Gardening With Tony

Spontaneous Limb Failure Is Real

spontaneous limb failure
UNITED STATES—It sounds like science fiction, but it is not. Every spring and during particular summer weather, limbs can fall from trees without warning, and seemingly for no reason at all. It happens when least expected, while the weather is warm and perhaps humid, but notably without wind. The lack of wind is what makes it so unexpected. It...

Overgrown Shrubbery Becomes Small Trees

UNITED STATES—Those of us with 'maintenance gardeners' are likely aware of how rare it is to find someone who knows how to maintain hedges properly. It seemed so simple years ago. Several identical plants could simply be planted in a row, and then somewhat regularly shorn for confinement to a prescribed space. They were not allowed to exceed a...

Potted Plants Are Living Things

potted plants
UNITED STATES—Cut Christmas trees really are the way to go. There is no obligation to take care of them after Christmas. They do not need to be planted out into a garden that will be too small for them as they grow. They do not need to be maintained in a pot, only to get disfigured or partially defoliated...

Summer Dormancy Is No Mystery

dormancy
UNITED STATES—California buckeye, Aesculus californica, is an enigma. How does it survive while defoliated for so much of the year? Not all are so mysterious. Those that live in sheltered or forested situations behave like normal deciduous trees, by defoliating in autumn, and refoliating in spring, after a brief winter dormancy. Those that are more exposed in warm and...

Think Outside The Nursery Pot

UNITED STATES—A dressed turkey that is packaged for retail sale in a supermarket is not ready to be eaten right away. If frozen, it must be thawed slowly. It must then be unwrapped; and little bag of giblets must be removed from inside, before the turkey gets stuffed and finally cooked. Although the inexperienced sometimes cook, a turkey with...

Crop Rotation Improves Vegetable Production

crop rotation
UNITED STATES—A south or west facing fence is a perfect place to grow pole beans. Twine can be strung in a zig-zag pattern between single rows of partly protruding nails along the top and bottom. The spacing of the nails should match that of the pole bean plants. Bean seed sown at the base of the fence germinate and...

Arborists Maintain The Big Trees

arborists
UNITED STATES—The trees know what time of year it is. Even evergreen trees have shed some of their older foliage through late summer. Deciduous trees generally start later, but will be more blatant about their process as they defoliate completely through autumn to winter. Some get strikingly colorful first, as if to brag about it. Foliage is not so...

Warm Season Vegetables Start Now

warm season vegetables
UNITED STATES—The calendar does not always agree with the weather. It really is about time to start replacing aging cool season vegetable plants with fresh new warm season vegetables. Earlier warm and dry weather had suggested that it was getting late. More recent frosty weather followed by rain suggested otherwise. Regardless, there is no point in arguing with what...

Plan Ahead For Coniferous Evergreens

UNITED STATES—We all know what autumn is for. Planting, of course. Yes, it is a recurring theme; but there are so many different things to plant. Dormant bulbs need to get into the ground before cool and rainy winter weather. Deciduous plants that should be planted while dormant prefer an early start if planted as soon as they defoliate...

Deadheading Promotes And Prolongs Bloom

deadheading
UNITED STATES—April showers bring May flowers. May flowers make a mess. Well, some of them do. Most simply disintegrate and fall from the trees, shrubs and vines that produced them, and decompose into the soil below. Some might have needed to be swept off of pavement and decks. Regardless, most of us do not notice the very minor consequences...
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