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Good-humoured, evidence-based advice on many garden recommendations: some thatare good, some questionable, and some that are just plain wrong.
What I love most about this book is that the authors tell you why something works or doesn’t, and then suggest a better way to handle a situation.
Basic Gardening Fact: Jeff and Meleah fully support organic strategies for pest control, but warn against accepting a pesticide as perfectly safe simply because it’s organic. Basic Gardening Fact: Ask six gardeners to define full sun and you might get six different answers.
Basic Gardening Fact: I thought this, too, but it turns out these woody plants have woody root systems that aren’t as resilient as other perennials. Basic Gardening Fact: Most perennials do best when divided in early spring, as new growth begins to emerge. Basic Gardening Fact: Jeff and Meleah agree with a growing consensus that discarding potting soil each year is probably overkill for most container plants. I have always agreed that potting soil getting dumped at the end of the season is very wasteful! My Husband swears by plain water mixed with the squished unwanted bugs (scares off future ones because of the fear feramones.) Add more bugs at first to make more potent if necessary and shake before using.
Where I live we occasionally get violent rainstorms while the plants are still in full sun. More Articles8 Ways You Can Help Save the BeesHelp the declining pollinator population and become a bee champion.
How to Forage For Food in the WildAll it takes is a little know-how to find your next feast.
Recent PostsHere's what happens when schools let transgender students use the bathroom they want'Comedy Bang! Jeff is an associate professor of horticulture at the University of Minnesota, and Meleah is a master gardener.

Copper sulfate and pyrethrum are both natural, but can be poisonous to people and the environment. If a divided shrub survives, it will never develop a natural-looking shape because of its limited ability to regenerate. Although tree roots provide several functions, the roots that provide the most air, water and nutrients are just inches below the soil surface.
A valid and affordable alternative is to simply work in a little compost from year to year to improve the soil structure and provide added nutrients.
I will dump my pots into the wheelbarrow, add fresh soil,mulch, compost, etc, stir it up and reuse.
Over the years, they’ve fielded hundreds of gardening questions and have come across a lot of contradictory opinions. It’s much more efficient than trying to decipher the myths on your own—or waiting for advice from well-meaning passers-by. Choose perennials to minimize soil disturbance, and choose the smallest plants possible for the same reason.
The problem is, they’re predisposed to spread themselves out rather than congregate in a single spot.
Shrubs that produce offshoots, like lilacs or spireas, have better odds, but overall, the best way to propagate is from cuttings. But more forgiving veggies can get by with less – in some cases, as little as two hours! But experienced gardeners and professional landscapers move, divide and plant when the need strikes, be it spring, autumn or a summer day in between.
Plant too deeply and it decreases a tree’s lifespan, forcing roots to struggle upward for oxygen.
But if you’re growing a rare or cherished plant you’d hate to lose to disease, it’s worth the investment to change the potting soil annually.

Whatever the details of your winter weather, chances are you’re spending more time inside, maybe with a book or two. Right when I’m in the middle of applying some of those good, home-tested garden secrets to my yard, a well-intentioned person with his or her own home-tested secrets stops by and tells me I’m doing it wrong.
In an effort to set the record straight, they offer some smart, research-based advice to answer the questions they hear most often.
Meleah has had success planting “full-sun” flowers in spots that get less than three hours of direct sun, with filtered sun in the afternoon.
If your garden is somewhat on the shady side, try growing beans, broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, coriander, leeks, onions, peas, radishes and rutabaga.
Protect transplants from hot summer sun and heat by working in the early morning or evening, or on cloudy days. Position the root flare, where the main stem transitions to the roots, at or just above soil level. Some plants don’t take kindly to having wet leaves, they develop a fungus (tomatoes). Buy from a reputable source (usually online) and release near the insects you’d like them to feed on.
Soft-bodied insects like mites, aphids and immature mealybugs can be treated with a spray of 1 to 2 tablespoons of dish soap added to 1 gallon of water.
Her plants are healthy, although they’re shorter and sport fewer blooms than a neighbor’s specimens that get much more light. Stop transplanting about six weeks before the ground freezes, or you may lose plants to the cold.

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