We must be well into the new year because I've finally stopped writing the wrong year on my checks. It's about this time every year that both professional landscapers and home gardeners start thinking seriously about spring planting.
[more...]

Planting vines can help hide "ugly" chain link fence!
Once again, it’s time to open my e-mail bag and see if I can help some readers who are having landscape headaches...
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Planting with future Fall colors in mind
Autumn is one of the most colorful times of the year in the world of Nature, and one of the most enjoyable times for those of us who love tending to our landscape.
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Planting your own mini-forest can be very...
Almost every summer, trees are the subject of the evening news on television and on the front page of the newspaper. Unfortunately, the trees we see are usually being consumed by a forest fire, and sadly the fire...
[more...]

Planting, growing, care, and harvesting.
Blackberries need full sun. They aren't fussy about soils, although good drainage is important. If the soil has a good amount of humus, so much the better, but...
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Planting? Here are some “off the beaten path” ideas
So, for those of you who want a few more ideas that are off the beaten path, here are some suggestions to get your creative juices flowing.
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Plants for erosion control
We are in the process of building our retirement log home in the Western NC mountains (zone 6). Our 6&1/2 acre site is situated on a fairly steep slope.
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Plotting Sun Angles
The best (i.e. laziest) way to plot the angle of the sun at any time of the year is to buy a sun chart like Robert Bennett’s, Sun Angles for Design.
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Poinsettias are non-toxic, despite the persistent myth!
For me, Thanksgiving always seems to be the point where fall ends and winter begins. The official calendar may disagree with me, but with Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas less than a month away, I'm already thinking about next spring.
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Poison Ivy
My son planted Myrtle on a steep bank beside his house. Now Poison Ivy has taken over..
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Poison Ivy
Poison ivy (Toxicodendron radicans) is a woody, perennial vine or shrub that can be found in fields, pastures, woodlands, farms and home landscapes.
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Poor soil may cause Walnut tree’s “sickness”

