How To Tell If Homegrown Apples Are Ripe

You did it. You nurtured your backyard apple tree from a tender sapling to fruiting. All in the course of about 4 to 8 years, depending on which type you planted. How can you tell if the apples are at the proper stage of ripeness for picking? Apples turn red long before they’re ripe, so redness…
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Plant Or Divide Iris In August

Iris have been called the poor man’s orchid. Because they’re so beautiful, I think I’ll opt to be a poor man. Iris have come a long way in the past 50 years, and the small-flowered less-showy varieties of yesteryear have been replaced by the gigantic blossoms and intense colors of today’s hybrids. Most iris varieties bloom…
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What Happened To My Zucchini?

One year your zucchini crop is so overly productive that you’re leaving them on every neighborhood doorstep, ringing the doorbell and running. The next year your zucchini, or other summer squash, barely reach finger-length before the ends turn soft and rot. And you certainly don’t want to admit you’ve failed at zucchini-growing when everyone else is peddling wheelbarrows full of…
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Hardy Perennial Gaining Popularity

Would you like to turn heads with a hardy perennial that’s one of the best-kept secrets in flower gardening? It’s fully winter hardy across North Dakota and Minnesota with its zone 3 rating. It’s low-maintenance, free of insects and disease, rarely needs dividing, is long-lived and tolerates a wide variety of soil types. What is this…
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What’s That Bug On My Berries?

Finding a maggot inside a freshly-picked raspberry is less than appetizing. Raspberries and occasionally strawberries have been under new attacks by insects invading ripe, homegrown fruit. These are relatively new problems that I never encountered during my past 50 years of berry picking. Only during the last several years have these bugs become a widespread problem, prompting many questions from gardeners,…
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