Gardening With Tony

Seasonal Pruning Is Precisely That

seasonal pruning
UNITED STATES—Seasonal pruning is just as the terminology implies, seasonal. It might seem as if it all happens in winter. Most of it begins after cooling autumn weather initiates dormancy. Most of it is completed before warming spring weather stimulates vascular activity and resumption of growth. That is why most seasonal pruning is referred to simply as winter pruning....

Fruit For Jellin’ Like A Melon

UNITED STATES—Jelly and jam made from garden grown fruit affords more prestigious bragging rights than merely growing the fruit. Using unusual or disregarded fruit makes it even more interesting. It is not too much work, but involves a different kind of creativity. So many of us who are proficient in the garden are not so proficient in the kitchen. Apricot,...

Flowers Might Be Getting Scarce

UNITED STATES—It makes sense for flowers to bloom in spring. Winter is too cool, windy and damp for both flowers and the insects that pollinate many of them. By summer, successfully pollinated flowers have faded, are busy making seed to disperse in autumn. Some plants produce fruit to get birds and other animals to disperse their seed. There are...

Sustainability Is A Contradictory Fad

UNITED STATES—The original Dodge Dart, with the slant-six engine, was not much to look at, but was built to last. While cars were expected to last 10 years or a hundred thousand miles, Darts easily lasted twice as long or twice as far. A few are still going now! Such resiliency really made a reputation for Dodge. The problem...

Summer Vegetables Replace Winter Vegetables

vegetables
UNITED STATES—Every year at about this time, there is the same concern that it is too early to put summer or warm season vegetables into the garden. When the time comes, replacing warm season vegetables with winter or cool season vegetables will also seem to be too early. Nonetheless, it is best to start the transition early so the...

Cats Do What Cats Want

UNITED STATES—Anyone who has ever owned a cat knows that no one owns a cat. They do whatever they want to do, whenever and however they want to do it. They take orders from no one. If they decide to use a dry spot in the garden as their litterbox, or a tree trunk as their scratching post, it...

To Mulch Is Not Enough

UNITED STATES—Most plants would prefer the real thing; how they do it in the wild. They drop their leaves, flowers and twigs. Deciduous plants do it mostly in autumn. Evergreens might spread it out through the year. The debris accumulates on the ground below, and decomposes at about the same rate as it accumulates. There is no one there...

Houseplants Bring The Outdoors In

UNITED STATES—Philodendrons, dracaenas, ferns, palms or any sort of tropical foliage inside our homes only create an illusion of closeness to nature. Naturally, these plants live in very different climates, mostly thousands of miles away. Not only do they have no business in our homes; they have no business on the North American Continent. Some can live in the...

Leaves Are Starting To Fall

UNITED STATES—Autumn color is different every year. Sometimes, early and sudden cool weather after a mild summer promotes good foliar color that lingers longer while relaxed trees slowly realize that they should probably start to defoliate. Sometimes, early wind and rain accelerate defoliation of otherwise good color. There are a few variables that trees must adapt their performance to. Warm...

Houseplants Might Enjoy Some Weather

currants not houseplants
UNITED STATES—They were not always houseplants. They came from somewhere else. Most came from shady tropical forests, which is why they have such big dark green leaves, and are so tolerant of shady home interiors. They are pretty good sports about tolerating the domestic lifestyles that we subject them to, but they would really prefer to be thousands of...
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