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Gardening Basics


Eco-Answers from the Pros: How Clean Should Fall Cleanup Be?

As I begin fall cleanup in my gardens, what are your recommendations? Should I clean beds off, cutting foliage and remaining seed heads off? Are there some plants best cut off and others that are good to leave until spring? Also, should I remove leaves entirely from the ground around plants? I didn’t get all the leaves removed from beds last year and had a lot of damage to plant roots from either voles or moles.

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Native Plants for the Small Yard: Easy, Beautiful Home Gardens that Support the Local Ecology

Text by Kate Brandes Illustrations by Tom Maxfield Social scientists have looked at how people feel about their yards, and their research shows that preferences are determined mostly by people’s desire to fit in with the neighbors. Unfortunately, native plants have developed something of a bad rap among homeowners as messy and hard to manage…

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Leave the Leaves!

by Justin Wheeler Reprinted with permission from the Xerces Society’s blog. Besides providing the right plants, and protecting your garden from pesticides, one of the next most valuable things you can do to support pollinators and other invertebrates is to provide them with the winter cover they need in the form of fall leaves and…

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The Garden in Every Sense and Season

by  Tovah Martin Taken from The Garden in Every Sense and Season© Copyright 2018 by Tovah Martin, photographs by Kindra Clineff. Published by Timber Press, Portland, OR. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved. Grape Nuts You suspected autumn was in the air. Maybe you even feared fall’s inevitable arrival. But you didn’t come…

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Book Review: Practical Organic Gardening

Practical Organic Gardening: The No-Nonsense Guide to Growing Naturally Written by Mark Highland Published by Cool Springs Press, 2017 Reviewed by Rie Macchiarolo Practical Organic Gardening is a great book for gardeners, farmers, and horticulturalists of all skill levels. In the first chapter author Mark Highland notes that while organic farming and organic gardening share…

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Sowing Native Seed

by Heather McCargo The seeds of wild plants have a different set of needs than those of common garden and vegetable species. Most gardeners think of spring as the time to sow seeds, but for most native plants in Maine fall to early winter is the best time. Many wildflowers, trees and shrubs have seeds that…

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For the Birds

by Karen Bussolini Bluebirds brighten any day, but their blast of blue and muted melodies especially lift my spirits in winter. On sunny mornings they’re like blue-clad clowns catching drops of snowmelt mid-drip as they hang upside down from the eaves of my garden shed. When every feathered creature around descends on the big old…

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