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Category: Gardening

You Can Be A Successful Houseplant Caregiver During Winter – by Rhonda Conner

Having the heat on during the winter is great for humans, but not so great for houseplants.

Wintertime heating dehumidifies the air, so plants may need more water. A relative humidity of 75 to 85 percent is ideal for most plants, but in winter, the average home has half those levels.

“Success or failure with houseplants often comes down to your ability to water the plants correctly,” says Gerald Klingaman, retired horticulture specialist with the University…

By Guest Contributor, 02-08-2008 | (0)

Category: Gardening

The History of Orchids – by Jon Kelly

Most of us regard the orchid as a beautiful, exotic and romantic flower. Most are also unaware of their spectacular history and the passionate efforts which have gone into finding, cataloguing and creating the orchids which we enjoy today.

A register of orchids is held at the Royal Horticultural Society in London. The Vanilla orchid was the first to enter Europe back in 1510. This was the source for the second most expensive flavouring extract (the most expensive being the saffron crocus). Over a hundred years passed, until in 1635 when the Cypripedium reginae was imported from North…

By Guest Contributor, 02-05-2008 | (0)

Category: Gardening

Bulbs Forced to Bloom Indoors Require Special Care for Replanting in Your Garden

Bulbs forced to bloom indoors during winter months need special care for replanting in your garden, said a Missouri horticulturist.

“Outdoor planting of forced bulbs after they have faded is never a sure thing,” said Mary Kroening, an MU Extension horticulture specialist. “Forced bulbs that have bloomed indoors have been through an exhausting process and may not re-bloom in your garden.”

However, some bulbs, such amaryllis, will repeat annually for many years of blossoms with minimal…

By MUNews, 02-01-2008 | (0)

Category: Gardening

For Something Different, Consider Growing Citrus Trees Indoors

Home gardeners who want to try something different might want to grow a sour orange or other citrus tree indoors, said a University of Missouri fruit researcher.

“There are many different types of citrus trees that can be grown indoors,” said Michele Warmund.

Sweet citrus trees tend to be difficult. By contrast, acid citrus species are easy to grow in containers inside and many will bear several crops of fruit each year if given optimum growing conditions, she said.…

By Guest Contributor, 01-28-2008 | (0)

Category: Gardening

Forcing Forsythias Indoors

Before too long, some horticulture enthusiasts will be thinking about harvesting branches of flowering shrubs and bringing them indoors to force into bloom. Cold followed by a warm spell is the combination that sets buds to swelling, according to Sherri Sanders, White County agent with the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

“Forsythia and other leaf-losing (deciduous) spring-flowering shrubs are children of the ice ages,” she said. “Cold followed by warmth breaks the genetically-designed and controlled dormancy that gets them through cold weather without harm.”

Forsythia is the first flowering plant ready for forcing and the…

By Guest Contributor, 01-25-2008 | (0)

Category: Gardening

An Edible Flower Garden – by John Sanderson

To most of us, the idea of eating flowers evokes the humorous image of someone biting into a rose, or chomping off the head of a daisy. Yet there was a time not so very long ago that flowers were an integral part of cooking. While most of us are aware that violets can be candied and nasturtiums eaten in salad, there’s a truly amazing variety of flowers that are not only edible, but delicious!

A Candy Flower Garden for Your…

By Guest Contributor, 01-23-2008 | (0)

Category: Gardening

Master Gardener Program Takes Off in the Tri-Lakes Area

Fourteen people have just completed training and have now joined the Master Gardeners of the Ozarks.

The Master Gardener program is a growing University of Missouri Extension program in southwest Missouri. 

The Master Gardeners of the Ozarks are based primarily in Taney and Stone counties and now have over 70 active members according to Tim Schnakenberg, agronomy specialist, University of Missouri Extension.

These 14 residents who have an interest in horticulture and gardening will become volunteers of MU Extension and will donate volunteer hours for community educational programs in horticulture.

New chapter…

By Guest Contributor, 01-16-2008 | (0)

Category: Gardening

Never Too Cold to Grow Sprouts – by Carol Sanders

Those who miss gardening and fresh produce at this time of year should consider growing sprouts, says Dr. Obadiah Njue, University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Cooperative Extension Program horticulture specialist. Sprouts are great for salads and are an excellent source of digestible proteins, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants; they are also a good source of minerals. Sprouts may be eaten raw, steamed or cooked, says Dr. Njue.

