Garden Maintenance

Garden MaintenanceSoils & Fertilizer

How to Grow: Dealing With Drought

Learn the best ways to reduce the effects of drought on your plants. Listen to podcast: Baby it's hot out there.... and dry. Some areas of our region have received only 50% to 75% of their normal rainfall. That combined with hot, sunny days has an impact on the garden. The first thing you'll notice is your soil will either repel or devour the available rains and added water. In clay soils, even summer down pours won't help for long. The soil is so dry, much of the water runs off. For sandy or loamy soils, they will suck up the water so...

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Garden Design & CarePerennials

How to Grow: Dividing Perennials

Learn how to divide and care for your perennial flowers including information on which flowers to divide when and the proper way to divide common perennials such as daylilies and iris. Listen to podcast: In his book Pass Along Plants. Felder Rushing talks about passing a long or sharing special garden plants he's had for years with friends, family, and neighbors. I love this idea. It's like having a remembrance of your friend in your garden. One of the best ways to pass along a perennial flower is to divide it and, for certain perennials,...

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AnimalsGarden Design & CarePodcastVegetable

How to Grow: Dog Friendly Gardening

Listen to this podcast on how to create a garden to be dog-friendly. Includes tips on the types of plants, fences and ways to keep your dog out of the garden.   We have two dogs, Rosie and Linus, and lots of gardens. Luckily, our Cavalier spaniels aren't big dogs nor are they interested in digging, flopping on plants and wreaking havoc in our garden. But I have friends with other dog breeds that struggle having a garden AND dogs around. So I thought to offer some tips on how to have a dog-friendly garden and a garden friendly dog. I'm...

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CompostingGarden MaintenancePodcastSoils & FertilizerVegetable

How to Grow: Earthworms

Learn about the benefits and problems with having earthworms in your soil. Listen to podcast: We all have played with the wiggly earthworm since childhood. As gardeners we've been taught to revere the earthworm as a master decomposer of organic matter and savior of plants growing on clay soils. But all is not what it seems with the earthworm. There is a dark side to this creature. First a little history. There are no native earthworms in North America. All the earthworms were wiped out in the last ice age 11,000 years ago. It was only when...

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Garden Design & CarePerennials

How to Grow: Fall Garden Cleanup

  As the leaves start dropping, many gardener's attention turns to fall garden cleanup. While this is an autumn tradition, there's some new advice about how and when to cleanup the yard and garden that might help make the work easier and help our bees, beneficial insects and birds. The best way for me to remember these new tips is to think of one of my commands for our dogs, “leave it.” Leaves on the lawn should be mowed and left to decompose. This creates a thin leaf layer that earthworms will feed on and enhance the soil. Thick...

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Garden Design & CarePerennials Videos

How To Grow: Fall Perennial Flower Care

Learn about caring for your perennial flowers in fall including how to cut back the plants, fertilize, add compost, weed and protect the plants from winter. Transcript Fall is the perfect time of year to clean up and cut back the perennial flower garden. I know you might be tired of doing all those gardening chores but this is an important one. When you cut back and clean up the flower garden you're reducing the amount of insects and diseases you'll have for next year. You reduce the amount of weeds that are around and you'll strengthen...

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CompostingGarden Maintenance

How to Grow: Food Scrap Composting

Learn about the best ways to compost food scraps in a small composter in fall and winter. Listen to Podcast: Although Vermont's new law on banning food scraps in landfills begins to take effect this fall, homeowners will still have a number of years to get their systems in place. But there's no reason to wait until the government tells you to do it. Food scrap composting is easy and produces great compost. Here's some tips to get started. Probably the easiest way to compost food scraps is to get a commercial composter. Plastic boxes are...

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Garden Design & Care Shrubs Trees

How to Grow: Forcing Flowering Branches

Learn how to force flowering branches into bloom indoors weeks before they bloom outdoors. Listen to podcast: I love garden chores that, as they say, kill two birds with one stone. This chore will cheer up your home in winter and get your trees and shrubs in shape for spring. It's called forcing flowering branches. When you prune crowded, broken or damaged branches in winter, many of the tree and shrub stems you'll be cutting are perfect for forcing indoors. Their branches are loaded with flower buds and all they need is some warmth and...

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Garden Design & CarePodcastVegetable

How to Grow: Gardening With Kids

Learn about the best ways to engage kids in gardening. Listen to podcast: One of the best gifts you can give a child, is to garden with them. Like myself, most adult gardeners started in the garden with mom, dad or a favorite grand parent. Introducing kids to gardening at a young age leads to a lifetime of healthy eating and loving plants and the environment. Yes, I believe gardeners make better people, too, as they learn life skills such as nurturing and working together. We're blessed in Vermont with many gardening organizations...

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Garden Design & Care HerbVegetable

How to Grow: Growing Veggies in Pots

Everyone wants to grow their own vegetables at home these days. However, many people don't have the space to grow a garden or time. The solution is containers. You can grow almost any vegetable in a container, depending on the variety. Here are some tips on growing vegetables in pots. Design Tips Some of the easiest vegetables and herbs to grow in containers for the biggest bang for your buck include greens, such as lettuce, arugula and Swiss chard; specialty peppers; radishes and beets, dwarf tomatoes; basil; oregano; and rosemary. The...

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