Garden Maintenance

Stop! Don’t Prune That Grass (How to Prune Ornamental Grasses Right)

January 28, 2014 6 comments
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(Article originally appeared in Fine Gardening Magazine) Most of us know what to do with our big grasses that go dormant each winter: Grab a bungee cord, tie the grass up, and use an electric hedge trimmer to buzz the column of foliage to the ground. But what about those tricky grasses that are evergreen […]

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Fall Garden Tasks in the Pacific Northwest

September 26, 2011 9 comments
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This time of year, my landscape maintenance company is busy as anything, pruning and helping all the gardens recover from months of wild blooming abandon. While a lot of what we’re doing right now is pruning to keep things at the right size in relation to their surroundings (we don’t want the plants leaning boorishly […]

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Lawn Hacks for Organic Gardening Geeks

August 23, 2011 26 comments
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Lawn care, at first glance, seems pretty straightforward. Mow, water, apply various bagged items, and take the time to frolic playfully on your fancypants expanse of greenery. But after owning a lawn for any period of time, most of us start to ponder the deeper questions surrounding lawn. Questions like, “dang, why does my water […]

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Prune Your Hellebores: A Public Service Announcement

August 14, 2011 3 comments
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Lenten roses, Helleborus orientalis, are gorgeous in winter. They’re gorgeous in spring, too. But if you don’t deadhead them once they’re done blooming, they stop being gorgeous and start looking ratty. Then, they turn into spawning hellcats, dropping masses of seeds that sprout into masses of tiny, slow-growing, hard-to-remove seedlings that, yes, could theoretically turn […]

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The Evolution of a Gardener: Finding the Middle Ground Between Neat and Natural

October 20, 2010 24 comments
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Debbie’s post over at Garden of Possibilities was a catalyst for me to really think over an issue I’ve been having a lot lately – the Neat VS Natural debate. It’s not a debate I’ve been having with anyone else, it’s more been an internal struggle. You see, the more I learn about gardening, the […]

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Low-Maintenance Landscaping: How to Tim Ferriss Your Garden Routine

September 16, 2010 11 comments
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Do you have more garden than time? Even people who love, LOVE to garden sometimes find their landscape a source of guilt rather than joy. So many times when I’m visiting a garden, I’m making enthusiastic exclamations over the abundance and beauty of it all, the owner of the garden is saying things like, “well, […]

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Fall Leaves: Leave ‘Em and Weep

December 5, 2009 5 comments
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To read about why fall leaves are so beneficial to wildlife, and how to leave them in your garden without adverse effect, check out this article: Fall Leaf Raking: Finding the Middle Ground. Once upon a time some newbie garden writer thought it’d be a great idea to encourage people to leave their fall leaves on the […]

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How to Treat Rose and Flower Pests Naturally: Intro

July 12, 2009 2 comments
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Roses can be tough to grow organically, because they’ve been so over-bred for their honking big flowers that often, breeders paid little attention to disease-resistance. So you end up with these great frankenflowers that look fantastic – until midsummer when the black spot, caterpillars, and aphids move in. But – I admit it – I […]

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Gardening Basics: How to Water

June 21, 2009 6 comments
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Watering seems like one of those bonehead tasks that everyone should get right on their first try, right? I wish! The truth is, I see more gardens that are sick and unhealthy due to water stress than any other single issue. Luckily, watering properly isn’t complicated once you know a few simple things.

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Organic Gardening 101: How to Begin Gardening Naturally and Have Happier Plants

May 31, 2009 6 comments
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I’ve been asked a lot lately about organics in the garden. “How do I kill snails around my vegetable starts?” is a common question. “Does anything organic really work on roses?” I even spoke with one gardener who felt chained to her Miracle-Gro routine – having to laboriously water it in every two weeks. It […]

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