Every year presents the same problem: What shall I grow?
Just in time for St Patrick’s Day, I receive questions about potatoes and cabbage — two traditional Irish staples.
Spring is nigh and it’s definitely time to think about starting some seeds indoors for planting outside when the weather is warmer.
March brings spring! It may be cold and snowy outside but come March 10, it’s time to spring forward into Daylight Savings Time. Ten days later March 20 brings the vernal equinox and the official start of spring. Get ready to garden because the days are getting longer, the sun is getting bri…
We have had such a cold winter with the polar vortex moving in. What impact will this have on our perennials? What about fruit trees and shrubbery? While I’m hoping for good news on the garden front, I’m also hoping that the insect population will be severely damaged.
With spring only five or six weeks away, gardeners are chomping at the bit to get growing. Alas, wintry weather keeps us away from the garden but there is still plenty to do inside.
Is it true that if you plant green pepper plants next to jalapeño plants that they will cross-pollinate and taste like each other? My husband claims that I can’t plant my green pepper plants next to my jalapeño plants, but my green peppers have never tasted hot.
February kicks off the serious beginning of the garden season. In most places, by the end of February, the average daytime temperature climbs to above freezing. Although winter is still solidly with us, hope springs eternal and gardening fever can strike.
Many people may have received or been given poinsettias as gifts during the holiday season. Sadly, many people do not know how to care for poinsettias, or believe that they will not turn color again next year and end up throwing out the plant.
A reader wondered why vegetable and flower seeds cost so much after seeing some of them listed at $6.99 for 15 seeds.
The Wisconsin Cut Flower Growers School, a two-day workshop designed to help new and beginning growers learn the ins and outs of producing and marketing cut flowers, will be held on the UW-Madison campus Feb. 16-17.
The seed catalogs are piling up and I am eagerly anticipating a stretch of time in which to dream and shop for this year’s selections. Don’t wait too long or the best varieties may be gone. Plus, some seeds require extra time before they are ready to go into the garden.
Each year brings a new flurry of decisions for eager gardeners. What plants should I grow and once that question is answered, which varieties should I grow? Luckily, the All-American Selections group conducts trials of new releases and, based on their independent research, picks the top performers.
EAU CLAIRE — To Charlie Kwick, hosta gardening was always just a hobby — something the 78-year-old decided to take up in his retirement along with golf and making jam.
Plant health officials are cautioning consumers to burn wreaths and other evergreen decorations, or bag them and put them in the trash, after inspectors found invasive insects on many such items sold at large chain stores in Wisconsin this holiday season.
It’s a brand new year and time to plan for the upcoming months.
Were you lucky enough to receive a colorful plant this holiday? Now that the hustle of the season is over, how can you keep your poinsettias popping and your amaryllis amazing?
It’s the time of the year when we want to wrap up a few of our passions and joys and share them with friends and family. Sharing your love of gardening and great food is the perfect way to show you care.
Now that we are burning wood for heat, I started wondering about wood ashes. I have heard they are good for the garden. Should I save them and spread them next year? Should I dump the ashes directly on the garden in the winter?
Fruit baskets are popular and enjoyable holiday gifts. What’s not to like? Colorful and juicy fruits spill forth out of a charming basket. Unfortunately the fruit gets eaten up in a hurry. This year, why not give a more lasting gift: a fruit tree, bush, shrub or plant?
The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, in partnership with the UW-Extension, is hosting several food safety trainings required for Wisconsin fresh produce growers who must meet federal produce safety rules. The trainings provide science-based, minimum standar…
Just how is one supposed to clean up the yard and garden? I have read that we should leave garden refuse in place so it can break down and return nutrients to the same soil from which it derived those nutrients in the first place. I have read that we should clear the garden entirely and leav…
As the days advance into late autumn and then into winter, it’s time to look back over the year with thanks for all the things that enhanced our lives. Psychologists are now saying that keeping a gratitude journal is a remarkably simple way to improve your spirits and enhance your life. Even…
Help prevent winter burn to trees and shrubs by taking some preventative steps this fall.
