Winter Damage still causing heartache for home gardeners

With the sweltering heat and humidity of summer upon us, the havoc of winter may be but just a memory. Many plant problems caused by the devastating cold of winter, however, are still persisting in the garden. Believe it or not, a majority of the calls that I and my fellow extension agents are receiving are all weather related — mostly from winter, but also … Continue reading Winter Damage still causing heartache for home gardeners

IPM: An ounce of pest prevention is worth a pound of cure

Pests and pestilence — this is a theme that runs through most of the calls and emails I receive during the garden season. The usual question is: “What do I spray to kill this?” Sometimes clients are hesitant to spray for pests. Sometimes, though, it seems like they are ready to prepare for all-out warfare. Perhaps the right question to ask is not about what … Continue reading IPM: An ounce of pest prevention is worth a pound of cure

Natural Christmas from old traditions

Turkey Day has come and gone, crowds have rushed out to buy more than they need or can afford, and traffic around shopping centers will be unbearable. It’s Christmas! It’s time to, in the words of Auntie Mame, “Haul out the holly.” I’ll be honest — when it comes to decorating for Christmas, I prefer a simpler, natural approach. I’m not a fan of giant … Continue reading Natural Christmas from old traditions

Fall bulbs for a colorful spring

The mercury (or red-dyed alcohol) creeps farther down the thermometer. Glimmering morning frost that highlights the world around us gives way to a bone-chilling freeze. Autumn colors fade from the hillside, leaving shivering, naked trees in their wake. Fall slowly gives way to the winter creeping up behind it. As temperatures dip, many gardeners find time for one last activity, a celebration of a gardening … Continue reading Fall bulbs for a colorful spring

Fall tasks are at hand

As we progress further into the cool, crisp days of autumn, it is time to turn our attention to preparing the garden for the winter to come and even look forward to next year’s garden. By preparing, you can conserve resources and energy for next year’s gardening season. This week, I’ll talk about a few things you can do to enjoy the garden in the … Continue reading Fall tasks are at hand

Tropical oasis created in W.Va.

About a month or so ago, I took a call from a guy named Johnny Carter, wanting me to come see his garden. He insisted that his backyard garden would be interesting enough to feature in my newspaper column. With some doubts, I promised that we would connect in late August, when my schedule was less hectic and his garden was “at its peak.” Of … Continue reading Tropical oasis created in W.Va.

What weeds are telling you

Sometimes it seems like there is just this one weed that has to ruin everything. It grows out of control, ruining the aesthetic of your lawn, landscape or garden. It outcompetes the things you actually want to grow. It looks horrible and grows way too fast to keep under control. I know that some people don’t mind weeds, or even appreciate them (many are tasty … Continue reading What weeds are telling you

Garden miracles or garden myths?

You can believe everything you see on the Internet, right? You can take for gospel every Facebook post, Tweet, Pinterest pin and Instagram photo, correct? It seems like many people get their gardening advice from shared content on the Internet and become unwitting victims of Internet myths. While these gardeners and those who share the false information may do so with the best of intentions, … Continue reading Garden miracles or garden myths?

Controlling weedy foes in the garden

Weeds seem to occupy the minds of gardeners for a great deal of the growing season. There are weeds in the landscape, weeds in the vegetable garden, weeds in the lawns … weeds, weeds and more weeds. Some people let the weeds preoccupy them for most of the gardening season, while others really couldn’t care less. Sometimes I just shake my head as I see … Continue reading Controlling weedy foes in the garden

Be water-wise and you’ll be OK when summer sky is dry

This year, I’ve had the opportunity to do some traveling. It turns out, though, that all of the wonderful places that I have visited have had one thing in common: drought. Earlier this year I traveled twice to California, and just last week I had the fortune of touring farms around New Mexico. Signs everywhere tell you to conserve water, and restaurants serve water only … Continue reading Be water-wise and you’ll be OK when summer sky is dry