Why The First Cucumber And Squash Blossoms Don’t Set Fruit

It’s exciting when the season’s first huge squash flowers and small cucumber blossoms begin to open because fruit can’t be far behind, right? Well, not so fast. Gardeners anxious for the first signs of harvest are often disappointed when the first blossoms drop, with no fruit formed. There’s a reason the first blossoms of squash,…
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Benefits Of Mulching Tomatoes

It’s no wonder the tomato remains America’s most popular homegrown vegetable. I’m glad grocery stores offer tomatoes, because the tasteless produce makes us savor our garden tomatoes all the more. In fact, a few years ago I conducted a homegrown tomato taste-test of various popular garden varieties. I snuck in a store-bought tomato also. One of the panelists, upon…
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With Mounting Problems, Should Autumn Blaze Maples Be Planted?

There is one plant about which I’ve receive more emails and questions than any other in the past 38 years. It’s Autumn Blaze maple, and inquiries have far outpaced even questions about the best time to transplant rhubarb. The questions of course don’t address Autumn Blaze maples that are doing wonderfully. They’re about Autumn Blaze that…
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Is It True Peonies Need Ants To Bloom?

Peonies have been especially beautiful this year. They make a great cut flower, except for a few ants that hitchhike indoors. You don’t have to search far to locate ants on the plump, round flower buds of peonies. Is it true that ants are required for peony flower buds to open normally, or is it…
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Garden Weeds – If You Can’t Beat ‘Em, Eat ‘Em

I’ve always hesitated to eat weeds, although I was told they’re delicious. I’ve spent the better part of my life eradicating purslane, pigweed and lamb‘s quarters. Even if they’re edible, I’ve considered them dietetically unclean. Who knows where those weeds have been. Everyone knows dandelions can be eaten, and many of us have given them a…
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