Gardening With Tony

Winter Annuals Are Moving In

winter annuals
UNITED STATES—It is inevitable. It begins at about the same time that cool season vegetable plants start to replace warm season vegetable plants. Cool season vegetables are now in season, and will grow during autumn and winter. They replace warm season vegetables of spring and summer. Winter annuals, or cool season annuals, now do the same for summer annuals. Some...

Cooler Weather Is Slower Weather

cooler
UNITED STATES—Weather is not quite as warm as it had been. Warm days do not last quite as long as they did earlier in summer. Afterward, the longer nights get a bit cooler. Technically, autumn is only a few days from now. Although seasonal changes are mild, and a bit later here than in other regions, they eventually catch...

Thorny Vegetation Is Naturally Repellent

thorny
UNITED STATES—Roses might be more fun to grow and prune without their thorns. Blackberries are easier to pick from thornless canes. Thorny vegetation is simply unpleasant to work with. Some very desirable plants, such as roses and most blackberries, are innately thorny. The only alternative to contending with their thorny condition is to grow something totally different. Thorns and similar...

Produce Fresh From The Garden

produce
UNITED STATES—Plants notice it before people do. They respond accordingly. Vegetative growth slows or stops completely. Most remaining bloom does likewise. Fruit and seed finish developing. Less fresh produce is available from the garden. Boston ivy and Japanese maples might already be changing color. They all know that the days are shorter and nights are cooler. Warm season produce gets...

Late Summer Bloom Until Frost

late summer
UNITED STATES—Seasonal changes keep gardening interesting. Like colors of a rainbow, seasons are not as distinct as their dates on a calendar imply. Each evolves into the next. Spring evolves into summer. Late summer is presently evolving into autumn. It happens like red evolves into orange on a rainbow. It is amazing that plants can monitor the changes so...

Seasonal Changes Keep Gardening Interesting

seasonal
UNITED STATES—Gardening is work. The extent of such work is proportionate to the techniques and scale of the gardening. Substantial gardens likely need substantial work. Fruit trees, roses and vegetables need more specialized work than lawns and wildflowers. Seasonal changes demand a strict schedule. It never ends. It is ironic that so many enjoy gardening to relax. In some climates,...

Mail Order Fakes And Realities

mail order
UNITED STATES—Sea Monkeys are one of the most famous of mail order scams. Their original $0.49 price was not cheap for children who made the first purchases in 1957. They were nothing like their playful portrayals in comic book advertisements. They were minuscule brine shrimp who were incapable of building castles, playing tennis, or even just smiling for a...

Houseplant Culture That Contradicts Gardening

houseplant
UNITED STATES—Houseplant culture is a unique type of horticulture. It involves almost no gardening. Most houseplants live exclusively indoors. Many inhabit homes and offices that lack gardens. Only a few fortunate sorts get to occasionally enjoy mild weather in home gardens. Such indulgences are generally brief and sheltered. Most houseplants are innately vulnerable. Of course, no houseplant is native to...

Mulch Is Lowly But Practical

mulch
UNITED STATES—Gardening is unnatural. Most popular plant species are not naturally native. Cultivars are products of unnatural selection and breeding. Most plants like unnatural watering. Some enjoy unnatural fertilizers. Removal of their detritus is unnatural. So is the replacement of their detritus with mulch. Actually, most of what happens in the garden is quite unnatural. Ironically, gardening is how many...

Ground Cover Works Like Mulch

ground cover
UNITED STATES—Weeding otherwise bare and unused ground is no fun. Nor is weed whacking. Mulching inhibits future weed growth, but requires occasional replenishment. For many situations, ground cover plants are more practical. Once established, many sorts effectively exclude most weeds. Even more contain dust, and inhibit erosion of the surface of the soil below. As the terminology implies, ground cover...
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