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Poor soil may cause Walnut tree’s sickness
This week, I heard from a number of readers who were having a variety of different problems with trees.
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Post Gardening Care
Well, we are now heavily into spring shipping here at the nursery. At least through the next few weeks, I will continue working in the shipping department pulling orders that are ready for packing.
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Prepare now for a lush, green, and fragrant spring
If you were ever in the Boy Scouts, or you have a son who is, then you’ll know the famous motto of that organization: “Be prepared.”
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Present Value
While the situation with regard to cherry is not as desperate black walnut, one can see that the future does not bode well without a substantial replanting effort.
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Princeton Elms
I am wondering what the spread is of this magnificent tree with a height of 100 feet.
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Privacy
I have a basically narrow backyard with chain link fencing around it's entirety.
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Problem with Brown spots on the Lawn and a cure.
"A few years ago the 'Rebecca's Garden' television program suggested adding two to three tablespoons of tomato juice to your...
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Problems with getting out holly bush stumps.
We recently removed some (old) Holly bushes from the front of our house. My husband chain sawed them down. Well now I have about 3" of stump remaining from the ground. I KEEP getting new HOLLY growth all over. I have to keep clipping to control.
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Problems with ladybugs that are not ladybugs.
I was reading your suggestion to keep wasp away, and I was wondering if you have any for lady bugs. Yes I know lady bugs are a good thing but you know what they say about too much of a good thing.
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Problems with my Kwanzan Cherry tree...
I recently planted a Kwanzan FLowering Cherry Tree and up untill last week everything was fine. Now I notice that the green leaves that once were are steadily becoming yellow and falling off. I'm wondering
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Protect plants from winter’s cold and frost
At this time of year, as evenings become a little more chilly, we can keep out the cold by pulling on a sweater or snuggling into a warm jacket as we brave the night air.
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Prune and deadhead to shape growth and force blooms
We have a new home (2 years old) and I have Knockout roses across the front of the house. Some have grown quite bushy and, not being a gardener, I am uncertain when or if I should prune them. If so, do I prune at a slant or what?
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Pruning plants keeps them healthy and shapely
Pruning. You stand in front of the shrub, shaking hands clutching the shears. Where to start? What if I clip off too much? Maybe I’ll just leave it…
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Pruning Weeping Cherry Trees and other Grafted and Budded Plants
What do the terms grafting and budding mean?
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Pruning Yews
I have yew bushes that are about 5-6 feet tall in front of the living room windows of a home we just purchased.
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Pruning: a kindly cut for your trees
Pruning trees is a subject that crops up quite frequently in e-mail that I receive from readers of this column. Many people feel uneasy about cutting limbs from their trees, even though they understand in principle that...
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Put some "butterfly magnets" in your garden!
I looked at my calendar the other day and noted that it was time to start "deadheading" my butterfly bushes. As you probably know, deadheading simply means cutting off the spent blooms, and...
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Question about Holly bushes.
Dear Steve, I enjoy your newspaper column very much. I have a question concerning holly trees.
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Question about lining a driveway.
I live in lower Michigan (with sandy, well drained soil) and have a 700 foot long driveway that I would like to "line" on each side with trees.
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Question about soil samples
I was reading an article you published on landscaping.about.com entitled "Your fall landscape: Ten "do it now" garden tips" and one of the things you suggested was to do a soil sample if you think you need to.
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Questions & Answers
Frequently Asked Questions
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Questions and Answers
It's time to catch up with some questions I've received via e-mail from readers over the past few weeks.
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Rain gardens: a beautiful "gift" to the environment
Water. There's either too much of it or not enough. Just try to find a farmer who can say he had exactly the right amount of rainfall last year!
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Raised beds can help gardeners’ aching backs
If your knees creak and your back aches when you are gardening, perhaps you should build some raised beds to make your life easier.
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Rasberry plants. How do I Fertilize?
We read your The Plant Man every week in the Longville MN paper. I have a question for you regarding a garden that seems to need some fertilizer as has been used for several years.
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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...
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Reader needs help with forlorn lawn
My husband and I ripped up our yard a year ago, put in a sprinkler system and put down sod. It looked great for a few months and then in August we went away for a week and didn't water the grass. When we returned, our yard looked fried.
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Reader response with a twist.
This may make no sense at all and any success may just be accidental, but here's what I know.
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Reader Response: Mole problem
We had a terrible mole problem when we lived in CT until I tried a technique I'd read in an article somewhere...
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Reader’s lawn headaches call for groundcover cure
I built a new home about 2.5 years ago and I am sick of my grass! It has been nothing but a headache. I have been through several lawn maintenance companies and I have had many arguments with them.
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Readers help solve garden problems
One of the most rewarding aspects of writing this column is the response it draws from readers. We get a lot of questions e-mailed to us which Cheryl or I try to answer personally whenever possible.
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Readers need help with prickly weeds and groundcover
You learn something everyday in this business. For instance, I’d never heard of “pricker bushes,” but they seem to be a problem for this reader!
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Readers offer helpful tips on garden pests
One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing this column is that readers frequently contact me with their own ideas and suggestions that I am able to pass on to you.
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Red-hot Fall colors you can plant now
Fall colors. Depending on where you live and when you get to read this column, you should be anticipating the arrival of one of Nature's most spectacular times of the year: the turning of the leaves from green to yellow, gold, pink and deep...
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Remove dead leaves to prevent mold on groundcover
QUESTION: “I planted pachysandra two years ago under heavy shade trees. It is doing so-so. I now have a lot of leaves and I would like to clean up the area with a blower...
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Repellant Guidelines
Guidelines for the safe use of repellants in your gardens.
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Repellants Part 1
Protecting Plants from Wildlife
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Repellex Tablets for New Plants
Repellex Tablet Information
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Repelling Mosquitos
I can only relate to a hunting story I have from a few years back.
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Replacing shrubs needs the right tool
Sometimes those shrubs around the house - the ones that had so much "curb appeal" two decades ago - just don't seem quite as appealing any more.
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Research & Development
Unlike the research on black walnut, black cherry research does not have a well-publicized history.
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Rooftop patio needs vines for privacy and beauty
We live in San Francisco on the roof top of a 10 story condo building. Our unit features a 16’x30’ paved patio, which flanks our neighbor’s patio, separated by a steel ‘privacy’ fence with holes.
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Rose Canes
I read your suggestions for plant mold on the Greenwood Nursery internet site, and also the one about the large canes on the berry vines.
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Roses are top of mind as St. Valentine approaches
Roses are red Violets are blue, Better buy some for Sweetie Saint Valentine’s due.
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Roses: the language of love lasts long after Valentine’s Day
Roses. Ask almost anyone what roses symbolize and they’ll tell you, “Love.” In February, our thoughts turn to love, thanks to St. Valentine, Cupid’s little arrows and, of course, roses.
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Sawdust mulch could cause garden woes
QUESTION: I live in the heart of Amish country. I was wondering if I could use the sawdust from one of the many local sawmills as a mulch around my trees in the yard rather than use the conventional cypress chips?
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Search Land Steward!
Search Land Steward
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Seasonal Ideas
Seasonal Gardening - Garden Projects & Tasks Throughout the Year
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Seasonal Tips!
A place for seasonal gardening tips
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Select the right trees and they'll survive the "hot spots"
It's summer, and that means it's HOT. What do you do when you get hot? Probably, you go indoors to relax with a cool drink in air-conditioned comfort.
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Select trees that fit the scale of your landscape
Just as cute little puppies grow into big dogs, small trees can grow until they overpower both your garden and your home, as I explain to this reader…
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Selecting trees and shrubs for a ‘blank pallet'
Spring is just around the corner, and it seems that many readers of this column are waking up from a long winter's hibernation and once again thinking about their landscape! The clue? An increase in the number of e-mailed comments and...
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Shade-loving groundcovers perfect for sun deprived gardens
Finding plants that thrive in shady area and under trees is a problem but not impossible. If that’s a dilemma for you, I have some helpful ideas.
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Shady gardens can be colorful and exciting
I am new to gardening and seem to have a tough time getting plants to grow. Most of the area is full shade to partial sun and it does not have the best of drainage either. I do have a big patio that I pot flowers on as well.
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She catches tree thieves in the act!
This is one crime that you think will never happen to you. Yes, you can imagine being a victim of car theft or finding your home has been burglarized. However, you probably don't consider the possibility of ... tree theft!
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Shipping & Pick-up
We can ship both dormant and foliated trees.
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Shipping Information

