Organic Gardening News

Santina Cherry Tree Care – Growing Santina Cherries At Home

Organic Gardening - Sun, 2019-02-10 18:00
An attractive, reddish-black fruit with a somewhat flattened heart shape, Santina cherries are firm and moderately sweet. Santina cherry trees display a spreading, slightly drooping nature that makes them especially attractive in the garden. These cherry trees are valued not only for their flavor, but for their high productivity, crack resistance and long harvest window. Growing Santina cherries is relatively easy if you live in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 7. Read on to learn how. What are Santina Cherries? Santina cherry trees, the result of a cross between Summit and Stella, were bred at Pacific Ari-Food Research Station in Summerland British Columbia in 1973. Santina cherries are multi-purpose and can be eaten fresh off the tree, cooked, or preserved by drying or freezing. They are delicious incorporated into hot or cold dishes. Santina cherries paired with smoked meat and cheese is a delightful treat. Santina Cherry Tree CareRead this article
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Pear Crown Gall Treatment: What Causes Pear Crown Gall

Organic Gardening - Sun, 2019-02-10 15:00
A disease commonly found in fruit tree nurseries and orchards is crown gall. The initial symptoms of a pear tree with crown gall are light colored galls that gradually become dark and harden. As the disease progresses, the tree shows reduced growth. So what causes pear crown gall and is there a treatment for the disease? Let’s learn more. Symptoms of Crown Gall on Pears As mentioned, a pear tree with crown gall shows wart-like swellings (galls) on its roots and crown. On occasion, the galls may be seen on the trunks or branches as well. A preponderance of galls actually disrupts the uptake of water and nutrients into the tree from the root system. This causes the tree to look generally unhealthy. What Causes Pear Crown Gall? Crown gall afflicts 140 genera in 60 different families worldwide. It is caused by the bacterium Agrobacterium tumefaciens. The infection passes intoRead this article
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Cold Frames For Seedlings: How To Use A Cold Frame In Spring

Organic Gardening - Sun, 2019-02-10 11:00
A cold frame is a simple box structure with a clear lid that you can open and close. It harnesses sunlight to provide a warmer environment than the surrounding garden. While many people use it to extend the growing season or harden off seedlings started indoors, you can also use a cold frame to start germinating and sprouting your spring seeds. Can You Plant Seeds in Cold Frames? The answer is a resounding yes, cold frames for spring seedlings is a great idea. In fact, you should consider starting your seeds in early spring this way for a few reasons: With a cold frame, you can start seeds as much as six weeks earlier than you would put them in the ground. You can control the soil content more easily in a cold frame than in an outdoor bed. A cold frame provides the right conditions of moisture and warmthRead this article
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Montmorency Cherry Info: How To Grow Montmorency Tart Cherries

Organic Gardening - Sun, 2019-02-10 07:00
Montmorency tart cherries are classics. This variety is used to make dried cherries and is perfect for pies and jams. Dark, sweet cherries are great for fresh eating, but if you want to bake and preserve, you need something a little tart. Montmorency Cherry Information Montmorency is an old variety of tart cherry, dating back hundreds of years in France. It is also the most widely grown tart cherry for commercial uses, so chances are if you have ever had a product with tart cherries in it, you’ve had a Montmorency. Montmorency cherry trees are hardy in zones 4 through 7 and need about 700 chill hours in the winter months. You can find Montmorency trees on standard and dwarf rootstocks, and they all grow in a pleasing oval shape. Abundant late spring flowers are followed by cherries that ripen and are ready to be harvested around late June. TheRead this article
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Kikusui Asian Pear Info: Learn How To Grow A Kikusui Pear Tree

Organic Gardening - Sat, 2019-02-09 18:15
There used to be a noted absence of Asian pears in supermarkets, but for the last few decades they have become as common as European pears. One of the more outstanding, the Kikusui Asian pear (also known as floating chrysanthemum Asian pear), is noted for its sweet-tart flavor and the darling flat, chubby fruits. Asian pears prefer temperate to cool weather so if you are thinking about growing Kikusui pears, make sure your climate is right for these wonderful plants. Kikusui Asian Pear Info Asian pears are also often called apple pears because, when ripe, they have the crispness of an apple but the flavor of a ripe European pear. Asian pears (or Nashi) are pome fruits similar to apples, quince and pears, but they differ in their temperature requirements. The Kikusui Asian pear tree needs 500 hours of chilling to break dormancy and force blooms. It is hardy toRead this article
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Dimorphotheca Problems – Troubleshooting Cape Marigold Issues

Organic Gardening - Sat, 2019-02-09 15:01
Cape marigold (Dimorphotheca), with a spring and summer daisy-like bloom, is an attractive plant and easy to grow. Sometimes, too easy, as it may spread and naturalize into nearby fields and meadows. Also called rain daisy or weather prophet, there are a few varieties of cape marigold but none are related to the marigold in spite of its most common moniker. Cape marigold problems aren’t common, but the minor issues below may affect them. Problems with Cape Marigold Plants Given the right conditions, problems with cape marigold may begin with their invasion and stopping it. Confine them to appropriate spots in the landscape where they can be easily contained. Deadhead regularly to prevent their spread. Soil that is too rich creates Dimorphotheca problems. This flower grows well in sandy, well-draining soil and will even grow in amended clay. An attractive covering of mulch helps retain moisture. If you’re asking what’sRead this article
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Stella Cherry Information: What Is A Stella Sweet Cherry

