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Less Talk. More Do.

Wed, 28 May 2014 07:30:45 +00002014-05-28T07:30:45Z

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This is the last blog post you'll be seeing here at About.com Gardening. I'll still be here, but the site is getting a long  overdue make-over and instead of my musings, the page will now feature my latest articles.

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10 Ways to Make Gardening Easier

Sat, 24 May 2014 09:30:15 +00002014-05-24T09:30:15Z

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I am getting seriously behind in my garden. (And no, that's not my garden in the photo above. It just seems that large when I weed it.) Between the bad weather and other obligations, I have plants that have yet to be planted and weeds ready to bloom.

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Colorful "Greens" - Swiss Chard

Fri, 23 May 2014 09:08:49 +00002014-05-23T09:08:49Z

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Cooking greens used to mean just spinach to me. Thank goodness I've since come to love the heftier greens, like kale and collards, or my green season would be over in May. My latest obsession is with Swiss Chard. I like the heartier texture, the beautiful colors and the mild, sharp flavor.

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Matches and Peppers

Sun, 18 May 2014 07:15:37 +00002014-05-18T07:15:37Z

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You've probably heard of adding a dash of Epsom salts to the planting hole for peppers. Epsom salts provide some supplemental magnesium which is thought to help peppers set flowers and fruits, especially during hot weather.

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Addicted to Flowering Tobacco

Sat, 17 May 2014 07:45:33 +00002014-05-17T07:45:33Z

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I have a weakness for Nicotiana sylvestris, which is also known by the unfortunate common name 'Flowering Tobacco'. It's tall and graceful, it gives off a wonderful jasmine-like scent at night and it's not invasive. Unfortunately it can attract aphids, but I can handle them. I just keep the hose handy.

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Best Flowers for a Late Spring Garden

Wed, 14 May 2014 09:12:15 +00002014-05-14T09:12:15Z

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Late spring used to be a lull in my flower border. The bulbs were fading and the summer show was still a month away. I don't know how I let this beautiful season slip by me. Maybe I was so focused on getting the vegetable garden planted or maybe all I could see was weeds waking up - everywhere. Whatever the reason, I've since corrected it by planting a smattering of these cheerful bloomers in saturated pastels that are perfect for bridging the gap.

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Too Cold for Broccoli?

Sun, 11 May 2014 10:40:53 +00002014-05-11T10:40:53Z

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Some vegetables can be challenging to grow. I'd put broccoli on that list. There are years when the plants grow beautifully, but the heads refuse to form. Strange, since so ...

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Pinch Me! Helping Your Plants Branch Out.

Fri, 09 May 2014 10:25:15 +00002014-05-09T10:25:15Z

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Is it that time already? I feel like I just got my plants in the ground and yet they're begging to be pinched back and deadheaded. Perennials really are little attention seekers, aren't they? And speaking of demanding, after all these years you would think basil plants would have learned to branch out on their own. Every year we have to train them.  Oh well, I garden because I love it and primping plants is a large part of gardening. After all, they'd be perfectly happy to bloom once and go to seed. We're the ones who expect them to perform week after week. So grab your pruners and get out there. It's time to pinch, prune and deadhead.

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Gardening on the Dark Side

Wed, 07 May 2014 09:30:21 +00002014-05-07T09:30:21Z

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Sooner or later we all venture into the dark side of gardening - pest search and destroy. I think I'm more tolerant of problems on my flowers than my vegetables but looking through Debbie Hadley's 12 Worst Vegetable Garden Pests gallery, I see that I've had them all. Luckily she also gives some chemical-free ways to annihilate them.

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Is Organic Rose Gardening an Oxymoron?

Sun, 04 May 2014 07:25:29 +00002014-05-04T07:25:29Z

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Can roses be grown organically? Of course. Growing roses organically is really no different than growing any type of plant with organic techniques - except that roses are notoriously prone to problems. It certainly helps to start with disease resistant rose varieties and there are a lot to choose from, including some new introductions and many of the older species roses. But even if you're devoted to hybrid teas, all hope is not lost. Organic rose gardening means more than just not using chemicals. It means giving the plant what it wants and needs to grow well. Do that and you'll have a healthy plant, better able to withstand pest attacks. Here are some tips.

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