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Shrubs should enhance, not obscure, your view!
As regular readers know, I try to respond to questions via e-mail within a day or so, because I realize that sometimes you need very prompt answers!
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Simple design elements help avoid landscaping problems
Getting started on creating your ideal landscape can be the toughest part. You can envision stately trees and lush beds of beautiful shrubs and perennials, but exactly how do you go about it?
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Site Selection & Preparation
The importance of selecting and preparing the planting site cannot be over-emphasized.
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Six trees that bring vibrant color to Fall landscapes
It is a wonder of Nature that, as plants prepare themselves for the winter ahead, they produce some of the most spectacular, eye-popping color of their life cycle.
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Sloping bank eroding.
I HAVE A QUESTION ,MY HILL SIDE IS WASHING AWAY , WHAT DO I NEED TO DO TO STOP IT ? WHAT CAN I PLANT ?
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Small lots need trees that fit their scale
To a landscaper, a small lot can be more challenging than a large one. Trees that have a wide canopy look splendid in a park-like setting, but in more modest surroundings, the scale is all wrong.
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Small spaces can bask in colorful trees, too
Color, it seems, is high on the list of priorities for gardening and landscaping enthusiasts. After last week’s column about vividly colorful flowering trees, I received a lot of e-mails from readers essentially saying, “Tell me more!”
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Smart landscaping can lower your Summer energy bills!
Can planting trees actually save you money?
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Smart planting can halt river bank erosion
As any professional landscaper will tell you, WHAT you choose to plant should depend upon what you plant it IN. In other words, the soil, the moisture (or lack of it), the exposure to sunlight, the degree of shade... these and other factors...
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Smart planting, smart spraying keep hungry deer at bay
You carefully planted those trees and shrubs. You fed them, watered them, watched them grow, slowly but surely. Then one morning, they didn’t look right. When you got closer, you saw why.
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Smart watering keeps mature trees lush and healthy all summer
In this column last time, I discussed the special needs of new, young trees during their first summer months. But let’s not forget that mature trees, whether they are young adults or senior citizens, need your attention too.
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Snakes? Deterrent tips to keep them away
Perhaps you enjoyed “Snakes on a Plane” as an entertaining movie. But it’s a whole less fun when it’s snakes in your home’s foundation, as this reader discovered.
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Soil erosion slowed with smart planting
With many parts of the country experience a fairly damp spring this year, Cheryl and I are getting a lot of enquiries about plants that don’t mind having wet feet.
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Soil preparation: the key to healthy tree planting
"April showers bring May flowers." Now there's a well-know saying that's hard to refute.
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Solving Problems With Bradford Pears, Flowering...
One of the first things I do each morning when I arrive at the nursery is to check my e-mail. And every day I find questions from readers of this column. Sometimes readers have a problem they hope I can help them solve, and sometimes they...
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Some "fertile" thoughts on fertilizer
You might remember a nursery rhyme from your childhood that began, "Mary, Mary, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?"
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Some “new” plant ideas for the new year
A new year... a new planting season just ahead... and some new plant ideas to bestow a fresh new look to your landscape.
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Sometimes the Government really IS here to help
There's a lot of government-funded help out there for the asking, if you know where to look and what to ask for.
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Specials
Special offers from our sponsor,GreenwoodNursery.com
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Spectacular shrubs can dazzle with fall color
When it comes to fall color, it’s not only trees that put on a dazzling show. Select the right shrubs and you can have a display of autumn colors closer to ground level.
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Spreading plants have their place in landscape
Yes, there are a number of attractive plants that have a reputation for spreading out across, and sometimes beyond, the area in which they are planted.
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Spring into Action!
Spring is almost here. We are still having freezing days followed by days with temperatures in the upper 70’s. The weather is just nuts this time of year. So…what can we do outside? It’s time to aerate your lawn.
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Start planning for fall planting
You might still be mopping you brow under a broiling August sun, but it’s already time to be making plans for fall planting.
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Stately junipers add garden drama as they point skyward
Sometimes, all your landscape needs to give it a whole new look is a little drama. These fast-growing junipers could be just the ticket.
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Steep slope in front yard
I need ideas for the front of our new home. We finished building last November and have no grass as of yet.
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Steve’s ten turf tips for a healthy summer lawn
Of all the plants in our landscape, it seems the one area that needs the most attention is the lawn. Trees and shrubs seem content to live pretty much without our constant attention.
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Stinky ginkgoes offend delicate noses
What rhymes with ginkgo? For people in many American cities, the word is STINKO.
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Storm-damaged gardens need special TLC
As many regular readers know, my wife Cheryl often answers many of the questions we receive regarding gardens, landscaping and plants of every variety.
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Storm-damaged trees and shrubs need special care
As you know, it's quite common for me to praise the beauty of Nature. But there is another side we tend to ignore until it lands, quite literally, in our own back yard.
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Storm-damaged trees need special TLC
When a beloved tree is damaged by a storm, we need to know what, if anything, can be done to save it. This was the dilemma faced by a reader who wrote to me recently.
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Storm-damaged trees: Here's what you can do
In recent weeks, violent weather has been affecting a major part of the United States. I've been receiving a lot of e-mails asking my advice about what can be done with storm-damaged trees. Many months ago, I wrote an article on this subject,...
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Stream takes man's land
I have a stream at the back of my property which runs for about 2000 feet; it is about 6 feet at its widest and about 2 feet deep at its deepest; it has many draining rivulets draining into it, and the land around these rivulets is kind of marshy.
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Submit your Article!
Would you like to write for Land Steward? Submit your article here and become a part of our writer pool!
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Summertime... But the livin' ISN'T easy for your..
