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Gardening
Jul 9, 2014 — If you always end up killing your house plants, this week's innovation pick may help. This new microfarming appliance grows produce indoors with just seeds, an electrical outlet and a little water.
Apr 5, 2014 — More and more city dwellers are trying their hand at urban gardening. Most know to be wary of lead in their soil, a report finds, but they're clueless about how to avoid other types of contaminants.
Dec 16, 2013 — A woman in Miami Shores, Fla., is suing her town after it forced her to remove vegetables from the garden in her front yard, which she had tended for 17 years. She's being backed by a a national public interest law firm, but the town says it's a long-standing zoning ordinance that won't be overturned.
Dec 3, 2013 — The space agency has announced plans to grow turnips, basil and cress on the moon by 2015. The experiment could be good news for astronauts sick of their freeze-dried fare. But researchers say the real goal is to see if humans could one day live — and farm — on the moon.
Oct 29, 2013 — Older people who are active every day appear to lower their risk of heart disease and death by almost a third, even if they're not doing the kind of exercise that breaks a sweat. Gardening and puttering around the house qualify. And don't overlook berry-picking, a popular pastime in Sweden, where the study was done.
 

Gardening Links

Amy Ivy
Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy
Garden Rant
Encyclopedic Guide to Northeastern Weed Species on CD-ROM: Cornell Weed Ecology

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Special Features

Audio Series
Local Flavors: Todd Moe keeps it homegrown in this series focused on eating locally, and on sustainable agriculture and gardening.
Phosphorus used in gardens can contribute to algae blooms in lakes, like this one in 2012. Photo: Lake George Waterkeeper
Phosphorus used in gardens can contribute to algae blooms in lakes, like this one in 2012. Photo: Lake George Waterkeeper

For lawn and garden: the do's and don'ts of fertilizing

It's illegal to fertilize a lawn with phosporous in New York State. The Department of Environmental Conservation sent a press release around last week with that reminder (more information on this here.

There are exceptions, dependent on a soil test. Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy has lots of good information this week about that, and about fertilizers and fertilizing in general.

Top takeaways: don't fertilize your lawn till September anyway; do fertilize vegetables if they looked peaked; do fertilize flowers; don't fertilize woody herbs like thyme, sage and such; and as always, know your soil. Here's more information from Amy Ivy.  Go to full article
Invasive wild parsnip. Avoid contact; avoid a nasty rash. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/dmills727/3644070846/">Douglas Mills</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Beware the invasives; and small strawberries are good too!

Right about now, the roadsides can look more like flower gardens than some gardens do. Wonderful abundant mixes of color, texture, height: all the qualities you look for. Driving the back roads is more of a pleasure than ever.

But beware of a nasty, if beautiful, invasive plant that's taking over the verges in more and more areas. Wild parsnip looks kind of like a tall, yellow Queen Ann's Lace. But don't pick: it reacts with sunlight to produce a painful, scarring rash. Cooperative Extension horticulturist Amy Ivy says it's a great idea to mow it down to control it's spread, but make sure all your skin is covered when you do. It's bad.  Go to full article
Several types of hanging basket. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/ken_yasuhara/6116652111/">K. Yasahura</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

How to keep flower boxes and baskets looking their best

It's hard for a gardener to complain about this stone-summer weather. Heat, sun, plus a little rain here and there are a great combination to kick plants into high gear for growth.

But what can be all good for young tomato plants can be overdrive for hanging baskets and planters that were in full bloom when they went on sale for Mother's Day. They need constant care: water, food, and the occasional trimming. Amy Ivy has what to do, and why.  Go to full article
Tomato plants starting up a trellis. Photo: <a href="https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3648/3650652836_ca568ea7e6_o_d.jpg">Charles Dawley</a>, Creative Common, some rights reserved

Some tomato tips before the season kicks into high gear

Even if you don't have a garden, you can grow tomatoes in a sunny spot on your front steps or patio. They're one of the most popular vegetables. But they take some...  Go to full article
Rose chafer beetles at work. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/50352333@N06/4647992672/">Jason Sturner</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

First the blooms, then the bugs

Aren't the peonies lovely? And the first roses to bloom so pretty and fragrant? Along with the iris and the first day lilies, they give gardeners an early-summer shot of...  Go to full article
After removing the early weeds, mulching between rows will slow their return. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/90738513@N00/2522983940">Linda Beaverson</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Weeds, you say? Get 'em when they're little

The tiniest weeds might just be you're most important job right now. It's like the old "pound of prevention" saying. You can deal with a million weeds in a very short time,...  Go to full article
Part way done: some perennials back in place, soil amendment continues. Photo by Martha Foley

Out with the bad: taking control of the perennial garden

The first step can be the hardest when you've got a major Quackgrass infestation, or an "aggressive" perennial that's taking over. In Martha Foley's garden this spring, it...  Go to full article
They start small, but they don't (hopefully) stay that way. Make sure to leave enough space for you transplants to thrive. Photo: Martha Foley

Plants need their space too

It's tempting, all that nice open space in the garden. But as you plant the six packs of annuals, or divide and distribute the perennials, or arrange the rows of beets and...  Go to full article
Diana Beresford-Kroeger, among the hellebores. Photo: Sarah Harris

"Sacred and science go together" for botanist Diana Beresford-Kroeger

Travel half a mile down a tree-lined dirt road in southern Ontario, and you'll find an oasis, a wooden cabin surrounded by sprawling gardens. Diana Beresford-Kroeger lives...  Go to full article
It's still a little cool for transplanting tender flowers and warm weather vegetables. Photo: <a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/crabchick/7276027148/">crabchick</a>, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Not quite prime time for tender transplants

The calendar is a bit ahead of the weather this spring, and that means it's probably a good idea to proceed with caution in the garden.

Mother's Day typically...  Go to full article

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