How Low Can Plants Go?

Arctic air is here, and we’re in the throes of a winter cold blast. Below zero stings the skin and I find myself hurrying a bit more quickly outdoors. Wind-chill makes me hustle even faster. Luckily plants don’t feel wind-chill. Most of the trees, shrubs and perennials in our landscapes are hardy lots; the non-adapted…
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What’s Behind The Old Root Cellar Door?

Old doors are intriguing. Curiosity pulls you to solve whatever mystery lies behind the old, closed door. Admit it – when you see an old door and aren’t sure what’s on the other side, you need to open it. And this 120-year-old door is like that. So what mysteries hide behind the old cellar door?…
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Can Indoor Plants Reduce Radon Gas?

With recent increased publicity about the dangers of radon gas in our homes, I was curious whether indoor plants could mitigate radon’s effects. It’s well-documented that houseplants can absorb and neutralize many toxic compounds indoors that exude from today’s building materials, carpeting and furniture; things like formaldehyde and volatile organic compounds (voc’s.) Common houseplants like…
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Two-Hundred-Year-Old Marigold Making A Popular Comeback

Sometimes old flower varieties are best left in the past, because improved versions are, well, improvements. Newer types might have improved vigor with larger flowers, better disease resistance or longer blooming season, so planting the older versions can be disappointing. But there are a few very old flower varieties that need no improvement, yet they’ve…
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Quiz: Which Fruits Must Be Picked Fully Ripe And Which Ripen After?

Have you ever wondered why the green bananas we buy at the grocery store ripen sweetly after a few days, yet the half-white strawberries in their plastic tubs rot while we wait for them to taste like home-grown? That’s because there are two divisions of fruit: types that continue to ripen after picking, and types…
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