It's August. It's Summer and it's HOT. From Minnesota to Mississippi, the summer sun is beating down on us and our plants. Some horticulturists tell us we should talk to our plants. At this time of year...
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Sustainable landscaping saves time, energy and money
Is your garden a sustainable landscape? Ideally, it should be. By “sustainable” I mean that it is in balance with the local climate and requires minimal resource inputs such as fertilizer, pesticides and water.
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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.
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Tall, slim plants work best in narrow spaces
Unusual or oddly-shaped spaces can create landscaping challenges, as this reader has discovered.
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Ten tips for keeping plants safe from frost
“How come weeds can survive the coldest winter and come back even stronger in the spring,” a frustrated gardener said to me, “Yet half of my shrubs get frost-bitten and die!”
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The five transplant trees make for easier, more successful planting
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.
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The green, green grass of home... without chemicals?
Is there really a way to maintain a lush, healthy, pest-free lawn without using risky pesticides? More and more natural gardening advocates are saying yes, it IS possible.
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The Greenwood Nursery Guarantee
Some information about how much we want to support you and have your purchase here be safe and memorable.
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The Halloween garden: more than just pumpkins!
It’s almost time for Halloween again, and your landscape can play a significant role in the fun and games... and not simply by providing trees for the local kids to drape with toilet paper.
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The hidden joys of containers
This season looks to be very exciting for those of you who enjoy container gardening...
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The no-sweat warm weather landscape
With July almost here and the dog days just ahead, there’s a temptation to stay inside with the air-conditioning rather than go outside and sizzle in the sunshine.
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The November garden: some timely tips from readers
The days are getting shorter, the clocks have been turned and spring is not far away. At least that’s the way it is for all of us optimistic landscapers and gardeners. We just have to get through winter first!
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The November garden: some timely tips from readers
The days are getting shorter, the clocks have been turned back (except in certain parts of Indiana!) and spring is just around the corner. At least it is for all of us optimistic landscapers and gardeners.
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The Plant Man answers more of your questions
My e-mail in-box is filling up quickly with your questions, so it seems a good idea to devote this week's column to answering some of them.
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The red queen, the black currant, and the white pine
A key symptom of WPBR is the characteristic "flags"(orange branches) that identify infected branches.
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The right way to water a House Plant
Are you confused about watering your houseplants? Many people consider it a simple matter, watering their plants whenever they think of it.
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The Secret of Rooting Cuttings
The secret of rooting cuttings can be summed up in two words.“Timing and technique”.
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The White Spruce seedling from my employer.
My husband has received a white spruce seedling tree from his employer. We live in Rochester NY. My question to you is should we plant this seedling outside or keep in housebound. We have planted it in...
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There's money rotting under your pine trees!
If you were to think about how to make money from your trees, you would probably think first about selling the fruit (if they're that kind of trees)
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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!
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These “shady characters” keep you cool and save some green
Trees keep you cooler and reduce energy bills. And besides... trees are a beautiful part of your landscape!
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These big bloomers you'll be proud of your own!
Perennials, it seems, really are a perennial favorite with readers of this column. And no wonder. Perennials provide years of pleasure and a sense of continuity in your landscape as you see familiar friends returning season after season.
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These books make gardening easier, more fun
Planning a new landscape and then taking care of the shrubs and trees you’ve planted can be a baffling business. Where do you start? And what do you do to maintain a healthy, thriving garden?
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These four special trees will enhance your landscape
One of the toughest questions to answer is one I get asked quite frequently: “What is your favorite tree?”
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These Hellebore “ladies” arrive early, stay late
The height of summer might be an odd time to be thinking of winter but that is just what I was doing the other day. Cheryl and I were looking at some of our Hellebores and I was reminded that these plants are among the very first to bloom each year.
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These lawn mushrooms are no fun guys!
You pour a cup of morning coffee and glance out over your lawn. Wait a minute! What are those little white bumps?
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These perennials bring new style to your garden
Perennials are the best investment for your garden, coming back year after year, better and more impressive. Here are five slightly unusual perennials that would add a unique personality to your landscape.
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These plants brighten shaded landscapes 09-09-04
Recently in this column I suggested a few ideas for trees that could provide some much-needed shade to your sun-drenched landscape. But what if your property is ALREADY quite shady? Perhaps you want to add some attractive shrubbery but don't...
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These plants can help stop soil erosion
Soil erosion can be a major headache when water seems to wash away all your hard work. These readers sent me some photos of a trouble spot in their yard.
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These plants love poor soil
Poor soil and occasional drought conditions… Does that mean a dull, scrappy or even non-existent landscape? That’s a problem that worries many readers, judging by my e-mailbag.
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These roses are easy to grow and very low maintenance
Is this the year to add that rose garden to your landscape? Or would you like to see a colorful rose hedge softening the appearance of a backyard fence or bordering a driveway?
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These small plants create big bang for the buck
The New Year is here and garden lovers are thumbing through catalogues and poring over online Web sites planning the look of their landscapes for spring and summer.
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These trees add color and class to your landscape! 08-01-04
Sometimes, we take trees for granted because... well, they're just "there." But I think that trees are some of Nature's most beautiful creations, and today I'd like to share some of my favorites with you. Perhaps my thoughts will inspire...
[more...]