My friend told me that she cuts down her everbearing raspberry canes every fall. Ours were planted this past spring. Should they be cut back and how far from the ground please? She also said NOT to cut back my summer raspberries. Is she correct?
I want to force some bulbs to give as Christmas gifts. What are the best bulbs to force?
I have lots of seeds leftover from the packets I purchased this year as well as some that I saved from some of my flowers. What’s the best way to store these so I can use them next year?
Minnesota produce growers can take a one-day training course to meet the requirements for the Produce Safety Rule, which is part of the new federal Food Safety Modernization Act. Under FSMA, fruit and vegetable farmers who grow, pack, harvest and/or hold produce and who do not qualify for a…
Halloween is the time for ghosts, goblins, witches and evil potions. This may sound scary and a bit dangerous, but many of the plants that you regularly grow might be hazardous to humans, cats or dogs!
As winter approaches, questions about preserving garden plants come fast and furious. It’s hard to say goodbye to the plants that have brought us such joy all summer long. With a little bit of loving attention, your plants should survive.
Owen earns flower honors
This year was extremely wet in southern Wisconsin. This was not the first very wet year we have experienced and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Once again, I found lessons to be re-learned from nature’s abundance of water.
If frost hasn’t hit your garden yet, it soon will, wreaking havoc on parts of the garden.
It’s officially fall and cold temperatures are on the way. Fall means it is time to get produce and flowers stored away for the winter.
As you drive around a steel building at the West Madison Agricultural Research Station on Mineral Point Road, your nose informs you before your eyes do that you’ve found the outdoor laboratory of Scott Sanford, a UW-Madison agricultural engineer.
Our phlox are huge this year. Can I divide and transplant them and when is the best time to do it? Same with our hostas. How do you divide them? And is it best to transplant in the fall or spring?
Although we can still work and play in our gardens for weeks to come, it’s also true that the gardening season is almost over for another year. As you harvest, weed and clean up this year’s plot, look to the future. Some questions you might ponder include:
With the recent winds and storms, I have noticed a lot of sunflowers toppling over in the garden. When I go to cut them down, I see that they are hollow inside and the inside is quite soft and squishy. What causes this? Is there anything I can do to stop it?
The growing, harvesting and marketing of cut flowers will be the topic of a specialty crop field day from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, at Greenlight Farm in Prairie Farm.
September is perhaps the busiest month for gardeners. True, there is the frantic rush in May to get everything planted, but in September we need to focus on everything: the landscape, the vegetable garden and the flower beds. Between harvesting, preserving, maintaining, improving and plantin…
Photos by Benjamin Wideman
What’s blooming in your garden? As summer begins to wane so do many of the flowers that we have enjoyed all season.
My peonies have the unmistakable signs of powdery mildew. I have recently heard that I should cut them down shortly after they finish blooming. I had always thought that the foliage should be left standing until frost. What should I do? And what can be done about the powdery mildew?
Boxwood blight, a fungal disease that attacks a popular garden shrub, has been found in Wisconsin for the first time at a nursery grower in Kenosha County, the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection announced in late July. Department nursery inspectors found it du…
The Jackson County Master Gardeners are offering a workshop, “Refreshing Brews from the Garden,” at the Jackson County Farmers Market on Diploma Drive in Black River Falls. The workshops will be held Thursday, Aug. 9, from 5 to 6 p.m. and again on Saturday, Aug. 11, from 11 a.m. to noon.
My onions are much smaller than normal this year. They were properly spaced and although I didn’t water them, our area had more than enough rainfall. Yet when the tops fell over and the onions were ready to harvest, they were about half as large as normal. Why did this happen?
The UW-Extension Demonstration and Learning Garden, located at the Grow to Share Community garden in River Falls, will host an informal garden walk from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Monday, Aug. 6.
August already! What happened to the summer? Quickly now, before fall sets in, there’s still some gardening to do!
Container plants can start to be stressed as the summer season continues. Their roots have been spreading throughout the pot and using the nutrients available. Take time to examine the plants with an eye to keeping them fresh and healthy until the first frost.
My cabbage is dying and I don’t know why. It looked great but when I tried to harvest it, the center was just a mass of wet goo. What happened?