fruit

blueberry grow guide blueberry pie

Why Is My Blueberry Bush Not Producing Fruit?

So, you have blueberry plants, but you don’t have blueberries. What’s up with that? Are your blueberry bushes in full sun? If not, you will be disappointed. Like most plants grown for food, blueberries do best in full sun (at least 6 hours). They can take some partial shade, but too much shade will decrease […]

Granny Smith Apple

Fruit Trees for the Midwest

There are many different kinds of fruit trees that are well adapted for growing in the American Midwest. The backyard orchardist can choose from popular apple, pear, Asian pear, peach, nectarine, cherry, and plum tree varieties. A little more obscure, but just as much fun to grow are persimmons and pawpaws. Growing your own fruit […]

fertilizers

All About Fertilizers

Of the more than 115 chemical elements in the periodic table, only 16 are sure to benefit plant life. These are essential nutrients. (There might be others that we don’t know about, but surely they must be needed in very small quantities and are probably never lacking.) Carbon (C), oxygen (O) and hydrogen (H) are […]

pruning and plant care guide

Basic Pruning for Shrubs and Trees

We prune our trees and shrubs to control their size, shape and scale within our landscape. Proper pruning also stimulates flowering and fruiting and helps to keep shrubs and trees healthy and vigorous, thus reducing the likelihood of future problems.   There are two main kinds of pruning: Thinning and Heading.    Thinning Thinning cuts […]

Botanical & Horticultural Names Explained

Botanical names (aka scientific or Latin names) for plant species are italicized or underlined. Botanical names are standard throughout the world, unlike common names which can be different in different languages and even in different parts of the same country. A botanical species name has two parts — 1. The Genus: which is always in […]

It Takes Two to Tango (Except When it Doesn’t)

In our previous post “Flowers: Sex, Pollinators and Pollinizers“, we focused our topic on asexual reproduction in plants — primarily those that need a pollinator or pollinizer to boost the reproduction cycle. Asexual reproduction, as we discussed, works best in environments that do not change. But as you may know, our surrounding environment rarely ever […]

perfect soil ph

Perfect Soil Ph = Perfect Plants

Getting your best crop, whether vegetable, fruit, ornamental or lawn, often requires adding lime or fertilizer to your soil. But you need to know how much. If you are starting a new garden, it’s a good idea to have the soil tested. If your plants don’t seem to be doing as well as you think […]

meyer lemon

Meyer Lemon – Improved, Sweet & Tasty

With its glossy dark green leaves, fragrant pink-tinged blossoms, and bright orange-yellow lemons, the Meyer lemon deserves a place in your life! Long an obscure specialty of fruit collectors and farmers’ markets in the citrus belt, the Meyer lemon has recently gone mainstream thanks to Martha Stewart and her Meyer lemon recipes. Today, Meyer lemons […]

fruits or vegetables

Fruits or Veg

The age-old question, “Is the tomato a vegetable or a fruit?” is pointless to the horticulturalist or the botanist. In everyday language, a vegetable is any plant that is eaten, with certain exclusions based on cultural and culinary customs. Fruits, on the other hand, is a specific part of a plant: A fertilized and ripened […]

fruits

The “Berry” Informative Berry Blog

Botanically, a berry is “a fleshy fruit that develops from a single ovary within a single flower, lacking a central stone”. Technically, tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers and bananas are berries — but raspberries & strawberries are not because they did not develop from single ovaries. (Of course, only a botanist would know that!) For the rest of us, a […]

chill hours

Chill Out! Chill Hour Requirements and What They Mean for Your Plants

If you’ve done some shopping (window or otherwise) for fruit or nut trees, you might have noticed the phrases “chill hours” or “chill zones” in the plant’s description. Though there’s some debate on the topic, it’s generally acknowledged that chill hours are the average number of hours plants are subjected to temperatures between 32 degrees […]

tomatomania

Tomato-mania! Part 2

The tomato is so much more than just your French Fries’ best friend or the third metric when making your favorite sandwich. It’s farm to table, to palate. Done. Simple, effective, easy to grow, with ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’-type outcomes. There are many different kinds of tomatoes out there to cultivate in your garden. Each […]