These trees cut winter’s bitter cold winds
Winter is the perfect time to plan for spring planting and for the many years ahead. The bare branches allow you to see the “skeleton” of your landscape and where you need to flesh it out with new plants or perform a little surgery
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These trees have it made in the shade! 09-02-04
If you've been outdoors working on your landscape anytime during the past month or so, you've probably stopped every now and then to mop your brow and silently wish for more shade and an ice-cold drink. I'm sorry to say that I can't do much...
[more...]

These trees quickly add privacy and a sound barrier
I have two problems that I hope you can help me with. I live in zone 4/5 and I am looking for a fast growing, sturdy tree or hedge to plant at the back of my yard to provide privacy and a sound barrier. What trees would you suggest?
[more...]

These Web sites help solve tree and shrub problems
For gardeners, landscapers and horticulturists, the Internet has proved to be a boon we couldn’t have imagined a few years ago.
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These Web sites help you plan, enjoy your landscape
Whatever your interest, it seems that there are at least a thousand Web sites that cater to it. When it comes to gardening and landscaping, it’s more like a hundred thousand with more being added every day.
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They’re back! American elms are on the rebound
After several decades, when many horticulturists believed it was heading for extinction, the American elm is making a comeback.
[more...]

They're baa-aack! Catalpa Tree Worms Ride Again
You might remember that, in a recent column, I answered a question from a reader about the worms that she recalled seeing on a tree and how they were used as fishing bait. I identified the tree as a Catalpa, and I pretty much thought that wrapped it all
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This weeks "The Plant Man" published article.
Published in over 60 newspapers weekly. If you don't see it in your newspaper let me know. Steve Jones
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This weeks "The Plant Man" published article.
Published in over 41 newspapers weekly. If you don't see it in your newspater let me know. Steve Jones
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Thoughts of Spring & Gardens
The days grow longer, the sun peeks in our windows with more warmth, the trees begin to swell with buds, and crocuses poke up here and there.
[more...]

Three ways trees make your life easier, more comfortable
Trees. Do you plant them on your property so you can enjoy their growing beauty over many years while adding to the value of your home in the future real estate market?
[more...]

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...
[more...]

Time for a "sting" operation on those pesky wasps!
I don't know anybody who actually enjoys the company of wasps while working or relaxing outdoors. Should we be bracing ourselves for a nationwide plague of wasps? Is the terrifying scenario from the movie, "The Killer Bees" about to become a reality?
[more...]

Time to get tools ready for winter
There's a subconscious belief- more of a superstition, really- that if we don't winterize our landscaping tools then Old Man Winter will somehow be prevented from invading our piece of the planet. It's like hanging up garlic to keep away the vampire
[more...]

Time to get your young trees ready for winter!
Take a look out your window. Do you see a lone young tree maybe more than one bare of leaves and exposed to the elements? You wouldn't survive a winter out there without some kind of protection, and your trees might not either.
[more...]

Time to test your soil
Its never too early to test your garden soil.
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Tips for growing Pear Trees!

