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Gardening

Several types of hanging basket. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ken_yasuhara/6116652111/">K. Yasahura</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Several types of hanging basket. Photo: K. Yasahura, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

How to keep flower boxes and baskets looking their best

It's hard for a gardener to complain about this stone-summer weather. Heat, sun, plus a little rain here and there are a great combination to kick plants into high gear for growth.

But what can be all good for young tomato plants can be overdrive for hanging baskets and planters that were in full bloom when they went on sale for Mother's Day. They need constant care: water, food, and the occasional trimming. Amy Ivy has what to do, and why.  Go to full article
Tomato plants starting up a trellis. Photo: <a href="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3648/3650652836_ca568ea7e6_o_d.jpg">Charles Dawley</a>, Creative Common, some rights reserved

Some tomato tips before the season kicks into high gear

Even if you don't have a garden, you can grow tomatoes in a sunny spot on your front steps or patio. They're one of the most popular vegetables. But they take some tending over the growing season. Horticulturist Amy Ivy has some early season tips for keeping tomatoes healthy this summer.  Go to full article
Rose chafer beetles at work. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/50352333@N06/4647992672/">Jason Sturner</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

First the blooms, then the bugs

Aren't the peonies lovely? And the first roses to bloom so pretty and fragrant? Along with the iris and the first day lilies, they give gardeners an early-summer shot of color and satisfaction after lots of hard work.

They also attract the first big wave of pests, including some of the most frustrating and difficult to deal with: rose chafers, flea beetles, and potato beetles. Brace yourself, as she so often does, cooperative extension's Amy Ivy says hand picking is the best remedy for the rose chafers and potato bugs.

No pesticides for rose chafers, because they attack the flower's blooms, and to dose the bloom would kill the bees and other valuable pollinators. And potato beetles? It's just more efficient to squish the eggs before they hatch on the underside of the leaves.  Go to full article
After removing the early weeds, mulching between rows will slow their return. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/90738513@N00/2522983940">Linda Beaverson</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Weeds, you say? Get 'em when they're little

The tiniest weeds might just be you're most important job right now. It's like the old "pound of prevention" saying. You can deal with a million weeds in a very short time,...  Go to full article
Part way done: some perennials back in place, soil amendment continues. Photo by Martha Foley

Out with the bad: taking control of the perennial garden

The first step can be the hardest when you've got a major Quackgrass infestation, or an "aggressive" perennial that's taking over. In Martha Foley's garden this spring, it...  Go to full article
They start small, but they don't (hopefully) stay that way. Make sure to leave enough space for you transplants to thrive. Photo: Martha Foley

Plants need their space too

It's tempting, all that nice open space in the garden. But as you plant the six packs of annuals, or divide and distribute the perennials, or arrange the rows of beets and...  Go to full article
Diana Beresford-Kroeger, among the hellebores. Photo: Sarah Harris

"Sacred and science go together" for botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger

Travel half a mile down a tree-lined dirt road in southern Ontario, and you'll find an oasis, a wooden cabin surrounded by sprawling gardens. Diana Beresford-Kroeger lives...  Go to full article
It's still a little cool for transplanting tender flowers and warm weather vegetables. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/crabchick/7276027148/">crabchick</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Not quite prime time for tender transplants

The calendar is a bit ahead of the weather this spring, and that means it's probably a good idea to proceed with caution in the garden.

Mother's Day typically...  Go to full article
A bird's nest compost bin. Photo: Tompkins County Cooperative

Kitchen compost: a gift for the garden

Compost is a key ingredient to increasing the organic matter in garden soil. And now is a great time to add it as a layer in the garden to help nourish seeds and seedlings....  Go to full article
Trillium and other iconic North Country wildflowers pose a challenge for gardeners. Archive Photo of the Day, 5/18/11: Gregory Kle

Spring wildflowers in nature and the garden

A walk in the woods may seem like an optimistic activity during mud season. But early wildflowers are a sign of hope that a new season has begun. It's amazing to find...  Go to full article

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