Now is the time to plan your spring garden

by Adam Russell, Texas A&M AgriLife

December is the time to plan and prepare for spring gardens, said Dr. Joe Masabni, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service small-acreage vegetable specialist, Overton.

East Texas spring gardens are finished producing and the fall garden should be in full swing, he said. So in down months like December, it’s best to get organized and ready for spring planting. Continue reading

Gardening tips from the University of Georgia

Whether you are a veteran gardener or new to the local food movement, you are sure to find worthwhile advice in this collection of spring gardening articles from University of Georgia experts. From how to fight squash pests to planting the perfect flowers for pollinating insects, these articles are based on science by researchers with the UGA College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Many of the articles are applicable to the entire Southeast. Happy gardening!

Go to the web page.

Deterring squirrels and other IPM tidbits

If you have as many squirrels in your yard as I have in mine, Ciscoe Morris, Seattle Times garden writer, has some interesting–if not amusing–advice, in addition to some information about cover crops.

It’s prime time to plant tulips and other spring blooming bulbs, but if squirrels frequent your garden, you are undoubtedly aware of how difficult it is to keep those varmints from digging up and eating the bulbs. In the past I often recommended planting the bulbs surrounded by chicken wire or hardware cloth. Now there’s a new way to protect bulbs that is much easier and just as effective.

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What’s in a name? A species common name, that is

When scientists discover a new species–whether it is an insect, pathogen, weed, animal or aquatic species–they give it two names. One is the scientific name that will be used for the rest of the species’ existence to refer to the species, and the other is the “common name,” or the name that you will usually see in media reports. These names can take months, sometimes years or research before scientists formally present them, but while scientists are debating back and forth what the best name is, others will choose a common name just so they have a reference to the species, especially if they are trying to alert the public to be on alert.

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New app teaches kids about gardening

Media contacts: Dr. Lucy Bradley, assistant professor of horticultural science at N.C. State University, 919-513-2001 or; or James McGurk, promotions manager at UNC-TV, 919-549-7061 or

A new electronic game from UNC-TV and North Carolina Cooperative Extension is designed to get kids interested in spending time outdoors growing their own fruits and vegetables.

Made for the iPhone and iPad, “Read-a-Roo’s Fabulous Edible Garden” allows kids to grow their own virtual gardens and, along the way, learn how to grow, harvest and cook a variety of real plants and vegetables.

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Great weekend for planting, but learn what you’re getting

Often the plants that are the cheapest at the garden store are not always the easiest to maintain. According to the Wilmington Star, some residents in Wilmington are seeking an ordinance to prevent the planting of running bamboo, an attractive plant sold at garden stores. In the right conditions and not properly pruned, the plant can spill over into other yards, as a homeowner at Carolina Beach discovered after she returned from a long assignment out of town.

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One Person’s Beautiful Plant; Another’s Invasive Nightmare

Although the distinctive sweet scents of honeysuckle and wisteria have always assured me that spring is on its way, by midsummer I find myself battling them in my backyard. While some people welcome these plants, and others with similar growth habits, neither of the plants is native to the United States, and in most cases, are considered invasive pests.

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