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Tips for laying out and organizing your landscape
Here's a useful tip you should remember when you next plant trees, shrubs or any other type of flora. It's something that professional landscapers always do, but the rest of us might overlook.
[more...]

Tips on pruning flowering shrubs
Summer-flowering shrubs bloom on the new wood that grows in the spring. Therefore, early spring is the best time to prune summer-flowering trees, shrubs, and vines. If pruning is performed later, after new growth has begun...
[more...]

Tips on what to do when my plants arrive.
Bareroot nursery stock should be left in the bag or box. Upon arrival, open a box. The roots should be slightly damp, but not necessarily wet. Moisture on the...
[more...]

Too much or too little water? Trees can suffer either way
QUESTION: “The weeping cherry tree that I planted in late March bloomed beautifully and has looked great up until recently. The tree is about 6 feet tall...."
[more...]

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
[more...]

Transplanted blueberry plants need soil boost to thrive
QUESTION: “I was looking for information online about blueberries, plants for shade and composting and found your site. Could you email me the article on composting as I would like to start a compost pile.
[more...]

Transplanting a Chinese Pistache Tree
I ordered a tree from Greenwood Nursery last spring and planted it. I am now having second thoughts on the location of the tree and would like to transplant to another area of my yard.
[more...]

Transplanting Tips
Early spring is a great time for transplanting trees and shrubs, but you must do so before they wake up. Transplanting a plant is a very traumatic experience for the plant if it is awake.
[more...]

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...
[more...]

Treat ailing tree to a “fertilizer stake dinner”
Trees add so much to your landscape. Apart from the aesthetic appeal of their beauty, they provide cooling shade for your home and garden. A mature leafy tree can produce as much oxygen in a season as ten people can inhale in a year.
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Treat Christmas cactus like a tropical plant
I've inherited some Christmas cacti from my mom and my wife’s grandmothers. The ones from my wife’s side were big beautiful plants. Recently they have started to turn yellow and are withering from the ends toward the plants.
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Treat yourself to fun garden "gifts"!
Happy Holidays, gardeners and landscape enthusiasts! You've spent a lot of time and money in the past few weeks selecting gifts for your friends and family. You deserve a treat. You have my permission to treat yourself to some...
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Tree roots need deep watering
Many readers have contacted me regarding bug problems with their trees and I’ll get to a couple of recent bug-related questions in a minute.
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Tree thieves may be targeting your "growing investment"
Tree thieves are in the news again. A reader recently sent me a newspaper story about alleged thieves targeting hemlock trees. According to the article, park rangers found 2,700 hemlock saplings and seedlings dug from the Grundy Forest Natural Area,
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Tree woes can cause headaches... and heartaches!
Trees add so much beauty and tranquility to our landscape. But when trees develop problems they can cause some big headaches. Several readers have sent me tree-related questions via e-mail, and I've done my best to help. If you have question...
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Trees
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 my...
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Trees and kids: Together, they can grow!
In a previous column, I came up with some ideas that you might find helpful when it comes to involving children in the world of plants. You might remember that I suggested planting a "butterfly bush" (Buddlea) and placing a butterfly house nearby.
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Trees bring major benefits to urban areas
Sometimes you hear people say, "You can't see the forest for the trees." But in many towns and cities the real problem is that you can hardly see the trees at all. The reason is simple:
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Trees for West Texas
I am wanting to plant trees to buffet us from the high winds and soil erosion so prevalent in this area. I would really like to go with an Evergreen since the only thing that grows in this area seem to be cactus and mesquite.
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Trees form vital part of land's ecosystem
It seems that it's human nature to take for granted that which is always here. That's never more true than with trees and the soil they grow in. But what happens to our lives when they dwindle... or even vanish?
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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...
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Trees need care too!
I am frequently asked questions that relate to caring for shrubs, plants, hedges and lawns. But it's not often that I get asked about caring for trees... until it's obvious the poor old tree is in some kind of serious – and probably...
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Trees need water... but don’t overdo it!
Gardeners and landscapers have one thing in common with their “big brother” the farmer: complaining about the weather. Ask any farmer about rainfall and you’ll be told that it is nowhere near enough or it is way too much.
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Trees, shrubs and lawns all have different watering needs
Mature trees look so sturdy and invulnerable, it can be hard to imagine that they need to be treated as delicate infants until they are well established. Several readers have recently written to me with questions relating to tree care...
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Tree-ting Storm Damage
To paraphrase Hobbes*, life for Minnesota trees is often cruel, brutish and short. In addition to bitter winters (with damaging ice and heavy, wet snows) and scorching summers, trees have to contend wi
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Trellis and vine provide narrow space privacy
QUESTION: “I own a little Cape Cod built in the 1940's. It sits on a 40 x 120 lot, which doesn't leave much space between the neighbors' houses.
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Trim back plants to concentrate their energy
QUESTION: “This spring we had a hard freeze mid April that killed all tree and shrub greenery. All have thankfully recovered but the growth now is mostly new stems and sprigs especially on the crepe myrtles, rose of Sharon, and lilac.
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Trouble Areas

