Saturday, January 12, 2019

Home Grown: Ornamental Grasses Stand Up To Winter

Whether you love them or not, ornamental grasses stand on their own in winter. Even the heaviest snow can't permanently bend them to the ground and the low angle of winter light enhances their beauty and appeal. In the minimalist landscape of winter, grasses shine.

Few other plants offer such a huge variety of textures, forms, sizes and cultural adaptations as grasses.

Most ornamental grasses grow to mature size in just one season, and there's a grass to fit any landscape, even the narrowest strip of soil between walkways and buildings.

Continued in... Ornamental Grasses Stand Up To Winter

Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Home Grown
Artwork: Little Bluestem Grass

Friday, January 11, 2019

Home Grown: Frost Seeding

Livestock producers looking to renovate pastures should consider frost seeding, a low-cost method which increases yields and improves quality with little commercial nitrogen.

Frost seeding involves broadcasting a grass or legume seed over a pasture and letting the natural freeze/thaw cycles of late winter and early spring move the seed into good contact with the soil.

The best time to frost seed is usually from mid-February to the end of March.

Continued in Frost Seeding.

Growth Spurts
Farm Supply
Home Grown
Artwork: Spring Seeding

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Home Grown: Growing Heirlooms

Most gardeners have heard of heirloom seeds and probably have a fairly good idea what they are. Gardeners often refer to heirloom seeds as "Grandmother's seed" or something similar.

As the name implies, heirloom seeds are carried down from generation to generation, similar to handing down a desired antique from generation to generation. What is so special about this? Isn't that what a seed company can do? In short, yes. But the full answer to this question is a little more complicated.

Continued in Growing Heirlooms.

Plants and Seeds
A Choice of Tomatoes
Home Grown
Artwork: Heirloom Tomatoes

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Home Grown: Gifts for Gardeners

If you have gardeners on your shopping list, whatever you do, don’t give them cheap tools. Give them something they’ll remember.

Most serious gardeners would much rather receive one high-quality garden tool than a bunch of cheap ones that won’t last a year. And please don’t give an adult a set of child-size tools.

Master Gardeners in Georgia were recently polled for their opinions on holiday gifts. One of most requested tools was a Hori-Hori multi-use gardening spade. It looks like a broad, serrated knife with a wooden handle. It has about a 7-inch blade marked with millimeters, so gardeners can measure planting depth, and a pointed tip to rip open fertilizer bags.

Continued in Gifts for Gardeners...

Plants and Seeds
Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Hori-Hori

Friday, December 14, 2018

Home Grown: Tabletop Christmas Trees

Not everyone is able to enjoy a full sized Christmas tree in their home. For some, budgets may be stretched or space can be at a premium. Others may not have the time to put up a tree this holiday season.

Whatever the reason, an alternative to full sized Christmas trees are tabletop plants that can be decorated for the holidays, offered as holiday gifts, and in some cases can be used for several years.

Continued in Tabletop Christmas Trees...

Christmas Trees
Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Norfolk Island Pine

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Home Grown: Forcing Bulbs for Winter Blooms

To add a bit of color to the dull days of winter, consider starting a process known as "forcing bulbs."

It is possible to get bulbs like daffodils, hyacinths, tulips, and crocus to bloom indoors during January, February or March.

"Forced bulbs" are those which are induced to flower at something other than their normal time. The process is relatively simple and involves five basic stages or steps.

Continued in... Forcing Bulbs for Winter Blooms

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Forced Tulips

Monday, December 10, 2018

Home Grown: Alternative Evergreens.

Just a handful of species make up the majority of evergreens planted.  This lack of diversity is starting to be a real problem in areas where diseases are decimating both Scotch pine and Austrian pine, the two most commonly planted pine trees of the last 50 years. Fortunately, there are several less-common types of evergreens to consider, such as...

Concolor Fir (Abies concolor): Graceful, soft, silvery-blue foliage makes it a nice alternative to Colorado spruce. Grows to 70 feet tall by 40 feet wide.

Douglas Fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii): Soft blue-green needles with attractive cones. Grows to 70 by 30.

Continued in... Alternative Evergreens

Christmas Trees
Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Abies concolor