The Quest For The Best Tomato

Tomatoes have long been America’s most-planted garden vegetable. But with a dizzying array of hundreds of named varieties, which are the best? For most of us, the top criteria for the “best” tomato is taste. And it must be decent size and ripening timely for our region. How should a tomato taste? That’s hard to…
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The Perennial Flower That Has Gas

All plants are unique, but some are very unique. Take, for example, the perennial flower that has gas. The flower stalks emit a flammable oil with vapors that can be ignited with a match, resulting in an ascending poof of flame. And that’s where it gets its common name – gas plant. But gas plant…
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How Often Should Peonies Be Divided?

Peonies probably hold the record for the perennial with the longest life span. Stories are common of peonies still thriving that were originally planted on pioneer homesteads in the late 1800’s. To keep a peony healthy and thriving, is it necessary to dig and divide the massive clump of roots and stems, and if so,…
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Unique Annual For Flowerbed Backdrops

It’s fun to grow things that cause passersby to stop and point. All flowers are nice, but some are unique and uncommon enough to stir curiosity. One such flower is cleome. (Usually pronounced klee-ohm, or less often klee-OH-mee.) Nicknames include spider flower and grandfather’s whiskers. It’s one of our long-time favorites, and great for flowerbed…
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The Best-Tasting Squash I’ve Ever Grown

Squash and I go way back. About 50 years ago I remember helping my Mom pick Buttercup squash after fall frosts, a variety that remained her favorite, despite our trying most of the other types during my teenage gardening years. As a young college student I worked summers for the NDSU squash breeder and in…
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