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Trouble Areas

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Trouble Areas
Trouble areas in the garden, trouble spots in the garden, helpful hints, tips, and free articles to help you in your garden.
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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...
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Turn so-so soil into loam and plants will thrive
Spring is here at last and landscape lovers are happily getting soil under their fingernails as they get back to planting their new shrubs and trees.
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Turn wet land into spectacular bog garden
If a certain area of your landscape looks like the Okefenokee swamp, don’t throw in the towel (or anything else, either).
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Twisted and spiky or soft and sweet: more unusual spring planting ideas
"Tell me more!" That's the reaction I've been getting in e-mail messages from readers of recent columns about plant suggestions that are... well, off the beaten path.
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Two Questions for the Plant Man
I read your article in the newspaper today, regarding the problem of riding SNAKES from the landscape. You failed to inform us of the answer that you had received from one of your readers.
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Types of Herbs
Early herb gardens were the major source for food seasoning. The need for homegrown herbs, however, declined with the advent of modern stores. Today, many gardeners are rediscovering the joy and pleasure of producing their own herbs.
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Unusual plants add unique look to landscape
Today, I have a few ideas for you as you begin to think about next season. These plants aren’t particularly exotic or unusual. But maybe they weren’t the first ones that come to mind...
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Upgrading your landscape really does “pay”
Does it really pay to improve your landscaping? After all, it doesn’t look TOO bad. What difference could better landscaping make?
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Use heat as organic way to kill weeds
I have looked all over the internet for information on the effects of Round Up (weed and grass killer), but can't find anything. We are trying to prepare a vegetable garden that's in the middle of the yard.
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Use shrubs in Landscape Design
Shrubs suitable for planting on banks or slopes have suckering root systems or branches that root where they touch the ground...
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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.
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Using water gardens and ponds for landscaping
It is much easier and more cost effective to create water gardens on your property then ever before due to new products and pumps. With a proper design you can add a water garden to your property...
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Variations on old favorites add pizzazz to landscape
There’s something comforting about planting the tried-and-true in the garden. A sense of continuity and tradition. But sometimes, those familiar stand-bys can seem a little dull and boring. It doesn’t have to be that way.
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Versatile bamboo needs cautious planting
Bamboo is one of the most versatile plants in the world. But you need to be aware of its invasive nature unless you select the right varieties.
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Vine & Brush Species Controlled
Controlled species.
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Vinegar may be a potent weed killer
Wherever possible, I prefer to find organic solutions to garden problems. Several readers have asked me about using vinegar to eradicate weeds.
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Vine-X Questions and answers.
All about Vine-X
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Wasp Immobilization and Control
Regarding the reader's need for removal of the hornet or wasp nest, would it be a good idea to use a CO2-type fire extinguisher, during the night when the Hymenoptera are not active?
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Wasps/Hornets?
I have a nest of what I think are baldfaced hornets above my garage door (which is rarely used).
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Water gardens can be “contained” on your patio
In previous columns, we’ve discussed water features for your landscape. We’ve also talked about container gardening, particularly container herb gardens to set up by your kitchen door. How about combining the idea of a container garden and a water?
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Water Problems
Our side yard is constanley wet .
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Water!
First time caller :) long time reader. I have a water delima.
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Watering trees not always as simple as it seems!
Watering a tree sounds like a no-brainer, doesn’t it? But trees, particularly new, young trees, can suffer irreparable damage when they are subjected to incorrect or insufficient watering.
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Waterlogged clay soil just won’t drain
One of the pleasures of writing this column is the feedback that I receive from you, the readers. Sometimes that feedback is a question about a problem with a tree or shrub.
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Waterlogged landscape can be saved
When there’s an area in your landscape that is frequently waterlogged, it can be a problem finding plants that will grow there. It’s also difficult to keep a wet patch mowed or at least fairly neat-looking.
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Waterlogged landscape creates special problems
An area of landscape that is saturated with water on a fairly regular basis can be a real problem for homeowners. Similarly, sloping terrain can be a daunting challenge when it comes to lawn care and choosing suitable plants.
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Weeds have less chance in a thick, healthy lawn
The summer heat can create headaches for landscapers and gardeners. When it comes to watering, how much is too much? And what can be done about the sudden emergence of crab grass?
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Weeds? The remedy could be in your kitchen
Drought might be a landscape’s biggest enemy, but sometimes too much rain can bring problems of its own, as this reader found.
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Weeping Willows and Ice Storms!
Weeping Willow Trees - I live in Zone 5, Northeast Indiana, and in late May 2001 planted about eight 2 ft. Weeping Willow Trees. To date they have done very well reaching over 5 ½ feet each with branches that have a 3 to 4 foot span...
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Welcome spring with winter garden fix-ups
At this time of year, with the Holidays a fading memory, optimistic gardeners are already beginning to emerge from their winter hibernation and look forward to the spring that is just around the corner.
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Wetlands on the rebound in the U.S.
If the world hands you lemons, make lemonade. And similarly, if Nature has given you a consistently wet section of your landscape, make a bog garden.
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What to do about Squash Bugs
Squash bugs have been very abundant this summer. They are found occasionally in home gardens, feeding on squash, pumpkins, and other curcubits.
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What to do with the soil test results.
What To do with The soil test results.
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What's wrong with that English Walnut?
I have a question regarding an English Walnut tree. The tree is mature (several years old) has produced several yields of good walnuts.
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When is the right time to plant daylilies?
Experienced gardeners, however, can plant in the fall provided they: Know the hardiness of the plants Take some preventative measures such as mulching. Learn the time of the year after which it is not safe to plant in their location.
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When to Plant
Fall planting is possible and even superior to spring planting in certain regions of the South. There is, however, a risk of frost-heaving in the North.
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Where have the garden flowers gone?
Gardeners in Minnesota have reported uneven fruit set in some garden crops. Peppers, tomatoes and squash are common problem plants. It appears the spike in summer's heat may have been the reason.
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Where is the best place to plant daylilies?
You need to consider four things in determining where to plant your daylilies:
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White Columnar Pine Trees
I wanted to know how much I should water pine trees (they are 3 yrs old) and wondering why the pine needles have turned a lighter green?
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White spots on leaves could be powdery mildew fungus
You will need to determine what is causing them before you can take any action. Fortunately, the first two wouldn’t require any action, but if they are caused by a fungus, you might want to apply a fungicide.
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Why are my pine trees dying?
I am writing in regards to the epidenic concerning the pine trees in my area.
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Wild, wild onions
I live in Arkansas and wild onions are a real problem.
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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!
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Wind Tolerant Trees
Today the temp is 7 and winds were 50 mph. We have a new home in rural northwest OH and I'm looking for ideas for trees and shrubs that can withstand that wind.
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Winning the battle of weeds
Keeping your landscape plantings, flower beds, and nursery crops free of weeds is a battle, but if you approach it with a strategic plan, you will prevail.
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Winter garden projects can be fun, too
When we’re stuck in the middle of winter and spring seems a loo-ong way off, it can be a frustrating time for those of us who love to be outside tending to our gardens or tinkering with our landscaping.
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Winter is the best time for tree pruning
There are two kinds of winter gardening. The first method usually starts in January as the gardening catalogs begin to arrive in the mail.
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Wisteria Help
Hi - I have a small starter wisteria a friend gave me.
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Wisteria outlasts Ivy under the summer sun
"I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree." The poet Joyce Kilmer wrote those words in 1914, and I don't know for sure, but I'm guessing it must have been about...
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Work less in your garden and enjoy it more

