Basic Garden Terms Explained

We all remember being beginning gardeners, not knowing the difference between a perennial and a peapod. Like any hobby, it helps to know basic garden terms. Our May/June issue of Northern Gardener includes a special section for beginning gardeners called Dig In, where this article first appeared. You can get Northern Gardener on many newsstands…

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How to Read a Plant Tag

With Mother’s Day just around the corner and the weather starting to warm up (slowly), many homeowners and gardeners will be out plant shopping this weekend. Choosing plants is exciting and fun, but it helps if you know how to read a plant tag to make the best choices for your garden. Plant tags vary…

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Using Soil Temperature to Decide When to Plant

We were hot. And, now we’re not. What’s a gardener to do in spring in our changeable northern climate when deciding when to plant vegetables. One option is to use soil temperature as your guide. There are several guides for when to plant, including using frost-free dates or using nature signs (phenology). Soil temperature is…

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Compost for Beginners

Compost is one of those topics that makes a lot of sense once you’ve been gardening awhile, but can be confusing to new gardeners. So, here is all the information needed about compost for beginners. Check the end for links to even more information. What is Compost and Why Do Gardeners Use It? Compost is…

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Building a Raised Bed with Legs

The previous post discussed a couple of ways to build a basic raised bed garden, either for on your deck or in the ground. In this post, we’ll talk about how to build a raised bed with legs. If you are considering building a standing raised bed, stay on until the end of the post…

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When Is It Too Late to Plant?

We got a question over on another blog post about whether it was too late to plant now. Despite our gloomy, cold, snowy (ugh!) October, it is not really too late to plant most trees, perennials and shrubs until the ground is frozen. As I explained on an earlier blog post, I once had an…

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Magnificent Monarda

I’ve been to several garden tours over the past couple of weeks and one plant that looks fantastic in every garden is bee balm (Monarda). If you are not familiar with bee balm, it is a mid-summer bloomer that stands 2 to 4 feet tall. The blossoms come in shades of pink, red and white,…

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Starting Annuals from Seed

While many gardeners enjoy starting vegetables from seed, starting annuals from seed is fun and easy, too. Some tender annuals — zinnias, marigolds, calendulas, salvias, cosmos, morning glories, nasturtiums, sweet alyssum and sunflowers, for example — are quick to germinate and grow, whether in the garden or indoors. Some of them also lend themselves to…

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What a Hydrangea Wants

Get together several hundred avid gardeners and a line-up of experts, and the questions and conversations start flying. Yesterday, MSHS hosted its third annual Spring at the Inn. This annual luncheon or dinner followed by a plant fashion show is a must-do event for many garden clubs and excited gardeners. What a great way to…

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