Sprouts are produced when seeds germinate and begin growing; they are…

By Guest Contributor, 01-07-2008 | (0)

Category: Gardening

Winter Landscaping – by Mary Hanna

The term winter landscaping may seem odd but there is a way to landscape your property to reduce fuel costs. And with the cost of fuel today you need every trick you can find.

You can reduce your fuel costs up to 40% if you plant windbreaks on north, east and west of your home when you live in a windy climate. On a very cold and still day, you are losing less heat than on a windy and equally cold day.

By Guest Contributor, 12-31-2007 | (0)

Category: Gardening

Healthy Winter Trees

STILLWATER, Okla. –Tree stress during cold conditions can be minimized when the correct precautions are taken, said David Hillock, Oklahoma State University Cooperative Extension consumer horticulture specialist.

“Stresses to the trees can come in a number of forms including lack of moisture, temperature changes, nutrition and rodent damage,” he said. “With little control over the weather, tree owners should prepare their trees to withstand harsh weather they may be faced with during winter months.”

Hillock said…

By Katie Reim, Oklahoma State University, 12-09-2007 | (0)

Category: Gardening

Poinsettia Care – by Trisha Gedon

The lights are going up on neighborhood homes. Decorative sleighs and reindeer adorn some lawns. Christmas trees complete with ornaments and blinking lights peek out through windows.

As people make preparations for the holiday season, many choose to decorate their homes with festive decorations.

One way to liven up holiday decorations and add vibrant color to the home is to use poinsettias. The poinsettia is the traditional Christmas plant and is native to Mexico, said Mike Schnelle, Oklahoma State…

By Guest Contributor, 11-27-2007 | (0)

Category: Gardening

State Forest Nursery Taking Orders for 2008 – by Jim Low

LICKING, Mo.-Jack pine, Norway spruce, pecan, paw-paw and witch hazel seedlings are among offerings from the George O. White State Forest Nursery for 2008. Landowners who order now will increase their chances of getting what they want in the wake of a damaging freeze.

The Missouri Department of Conservation’s 748-acre nursery near Licking produces millions of tree and shrub seedlings each year to help Missourians make their land more productive for wildlife. This year the nursery suffered severe losses due to a freak freeze in early April. Nursery Supervisor Greg Hoss said the losses significantly reduced the supply…

By Guest Contributor, 11-26-2007 | (0)

Category: Gardening

Beat the Weather With a Hoop House

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – Producers looking to be first with fresh produce at the Farmers Markets when prices are at their highest should consider a hoop house, says Dr. Obadiah Njue, Extension horticulture specialist, Cooperative Extension Program at the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff (UAPB).

Hoop house production for early or late markets is feasible, says Dr. Njue, as the cost of hoop houses can be as little as 50 cents per square foot. They may be portable or semi-permanent and are constructed using PVC or aluminum arched or hooped supports for the plastic. Dimensions range from…

By Guest Contributor, 11-19-2007 | (0)

Category: Gardening

Raised-Bed Gardens Have Many Benefits – by Lamar James

MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. – Now is the time to start working on raised beds if you’re planning to use them in your garden next spring, according to Mark Keaton, Baxter County staff chair for the University of Arkansas Cooperative Extension Service.

“The beds will be ready to go when the weather starts to warm up in the spring, and gardeners itch to get out and do something,” says Keaton.

Raised-bed gardening isn’t a new idea. Growing plants in this…

By Guest Contributor, 11-15-2007 | (0)

Category: Gardening

History of Apple Trees – by Pat Malcolm

Apple trees were the most popularly grown fruit tree in colonial America and practically every settlement farm and backyard gardener planted this easily grown fruit tree, or easier, the seed of the apple could be planted to establish a permanent food supply. Growing these apple tree products could be eaten fresh or could be dried and preserved in many different ways to eat at a later time. Historical instances on the existence of apple trees are documented from folklore, legends, stone images on carved tablets, petrified slices[more]

By Guest Contributor, 11-09-2007 | (0)

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