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News stories tagged with "gardening"

Potatoes rising. Photo: Ellen Rocco
Potatoes rising. Photo: Ellen Rocco

Planning for potatoes

It isn't the growing season yet in the North Country, not by a long shot, but it is planning time. Catalogs for seeds, gardening supplies and gadgets are the first signs of spring in many households. The potential looks limitless...and overwhelming.

Amy Ivy, horticulturist with Cooperative Extension, shares a fun idea for a summer project that can work even for non-gardeners: potatoes.  Go to full article
Red wigglers raised on coffee grounds and other kitchen scraps. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/13359925@N02/3217409170/">Marc Tyler</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Red wigglers raised on coffee grounds and other kitchen scraps. Photo: Marc Tyler, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Welcome the red wrigglers for indoor composting

Worms? In your kitchen? Eeeew! But wait... Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy tells Martha Foley a little bin of red wigglers under your sink (or, in her case, your desk) makes a great project for kids, as well as a supply of compost for houseplants and garden.

True, it's a small-scale operation probably not suited to handling all your vegetable-y food waste, but still, she says it's fun, and NOT smelly.  Go to full article
Christmas Cactus in bloom. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/skynoir/4160484800">Sky Noir</a>, Creative Commons, some roghts reserved
Christmas Cactus in bloom. Photo: Sky Noir, Creative Commons, some roghts reserved

Keeping holiday greenery happy

Did you get a plant as a gift for the holidays? Horticulturist Amy Ivy has some winter indoor plant care tips for poinsettias, Christmas cactus, cyclamens, and ideas for recycling the Christmas tree.  Go to full article
Ice storm, December 2013. Photo by Mark Kurtz
Ice storm, December 2013. Photo by Mark Kurtz

What to do for ice-covered trees

Trees and shrubs are bent and broken under the weight of the icy mix of rain, sleet and snow that fell over the weekend. So the topic of today's yard and garden conversation is no surprise.

Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy shares what to do, and what NOT to do for ice covered limbs and branches. First, she says, do no harm: be gentle. It's tempting to try to knock the ice off a tree or branch that's bent low with ice, but Amy says that can do more damage, possibly even break the branch altogether. Her advice is to prop up a limb if you want to try and help.

There's no hurry, she says. Don't risk life and limb to do any yard work, it's OK to wait till the ice is gone and the footing is better for working. Waiting won't make things worse for the tree or shrubs. When you DO decide to prune broken tree limbs, she says, make a clean cut, and it's best take the whole branch.

Finally, she says, she'll be waiting till spring to tackle shrubs that need pruning.  Go to full article
Two kinds of bird feeders, with shelter. Photo by Hank Hoffman, who lives in Ottawa. He says Phoenix the cat is is indoors-only and enjoys watching them both. And don't get him started on the squirrels.
Two kinds of bird feeders, with shelter. Photo by Hank Hoffman, who lives in Ottawa. He says Phoenix the cat is is indoors-only and enjoys watching them both. And don't get him started on the squirrels.

Feeding the birds, for them and for you

The days are short. It's really cold. And now the landscape is snow-covered, all across the North Country.

Ideal conditions for feeding the birds. And there are lots of choices to make, about what to feed and how. Cheap, giant bags of mixed seeds? Not great. Ditto, stal donuts.

Amy Ivy shares best practices with Martha Foley in their weekly conversation.  Go to full article
Christmas tree farm. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/39792195@N00/3114276220/">Melissa</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Christmas tree farm. Photo: Melissa, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Yes, you can enjoy a Christmas tree, guilt-free

Just in case you're feeling guilty about cutting a tree for Christmas, or buying a cut tree, or if you just feel bad when you see all those formerly live trees, Amy Ivy says, don't worry.

Amy is horticulturist with the Cooperative Extension Service. She tells Martha Foley Christmas trees are another valuable regional crop, and a good example of a renewable resource.  Go to full article
Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/dichohecho/4254593017/">Sarah</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Photo: Sarah, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Do trees and shrubs suffer from the cold and wind?

A winter storm watch is posted for this week, on top of a windy, cold few days. Storm windows and extra layers help us humans, but what about our trees and shrubs?

Do they get a sudden shock when a cold snap hits in November? Maybe. Amy Ivy talks with Martha Foley about the effects of cold and wind on trees and shrubs, and has tips on what to do to help them stand the bitter weather better.  Go to full article
Don't forget to water your fall plantings. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/horrigans/4714481169/">Sarah Horrigan</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Don't forget to water your fall plantings. Photo: Sarah Horrigan, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Odds and ends in the garden

Most of us backyard gardeners have probably turned our energy to annual jobs like putting up storm windows and bringing in firewood. But there are still odds and ends of chores that could fill the chinks in between those crucial pre-winter chores.

In their weekly conversation, Cooperative Extension's Amy Ivy and NCPR's Martha Foley run through a quick list. Most are not must-dos...except one: watering this past season's new plantings.  Go to full article
Roseanne Gallagher, with chickens. Photo: Sarah Harris.
Roseanne Gallagher, with chickens. Photo: Sarah Harris.

Certified naturally grown: an organic alternative

It can be expensive and time-consuming for farmers, especially small farmers, to go through the organic certification process. But there's another option. It's called certified naturally grown. The grassroots organization that offers this label uses organic standards, has farmers conduct inspections for their peers, and provides marketing materials.  Go to full article
Last chance for planting garlic bulbs. Photo: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/34167928@N05/3583522970/">artefatia</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved
Last chance for planting garlic bulbs. Photo: artefatia, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Last call for fall garden chores

With a mix of snow and rain in the forecast this week, horticulturist Amy Ivy says this is really the last week for getting bulbs - garlic, tulip - in the ground this season. Amy also spoke with Todd Moe about putting the lawn to bed for the winter.  Go to full article

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