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Work less in your garden and enjoy it more

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Work less in your garden and enjoy it more

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Wreaths, trees and poinsettias bring the Holiday season indoors
The Holidays are very nearly upon us and this seems like the perfect time to round up some last-minute seasonal suggestions, tips and ideas for garden gurus and landscape lovers, including a create-it-yourself wreath.
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Xeriscaping
After such extreme temperatures and drought over last summer, everyone is searching for plants that not only require less attention, but less water. Just planting cactus and other succulents isn’t the key, but Xeriscaping is.
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Xeriscaping can save you time, money, energy and water
When you have poor soil, it is tempting to give up on the idea of planting anything in your yard. But take heart. There ARE solutions.
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Young trees need protection... from just about...
For most people, the only time we think about trees being in danger is when we read newspaper headlines or see television news coverage of forest fires. But as a nurseryman, protecting trees is something I think about a great deal!
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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...
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Your fall landscape: readers come up with timely tips
A good idea bears repeating. That’s certainly true when it comes to ideas that can save you time and effort around your landscape. A reader recently contacted me via e-mail and asked me about a tip from a reader that appeared in a previous column
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Your fall landscape: Ten “do it now” garden tips
The days may be getting shorter and chillier, but there’s still plenty to do in and around your landscape!
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Your fresh grown herbs add zest to your cooking!
Are you using fresh herbs in your kitchen? If not, you should! And today I will show you how simple and economical it is to grow your own herbs and add them in mere seconds to any dish you're preparing. I'll even include a couple of fresh...
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Your garden can be a human habitat
When landscapers use the word ‘habitat’ it’s almost always preceded by the word ‘wildlife’. Nothing wrong with that, to be sure. But what about you? What about a human habitat?
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Your young trees will need TLC and water this summer
As spring turns to summer, your trees could need some special TLC. Young, newly-planted trees require attention like newborn infants, but don’t overlook the needs of your mature trees either.
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