Plants for Tough Sites: Dry Shade

I grew up with a yard that had a slope facing east, shaded by a mature tree with miniscule amounts of good fertile soil to grow any type of plant. I have also inherited this site in my new garden.  This area is too steep to mow easily and the grass is so thin it’s mostly weeds.  I’m a gardener so I’m not opposed to removing the lawn in favor of perennials and shrubs. Continue reading

Selecting and Using Fertilizers

Looking at my lawn and landscape this week, the grass and most shrubs are green and healthy but, I realize that soon, warmer weather will be here bringing with it insect and disease.  Good cultural practices will help minimize damage but when our plants are struggling, often our first thought is to feed it.  It makes sense; when I am feeling ill, brownies always helps me. Continue reading

What is the Difference between Cool Season and Warm Season Vegetables?

Cool season plants grow best with a relatively cool air temperature (50 to 60 °F). These plants are the first ones to be planted in the garden year and then again in the fall. They grow well during the short and cool days of spring and fall. They can be planted several weeks up to a couple of months before the last frost date (around May 10th). Plant cool season crops as soon as the soil is workable in the spring. If planted to late in spring, the heat of summer will reduce their quality. They may become bitter, have lower yields or bolt (form flowers and go to seed).  Light frost will not injure them. Continue reading