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    January Vegetable Garden Zone-by-Zone

    spring planting

    January brings the start of a new garden season. All gardeners can begin planning this year’s vegetable and herb garden in January and some will start planting this month. To start the vegetable garden year, ask yourself these questions: Which vegetable do we want for fresh eating? Which do we want for freezing and storing […] More

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    November Planting and To-Dos Zone-by-Zone

    succession crops

    The vegetable garden will finish its transition to the cool season in November in the Northern Hemisphere. Cool-season greens and root crops should be in the ground now. Gardeners must be prepared to protect winter crops from frost in southern regions to snow and ice in northern gardens. Winter vegetables can be grown in plastic […] More

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    October Planting Zone-by-Zone

    Fall vegetable garden

    October is a busy month in the vegetable, herb, and fruit garden. Some summer crops are still ripening in the garden. Most are at harvest stage if they have not already been harvested. Check your planting calendar to make sure you harvest warm-season crops at their maturity date or soon after; don’t let them linger […] More

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    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

    This map of climate zones will help you select plants for your garden that will survive a typical winter in your region. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) developed the map. The ones are based on the average lowest temperatures across the United States. Zone 1 is the coldest region and Zone 11 is […] More

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    Hand Pollination of Vegetables

    Hand pollination

    Hand pollination is the manual transfer of pollen from the stamen of one plant to the pistil of another–that is from a male flower to a female flower. Members of the Cucurbit family–squash, melons, pumpkins, and cucumbers–often have pollination problems because the male flowers commonly open days before the female flowers and so often drop […] More

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    How to Start New Plants from Cuttings

    Cuttings from existing plants can be used to start new plants. You can start new plants from trimmings of grapes, figs, perennial herbs such as rosemary and lemon verbena, and even from some vegetables such as peppers and tomatoes. No special tools or equipment are needed to start new plants from cuttings. You will need […] More

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    How to Avoid Damping-Off

    Damping-off

    Damping-off is the term gardeners use to describe the wilting and death of seedlings just before or just after they emerge from the soil.  Seedlings that suddenly collapse or fall over or bare spots in containers or in the garden where seeds were sown but never appeared are signs of damping-off. Damping-off is not caused […] More

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    Animal Pest Control in the Garden

    Deer in garden

    Animal pests can decimate a vegetable garden or orchard in little time. Here are controls for animal pests in the garden. Birds Starlings, cowbirds, grackles, blackbirds, and crows are voracious feeders. Target Plants: Berries and high sugar level fruits. Organic Controls: Large plants such as blueberries: Create a frame around the plants or place posts […] More

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    Planning the Home Fruit Garden

    Planning the home fruit garden requires a bit more future-thinking than the vegetable garden. Most vegetables are annuals or biennials and spend just one or two seasons in the garden. Most fruits are trees or shrubs and live for 10 to 50 years or more. The first consideration in planning an edible garden—either fruit or […] More

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    Fruit Tree Chill Hours

    Fruit chill hours

    Chill hours are the number of cold hours or days that a deciduous fruit tree (or nut tree) requires for flowering and fruit production each year. Every fruit tree variety has its own number of hours of chill needed for fruit production. Some fruit trees need as few as 100 chill hours, others need as […] More

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    Pruning Fruit Trees for Fruit

    Prune fruit tree

    Fruit trees can be grown for fruit or shade. If you are growing a fruit tree for shade, pruning is not necessary. If you are growing a fruit tree for fruit, you should prune. A fruit tree that goes unpruned will produce fruit, but in all likelihood, the fruit will be smaller and less flavorful […] More