Spring Gardening Stories


Sunflowers for Midwestern Gardens


Sunflowers are traditional in the typical Midwestern garden, but modern hybrids have greatly expanded the palette of choices. Whether you want short, medium or tall; yellow, burgundy, bronze or brown; seed for the birds; or just pretty to look at, there’s a sunflower for you. Gardeners will find two different types of sunflowers available from garden centers and online catalogs: Those grown for their edible seeds, and those grown primarily as ornamentals. Traditional sunflowers are […]


Assessing Freeze Injury on Horticultural Plants


As so many gardeners are staying at home these days, we’ve had more opportunity to enjoy the spring display. And then, perhaps inevitably, “normal” spring frost and freeze visited. Some plants are vulnerable to damage. The amount of damage will depend on how far along they are in their development. Home fruit-growers may have reason to be concerned: At 28 F, you can expect a 10 percent loss of flowers/young developing fruit. However, at 25 […]


Advice for first-time gardeners: Start small


As so many of us are spending much more time at home these days, this might be the perfect time to think about starting a vegetable garden! In addition to adding fresh produce to your diet, gardening can offer both physical and mental therapeutic benefits. Anyone can develop a green thumb, as long as they’re willing to invest a little time, patience and elbow grease. Good planning is essential to successful gardening. Start your garden […]


Spring Garden Shows Cure Winter Blahs


Whether you’re new to gardening or a seasoned green thumb, you’ll find lots of inspiring ideas at area gardening shows this spring.  No matter what your location, you’ll find at least one show within reach for a one-day excursion. Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Chicago, and Louisville are just a sampling of the great garden shows we can eagerly anticipate. February 27 – March 1 Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show Memorial Coliseum Fort Wayne, Indiana February […]


Bee proactive in protecting pollinators


Gardeners play a critical role in the nurturing and conservation of both native and introduced pollinators. Gardens and landscapes provide pollinators with food, water, shelter and habitat to complete their life cycles. Urban areas typically feature large areas of pavement and buildings and offer little in the way of food or shelter for pollinators. Garden plantings can help bridge the gap. By federal proclamation, June 17-23, 2019, is National Pollinator Week. Now in its 12th […]


Leafy vegetables ready for short, cool growing season


Leafy vegetables are more nutritious and have fewer calories than most other vegetables, and they’re easy to grow. Most greens can be grown in relatively short, cool growing seasons, making them available for fresh harvest earlier than most other crops. If properly planned, fresh, leafy greens can be harvested all season long. Leafy vegetables adapted to cool Indiana spring and fall growing conditions include lettuce, spinach, mustard, collards, endive, and kale. Many new cultivars of […]


Rhubarb is prone to bolting. Here’s what to do


We humans can be so difficult to please. When plants flower when we want them to, we call it blooming. But when plants flower when we don’t want them to, we call it bolting. Flowering is an undesirable trait when growing rhubarb; therefore, bolting describes the event. Gardeners frequently ask why their rhubarb is bolting. Well, if you think of it from the plant’s perspective, it is just a part of the plant’s natural life […]


March Gardening Calendar


HOME (Indoor plants and activities) Begin fertilizing houseplants as new growth appears. Remove spent leaves and flowers to improve appearance and encourage more blooms. Start garden seeds indoors for transplanting outdoors later in spring. Check stored bulbs and produce for decay; discard damaged items. Prune, repot, and clean houseplants as needed. YARD (Lawns, woody ornamentals, and fruits) Prune trees and shrubs (except those that bloom early in spring) while plants are still dormant. If you […]


Indiana’s State Tree is a Popular Landscape Choice


If you’ve ever had to work on a tree leaf collection, no doubt you included a leaf from Indiana’s state tree. Also known as tulip poplar and yellow poplar, the tuliptree is actually not a poplar at all. It is a member of the magnolia family known botanically as Liriodendron tulipifera. The tuliptree is native to most of the eastern half of the United States and prefers rich, moist, well-drained, loamy soil. It is found throughout […]


Tomatoes Are Tops for Summer Crops


Most gardeners would agree that tomatoes are the most popular crop for home growing. But what gardeners can’t agree on is what tomato is considered “the best, since taste is such a personal matter. The diversity of cultivars available makes it easy for anyone to grow tomatoes even if all you have is a pot on the patio. The Burpee Seed Company introduced the first F1 hybrid tomato ‘Big Boy’ in 1949. Since then, plant […]


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