Benefits of using plants indoors

Studies have shown that plants in homes and workplaces help reduce stress, increase productivity, enhance employee attitudes, lower operating costs, help in “green building” design, and improve air quality.  Although many of these studies involved workplaces, the principles apply to homes as well. A Human Spaces report in 2015 on biophilic design showed that, globally, nearly two-thirds of workers have […]

Easy Houseplants – Rubber Plant

Rubber plants (Ficus elastica) are easy-to-grow houseplants and low maintenance, have few problems, and tolerate a wide range of conditions—just not cold temperatures.  For these reasons, they are good for beginners or those that feel “gardening challenged”, or good choices for tough indoor conditions such as in commercial and business settings. This native of southern and southeast Asia is neither made […]

Moles and Voles and their controls

These two garden critters have similar names, and even may look similar at a quick glance, but they really are quite different.  Knowing something about these garden pests—what they eat and where they live—may help in their control. Both these critters resemble large furry mice, but moles are quite distinctive with their large, paddle-shaped front feet with claws.  These are […]

How to Plan and Plant a Garden for Kids

If you’re looking for a fun bonding activity for you and your kids, you may want to consider planting a garden together. No matter the ages of your little ones, everyone can get involved in gardening. Most kids love playing in the dirt already, so why not put this to good use and grow something beautiful? As another added benefit, […]

Houseplant care and other September gardening tips

Acclimatizing houseplants, dividing daylilies, and controlling slugs are some of the garden activities for this month. Gradually condition or “acclimatize” indoor plants that have spent the summer outdoors to lower light conditions. Move them to a shady spot outdoors for a week, then move them into the sunniest spot indoors for a couple of weeks before moving them to their […]

Storing Fruits and Vegetables

Storing your own fruits and vegetables at home at the end of the growing season, following a few simple guidelines, will enable you to have food of good nutrition and flavor into the fall and winter.  It is a good way to keep extra produce you can’t eat right away from the garden, and to save money later at the […]

Compost, Don’t Burn

You may like the smell of burning leaves, but did you know you were sending an excellent soil conditioner up in smoke? Instead of burning leaves or stuffing them in garbage bags for the trash haulers to take away, compost them. Compost improves the garden soil by increasing its organic matter. This, in turn, improves soil drainage. Organic matter is […]

Watering trees and shrubs

Trees and shrubs need moist, but not thoroughly wet, soil in order to grow well, resist insects and winter injury, and, in some cases, to produce flowers and fruit. If fruiting plants fail to fruit, or produce few fruit, it may be due to drought during flowering or fruit production. From early spring until about September 1, apply water adequately […]

Helping lawns deal with drought

With a changing climate, droughts seem to be getting more frequent and sometimes of a longer duration.  Proper mowing, watering, and fertilizing are some of the strategies you can use to help a lawn deal with droughts and to survive. During periods of intense heat or drought, lawns will go dormant.  They’re still alive, just not growing, so won’t need […]