A gardener’s calendar: advice, reflections, facts, and folklore for the year


4 New Moon Do not overwater your Christmas cactus. If the soil is too wet, the buds will drop off.

6 Epiphany He who plants a garden, plants happiness.–Chinese proverb

13 St. Hilary Feed the birds. Roll pinecones in peanut butter and cornmeal.

19 Full Wolf Moon Cut witch hazel to bring indoors now.

25 Conversion of St. Paul Fair on St. Paul’s conversion day is favorable to all fruits.


2 New Moon Gardening is the only unquestionably useful job.

–George Bernard Shaw, English playwright (1856-1950)

3 Chinese New Year Save chopsticks from Asian take-out restaurants to use as plant stakes.

12 St. Eulalie If the Sun smile on St. Eulalie’s day It is good for apples and cider, they say.

18 Full Snow Moon It takes between 40 and 50 gallons of maple sap to make 1 gallon of maple syrup.

21 George Washington’s Birthday (observed)


4 New Moon Excellent high-nitrogen items for the compost pile include eggshells, hair, and fruit and vegetable scraps.

9 Ash Wednesday Wherever the wind lies on Ash Wednesday, it continues during all of Lent.

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What will you Think Before Creating a Garden?

You have already been gardening for any couple of years right now and also have learned that this really is one pastime you want to keep. I think electric lawn mower reviews may help you to learn more. Gardening not just provides a person individual satisfaction, however, your house as well as lawn never appeared much better. The only real issue may be the much more a person lawn the greater equipment and tools a person build up. Time offers arrive that you should supply your own equipment and tools having a house of the personal. The garden gets rid of may be the ideal spot to maintain those gardening necessities in a single location and also you are planning on creating your personal get rid of.

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Tops in tomatoes: experts weigh in on the best-tasting, plus new trends

It’s probably the first edible you grew. If so, then you know that once you’ve tasted a homegrown tomato, it’s hard to swallow grocery store versions. If not, then you’re in for a treat. Tomatoes are easy to propagate, produce big crops even in containers, and are lusciously flavored. But not just any or every tomato qualifies. This is why we asked the pros which tomatoes taste the best. Most of them agree that tomatoes with an acid-sweet balance, enhanced with other flavors, are tops.

“I love the earthy, exotic, acid-sweet balance of the black tomato ‘Paul Robeson’,” says Gary Ibsen of Carmel, California, founder of TomatoFest, an heirloom seed company that sponsored a tomato contest of the same name for 17 years.

Another seedsman, George Ball Jr., CEO of 134-year-old W. Atlee Burpee & Co., agrees. His favorite is ‘Big Boy’: “It has the perfect balance of tangy and sweet.”
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Get a jump on the season … grow gorgeous green

As winter wanes, we tend to fantasize over seed catalogs, imagining how productive i and beautiful the garden will be this year. It can be tempting to start seeds early. In northern regions, the wait until the soil is warm enough and “all danger of frost has passed” for heat-loving mainstays such as tomatoes, basil, peppers, and squashes can seem interminable.

So don’t wait: Turn to the catalog pages for cold-hardy greens. The descriptions will lift your spirits: “Prefers cool weather.” “Ready for tossing into salad or soup 3 or 4 weeks after seeding.” “Plant as early as the soil can be worked.”


Early cold-hardy greens make the most of space | in vegetable beds. They are harvested before warm-season crops fill out and then planted again in late summer for a fall harvest.

* Greens such as kale, romaine, radicchio, and mizuna can be started indoors, then hardened off outside in partial shade before transplanting.

* An early-season garden with kale, lettuce, onion, rhubarb, and asparagus.

* ‘Mei Quing’ Chinese cabbage (below) and self-sewn ‘Osaka’ Japanese red mustard spinach (bottom) are almost too pretty to eat.
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Uncommon conifers conifers have no pizzazz part 2


Consider the texture of needle-leaved trees and shrubs available for year-round landscape and remember: Although evergreens don’t drop all of their leaves at once, they shed old needles or leaves and replace them with new ones on a regular basis. New growth usually appears in the spring.

These Have Needlelike Foliage

* Cedar (Cedrus): green to blue (depending on species), sharply pointed, 1-inch-long needles are held in whorls of 20 to 45 needles.

* Japanese cedar (Cryptomeria japonica): Light to dark green, forward-pointing, 1/4- to 1/2-inch needles spiral around the branches in groups of five.

* Douglas fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii): 1/2- to 1-inch, soft, blue-green needles

* Fir (Abies): Soft, flat, 1- to 2 1/2-inch needles may be dark green or blue, depending on species, with silvery or whitish undersides.

* Hemlock (Tsuga): Short (1/4- to 1-inch), soft needles have white bands on the underside of each needle.

* Juniper (Juniperus): Short, sharp, awl-shape juvenile needles, 1/4- to 1/2-inch long, precede fans of scratchy, scalelike, 1/16- to 1/4-inch adult foliage; color varies considerably among species and cultivars, ranging from medium green to shades of blue, gold, and gray green.
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Uncommon conifers conifers have no pizzazz part 1

Create a backyard haven; if you’re only feeding birds in your backyard, you’re not doing enough

Conifer choices are no longer limited to dull green hedges or “meatballs” or trees that rapidly outgrow their spaces. Today’s evergreens don’t even have to be green their needles may be gold, blue, purple, or flecked with yellow or white. Some change color with the seasons. Plus, the variety of shapes and sizes suit many styles: Dwarf trees are suitable for smaller landscapes; some conifers’ pendulous branches create a weeping effect; others narrow, upright trees form visual screens or dramatic accents.

Smaller landscapes need smaller trees, and many conifer introductions of recent years have been selected for their dwarf and/or slow-growing habits. They provide the natural beauty of their (often very large) species without needing constant pruning.

When selecting evergreen trees and shrubs for your landscape, knowing a plant’s mature size and how rapidly it will reach that size is essential to making a good choice (see “Be Size Wise” below). Here are just a few examples of conifers that are particularly suited to unique roles in the landscape.
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Have you grown tomatoes in the same garden spot for years

Have you grown tomatoes in the same garden spot for years? You could be asking for trouble

If you grow plants from the same plant family on the same plot of land over and over, the soil becomes depleted of nutrients, and insects and diseases become firmly established. The failure to pay heed to basic crop rotation principles has had a hand in some of the world’s largest agricultural catastrophes, such as the Irish potato famine in the mid-1800s and the American Dust Bowl of the 1930s.

Crop rotation is the simple practice of growing plants in a different place in your garden in a logical sequence in each successive growing season. Depending on what you are growing and the size of your garden, you can plan rotations that span 3, 4, 5, 6 even 20 years!

You may think of crop rotation as something only for farmers with huge fields. Think again. Dr. Alan Eaton, pest management specialist at the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension, says, “Even in a backyard garden, rotation can help.”


By moving susceptible plants, you make it harder for insects to establish themselves on them. “When bugs emerge, they have to find food soon or die,” says Eaton. “And it is hard [for them] to find a moving target.” Moving, or rotating, crops is especially effective against pests such as European corn borers, Colorado potato beetles (right), and flea beetles, which overwinter near their host crop.
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