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Apr 5, 2014 — More and more city dwellers are trying their hand at urban gardening. Most know to be wary of lead in their soil, a report finds, but they're clueless about how to avoid other types of contaminants.
Dec 16, 2013 — A woman in Miami Shores, Fla., is suing her town after it forced her to remove vegetables from the garden in her front yard, which she had tended for 17 years. She's being backed by a a national public interest law firm, but the town says it's a long-standing zoning ordinance that won't be overturned.
Dec 3, 2013 — The space agency has announced plans to grow turnips, basil and cress on the moon by 2015. The experiment could be good news for astronauts sick of their freeze-dried fare. But researchers say the real goal is to see if humans could one day live — and farm — on the moon.
Jul 12, 2013 — Earlier this week we told you about people who want to see micro-gardening go big. We've chosen a few of our favorite images of micro-gardens from around the country that make the most of small spaces and idle containers.
Jul 9, 2013 — Micro-gardens are small spaces, such as balconies, patios and rooftops, cultivated with planting containers like wooden boxes and trash cans. Now, creative reuse of old materials and some new tools for sale are making it easier for urban dwellers to stretch their green thumbs.

Gardening Links

Amy Ivy
Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy
Garden Rant
Encyclopedic Guide to Northeastern Weed Species on CD-ROM: Cornell Weed Ecology

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Special Features

Audio Series
Local Flavors: Todd Moe keeps it homegrown in this series focused on eating locally, and on sustainable agriculture and gardening.
Wild grapevine tendrils. Photo: <a href="">Kristen Skiles</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Wild grapevine tendrils. Photo: Kristen Skiles, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Short-term gain in the yard-work department

There's a lot to be said for the burst of energy that leads a person to whack down the tangle of wild grapevines, or blackberries, or box elders that's used the past summer to take over some corner of the yard.

It feels good to clean all that stuff out. But according to Cornell Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy, the gain, and probably the satisfaction, will be short-lived. It may be worth it, but some strategic planning can help extend the benefits.  Go to full article
Early October, and time to clean out the perennials! Photo: Martha Foley

Fall chores to do, and not to do...yet

First: it isn't time to plant garlic yet, according to Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy. She says October 1 used to be the time-post for planting garlic, but the end of October is now the accepted date.

There are plenty of other chores to fill a gardener's time, however. Cleaning out the perennial beds, moving some things with extra care are all on the list in this week's conversation.  Go to full article
Improving clay topsoil with peat and composted manure. Photo: <a href="">Kathleen Farley</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

The lowdown on good dirt

A foundational conversation for gardeners this morning: Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy breaks down the good and not-so-good about topsoil.

Whether you're filling raised beds, raising the grade in a spot of the garden, or putting the finishing landscaping around a construction project, good topsoil will make a big difference.

Amy runs through the basic ingredients, and how to make sure the soil you buy or mix yourself will do the job.  Go to full article
With cold nights and sunny days bright fall foliage is finally here. Archive Photo of the Day: Patricia Lincourt.

How to help plants survive a frost or two

Scattered frost doesn't necessarily mean the end of the vegetable garden. Some tender leafy plants won't survive (basil, winter squash...), and fruits like tomatoes and...  Go to full article
Gather cone flower seeds when the petals are long gone, and the seeds shake easily from the seed head. Photo: Kary Johnson

End of the line in the garden: saving seeds and salvaging plants

With widespread freeze and frost warnings in the forecast, Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy offers some last-ditch tips on preserving the best of the summer's...  Go to full article
Aeration helps the lawn to "breathe" and to absorb moisture and nutrients. Photo: <a href="">Christian Guthier</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Tips for a timely lawn tune-up

It's a busy month for gardeners. You could be canning and/or freezing your produce. You could be cleaning out the spent plants and pulling the weeds again for the off-season....  Go to full article
Leek moth pupa on a garlic leaf. The larva of this invasive pest affects onions, garlic, leeks, chives and shallots. It was first discovered in the US in 2009 in a home garden in Plattsburgh, NY. Photo: <a href="">Ontario Ministry of Agriculture and Food</a>

Caterpillars and moths: pests to watch for

There IS always something.

Last week, Cornell Cooperative Extension sent...  Go to full article
Chip Taylor, one of America's leading Monarch butterfly experts and activists, visited Tupper Lake over the weekend. Photo:  Brian Mann

Monarch butterfly population plummets

This summer, scientists and naturalists say the population of Monarch butterflies here in the North Country, Vermont and Canada is down sharply.

The great...  Go to full article
Brian Mann interviewing Monarch butteflies in the mountains of central Mexico in 2002. Photo:  Susan Waters

Story 2.0: Mexico's fragile Monarch sanctuary

Monarch butterflies that make the long journey from the North Country to Mexico face a lot of threats.

They winter over in mountain forests, taking shelter in...  Go to full article
Piriform tomatoes ripening on the vine. Photo: Jeanne Emery,<br />Watertown NY, from Photo of the Day archive

Fall's in the air, but it's still summer in the garden

Yes, there's definitely a chill around the edges, but it's still August, and there's still plenty of gardening weather ahead.
Cornell Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy...  Go to full article

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