Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Here's How To... Control Yellow Jackets.

Late summer is the season for yellow jacket wasps, one of  the most common stinging insects homeowners encounter. There are steps that can be taken to control them.

These social wasps build their nests underground in abandoned rodent burrows, under compost piles, in voids of wood and sometimes in trees or shrubs. The nest is constructed out of paper and holds the queen and her many workers.

Yellow jackets are an important health risk due to their aggressive nature when disturbed and the fact that individual wasps can sting multiple times.

Follow the link to... Control Yellow Jackets.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Home and Garden Center
Artwork: Yellow Jacket Eating a Bee

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Here's How To... Propagate Houseplants.

There are several ways to propagate houseplants, and each houseplant responds best to a certain treatment.

Herbaceous stem cuttings are made by clipping a 4- to 5-inch long piece of stem from the parent plant, with leaves attached. Make the lower cut just below a node, or the point of attachment of a leaf. Remove any leaves on the bottom 1.5 to 2 inches of the stem. Dip the base of the stem in water and then into a commercial rooting hormone, which is usually a dry powder.

Follow the link to... Propagate Houseplants.

Here's How To...
How To Do It
Home Grown
Artwork: Jasmine Sambac "Grand Duke Supreme"

Monday, September 1, 2014

Home Grown: Saving Seeds.

As fall approaches, enthusiastic gardeners want to store seed for next year's production. Before you decide to save seed from your plants, it's important to consider whether saving seed will get you the type of plants you want.

Continued at... Saving Seeds.

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Seed, Plant, and Nursery Catalogs

Artwork: Heirloom Carrots

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Recipe Archive: Maple Breakfast Sausage

from Home Sausage Making by Susan Mahnke Peery and Charles G. Reavis.

The perfect accompaniment to pancakes or French toast, these sausages have the subtle sweetness of maple syrup accented with sage and mustard.


3 pounds lean pork butt or shoulder
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon kosher or coarse salt
2 teaspoons dried sage
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (fine grind)
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons milk

Artwork: Maple Breakfast Sausage
Recipe Archive
Farm Kitchen

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Home Grown: Adding Color to Autumn Landscapes

As the summer wanes, so do most of the plants in the garden. Whether you're looking at a foot-wide container or 100 square feet of landscape bed, your thoughts turn to the yellows, oranges and reds of a typical autumn garden.

Mums are plentiful at the garden center at this time, and they're terrific old standbys. They've certainly brightened many a fall garden.

But mums aren't the only word in fall gardens and landscapes. Here are some other wonderful plants that can add splashes of color to your fall...

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Black-eyed Susans

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Home Grown: Fall Wildflowers

Fall wildflowers are particularly outstanding at attracting adult moths and butterflies, which lay eggs that hatch into larva (caterpillars). The larvae provide a high-protein source of food for many birds, particularly warblers and neo-tropical migrant birds of conservation concern. Birds are very good at keeping populations of these insects in check, so it is a very good situation for all.

Some flowers that bloom in the fall are tall, up to 2 to 6 feet or more, depending on the species and cultivar, and in a garden these work best at the back of a flower border.

Other varieties have been selected, and given cultivar names, because they   are shorter, more compact or more disease resistant than the average species of plant.

Continued at... Fall Wildflowers

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Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Mammoth Sunflowers

Friday, August 8, 2014

Home Grown: Growing Oaks from Acorns

To grow plants from seeds, you don't need to go to the local nursery and buy a colorful packet. A little knowledge can create a rewarding do-it-yourself experience.

One plant that is relatively easy to start from seed is the oak. Acorns mature in early fall. You can tell the seed is ripe when the outside changes from green to yellow, brown or black and the caps can be easily removed. Acorns can then be plucked off the tree or picked up from the ground soon after falling. It's important to note that acorns left on the ground for several days begin to dry out and become a food source for insects and wildlife.

After collection, acorns should be soaked in water overnight to rehydrate any dry seeds. Floating acorns, along with any other debris, should be skimmed off the top. The remaining sunken acorns are the most viable and pest-free.

Continued at... Growing Oaks from Acorns

Home Grown
Home and Garden Center
Plants and Seeds
Artwork: Acorns