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Resist the urge to plant in your garden too early.  Not only do you have to worry about night-time frost, you also have to ensure the soil temperature is warm enough to enable your tender seedlings to survive.  By the second week in May, however, it is usually safe to plant seedlings in the ground in your garden.     

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Did you know that pansies are edible? This whimsical springtime flower is not only a front-porch favorite, but it’s also a lovely food accent. Pansies are chock full of vital nutrients such as Vitamin C, Potassium, and Antioxidants. Their mild, fresh flavor has grassy notes and a minty, wintergreen aftertaste. These pretty little flowers serve as both décor and food – and they’re almost too pretty to eat.

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17 Jul / 2015

The Heat is On

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Problems in the vegetable and flower garden can occur during summer’s hot weather.  Not the least of which is blossom drop.  It’s quite possibly one of the most heartbreaking events that can occur to the home gardener.  The heat can cause stress to plants such as tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and squash. When the temperatures reach 90, plants will drop their blossoms and will not produce fruit.  In addition, crops such as lettuce will bolt, meaning they will go to seed in hot weather.  When plants bolt they become bitter and tough.

 
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Everyone hates to see the end of summer but it can be especially tough for gardeners. Now is the time of the summer when your garden starts to wear down. It doesn’t rain as much. The heat can be overbearing. Your plants become weak and susceptible to pests. Although it may sound counterintuitive, now is the time to bring on the bugs! At least some bugs, that is…Having good bugs, beneficial insects, in your garden will keep pests like aphids at bay and extend the life of your garden.

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In nature, there is a living carpet covering the ground in forests and wooded areas.  This carpet consists of leaves, bark, twigs, bugs, and other organic matter comprising what can be called nature’s own mulch. What occurs naturally in wooded areas needs to be replicated in the areas around our home.  And this is the time of year to begin our own task of mulching. 

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The island of Faial in the Azores (located near Portugal) is known as the "blue island" because of the great number of hydrangeas growing on the island.  The island sees plenty of rain and has perfectly acidic soil. Hydrangea is a shade-loving plant that enjoys a moist, fertile, well-drained soil.  When grown correctly, its flowers are incredibly blue due to the acid in the soil and the high aluminum content.

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