Author Archive

The Garden path: Have You Considered Herbs?

If you’ve made the leap to growing your own vegetables, take the next step and grow your own herbs. They’re easy, fun to grow, and some even discourage deer. Herbs can be annual (having one season of growth), biennial (two seasons of growth with flowers in the second year), or perennial (ongoing growth, some lasting many years). If you are interested in cooking, you ...

 
 

The Garden Path: Little hands in the garden

Growing vegetables can be a rewarding family activity. Gardens teach children how plants grow, where food comes from, and why healthy eating is important. Planting and raising vegetables teaches planning and patience. Most of all, growing vegetables can be lots of fun. You may want to start with a visit to the library. There are some great children’s books on ...

 

The Garden Path: Seed shopping by fireside

This is the time of year when the vegetable seed catalogs pour in and the gardener gets to dream of the bounty to come. The only hard part is deciding what to choose. You can select vegetables and herbs for the home garden by responding with almost Pavlovian enthusiasm to the extravagant photographs of comely cucumbers, luscious lettuces, and tantalizing tomatoes. Or ...

 

The Garden Path: Making winter arrangements

Once the cold weather comes and the annuals die, it’s tempting to give up on container gardening, but with a little bit of effort, you can make a winter arrangement that costs nothing, yet provides pleasure for weeks or even months. You probably already have the ingredients for a beautiful winter arrangement right in your own yard. The easiest approach is simply to ...

 

The Garden Path: Oh deer

This is the time of year when deer begin to roam. Food is becoming less available, and they are looking for new places to dine. Will they choose your yard? Deer can do tremendous damage. They feed on ornamental plants and rub the bark off young trees with their antlers. If the weather is harsh, they’ll eat nearly any plant they can reach, and often kill or damage ...

 

The Garden Path: Plan Now for Spring Bulbs

Bulbs are a wonderful thing. You bury the ugly little globs in the fall and in the spring gorgeous blooms burst forth, as if by magic. But now is the time to prepare for the show. There are a few things you can do to make your spring display a sensation. First, as with any garden, you should know your soil conditions (Penn State Extension offers soil tests that ...

 

The Garden Path: Fall is Planting Time

Many of the same people who can’t wait to visit the garden centers at the first whiff of spring are losing interest in their gardens by fall. Yet fall is a great time for planting trees, shrubs, perennials, and turfgrass. In some ways it is a better time for planting than spring. There are fewer weed problems, fall-planted trees and shrubs have more time to develop ...

 

The Garden Path: Going native

What’s all this fuss about native plants? Aren’t they weedy, unattractive, and difficult? No, no, and no. A native plant is simply a plant that grew here before the European settlers arrived. In other words, these are plants that did just fine in your backyard without irrigation systems, fertilizers, pesticides, and lawn services. Native plants can be trees, shrubs, ...

 

The Garden Path: Divide and conquer

What gardener doesn’t want free plants? Well if you’ve got perennials and you’ve had them for awhile, chances are you have free plants and don’t even know it. Many perennials can be divided (broken up into smaller clumps) and will not only survive, but will thank you for it. Dividing perennials relieves congestion (crowding), eliminates headaches (from plants ...

 

The Garden Path: Thinking of starting a vegetable garden?

The list of reasons for growing your own vegetables seems to get longer every day. Between worries about food safety, concerns over the economy, and the desire to be more environmentally responsible, many people have decided to take the plunge. Having your own vegetable garden can be fun, economical, and rewarding. Plus, it will save you embarrassment should a ...

 

The Garden Path: Spring has sprung

Now is the time when gardeners itch to get outdoors. We peer at the soggy ground, anxiously awaiting little green shoots. The earliest flowers have already opened—the early crocus, hellebores, Witch hazels—those wonderful plants that sound the call of spring, along with the frogs, of course. Although it’s too early to plant most things, there are many garden tasks to ...