plant

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 […]

trees roots plants

What We Need to Know About Tree Roots

A Tree’s roots serve two important functions: They anchor the tree in the soil so that its photosynthesizing parts (the leaves) are elevated and exposed to the sun; and they take up the water and minerals that the tree uses to make carbohydrates for food and proteins for everything else. (Roots also must absorb oxygen, […]

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 […]

leyland cypress fast growing privacy tree

Privacy Trees

  Privacy trees are trees that we plant to act as screens in order to block an unwanted view out of, or into, our property. In addition to providing privacy, these living fences also block noise, reduce air pollution, and slow the wind. We love the appearance of a living privacy fence, and appreciate the […]

Plant Hardiness Zones USDA planting zone

Plant Hardiness Zones

About Those USDA Climate Zones   The familiar United States Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone Map is based on the average annual minimum temperature for each zone. Needless to say, some years a zone will get a minimum temperature lower or higher than the average. Nevertheless, the average minimum temperature is a fairly good indicator […]

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 […]

ann magnolia tree

Top 5 Early Spring Flowering Trees

IT’S SPRING!       Among our favorite early spring blooming trees are: Japanese magnolia (like the Ann or Jane), eastern redbud, flowering dogwood(white and pink), Taiwan cherry, and wild plum. The Japanese magnolias are among the first bloomers of spring. Three important types of early blooming Japanese magnolias are: The star magnolias (Magnolia stellata) […]

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 […]

Invasive Plants – The Most Unwanted

An invasive species, as defined in an Executive Order signed by President Clinton in 1999, is an “alien species whose introduction does, or is likely to, cause economic or environmental harm, or harm to human health” Some kinds of plants, due to being transplanted away from their natural home, consequently become invasive in their new home. […]

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 […]