Organic Gardening - Sat, 2019-02-09 11:15
Cherries rule in summer, and it’s hard to find any that are sweeter or present more beautifully than those growing on Stella cherry trees. The tree offers several gorgeous displays, the first in spring when the frothy blossoms open, the second when the heart-shaped Stella sweet cherry fruit appears, ruby and ripe. If you’d like more Stella cherry information about this great fruit tree, read on. We’ll also provide tips on how to grow Stella cherries. Stella Cherry Information If you like cherries, you’ll love Stella sweet cherry fruit. The cherries are exceptionally firm and sweet. They taste wonderful infused with summer sun from your backyard. They are also large and bright red, just like cherries in your dreams. And Stella cherry trees also offer some extra advantages over other popular fruit trees. First, the tree’s showy white blossoms are among the first to appear in spring. They really dressRead this article
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What Is Oscarde Lettuce: Learn How To Grow Oscarde Lettuce Plants

Organic Gardening - Sat, 2019-02-09 07:00
The addition of lettuce in the home garden is a very popular choice for growers wishing to extend their gardening season, as well as add variety to their homegrown vegetable plots. In addition to being one of the earliest sown vegetables, lettuce plants can also be grown throughout the fall to extend the harvest period into winter. Many lettuces, such as ‘Oscarde,’ offer its growers a crisp texture, as well as a vibrant pop of color. What is Oscarde Lettuce? Oscarde lettuce plants are an oakleaf variety of loose-leaf lettuce. Prized by growers for their stunning reddish-purple color, these plants offer gardeners a delicious disease resistant green that is perfectly suited for a variety of garden growing conditions. Reaching maturity in as little as 30 days, Oscarde lettuce seeds are excellent candidates for early season and succession sowing. Growing Oscarde Lettuce Oscarde lettuce plants prefer to grow when temperatures areRead this article
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What Is Soapweed Yucca – How To Grow A Soapweed Yucca Plant

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2019-02-08 18:00
What is soapweed yucca? This distinctive member of the agave family is an attractive clumping perennial with grayish-green, dagger-like leaves that grow from a central rosette. During the summer, stout stalks lined with creamy, cup-shaped blooms rise 2 to 3 feet (1 m.) above the plant. Growing soapweed yuccas isn’t difficult as long as you can provide the right growing conditions. Let’s learn how to grow a soapweed yucca. Soapweed Yucca Information The Native Americans of the Great Plains valued soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca), using it for aches and pains, sprains, inflammations, and also to staunch bleeding. The roots were used as a laxative and the soapy juice was an effective treatment for poison ivy and other minor skin irritations. The stout fibers were incorporated into sandals, baskets, brooms and whips. Soapweed yucca, with a taproot of up to 20 feet (7 m.), is a hardy plant that stands upRead this article
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Mining Bee Info: Are Mining Bees Good To Have Around

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2019-02-08 15:00
Honeybees have received quite a bit of media in the last few decades as many challenges have noticeably decreased their populations. For centuries, the honeybee’s relationship with mankind has been incredibly hard on the bees. Originally native to Europe, honeybee hives were brought to North America by early settlers. At first honeybees struggled to adapt to the new environment and native plant life of the New World, but in time and through domestication efforts by man, they adapted and naturalized. However, as honeybee populations increased in North America and they became recognized as an important agricultural tool, they were forced to compete for resources with 4,000 native bee species, such as mining bees. As human populations increased and advanced, all bee species began to struggle for habitat and food sources, not just in North America but worldwide. Keep reading for some additional mining bee info and learn more about theseRead this article
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Cherry ‘Sunburst’ Info – How To Grow A Sunburst Cherry Tree

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2019-02-08 11:02
Another cherry tree option for those looking for an early ripening cultivar during Bing season is the Sunburst cherry tree. Cherry ‘Sunburst’ matures in mid-season with large, sweet, dark-red to black fruit that resists splitting better than many other cultivars. Interested in growing Sunburst cherry trees? The following article contains information on how to grow a Sunburst cherry. Soon you can be harvesting Sunburst cherries of your very own. About Sunburst Cherry Trees Cherry ‘Sunburst’ trees were developed at the Summerland Research Station in Canada and introduced in 1965. They mature in mid-season a day after Van cherries and 11 days prior to LaPins. They are primarily sold in the United Kingdom and out of Australia. Sunburst is suitable for growing in containers. It is self-fertile, which means it does not need another cherry to set fruit, but it is also an excellent pollinator for other cultivars. It has aRead this article
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Taylor’s Gold Pears: Growing Pear ‘Taylor’s Gold’ Trees

Organic Gardening - Fri, 2019-02-08 07:17
Taylor’s Gold Comice pear is a delightful fruit not to be missed by pear lovers. Believed to be a sport of Comice, Taylor’s Gold comes from New Zealand and is a relatively new variety. It is tasty eaten fresh, but also holds up well to baking and preserves. Learn more about Taylor’s Gold trees to grow your own. Taylor’s Gold Pear Information For a tasty pear, Taylor’s Gold is hard to beat. It was discovered in New Zealand in the 1980s and is thought to be a sport of the Comice variety, although some believe it is a cross between Comice and Bosc. Taylor’s Gold has golden-brown skin reminiscent of Bosc, but the flesh is more similar to Comice. The white flesh is creamy and melts in the mouth and the flavor is sweet, making this an excellent fresh-eating pear. They may not poach well because of the tenderness ofRead this article
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Palmer’s Grappling-Hook Info: Learn About The Grappling-Hook Plant

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2019-02-07 18:19
Hikers from Arizona, California, and south to Mexico and Baja may be familiar with finely haired pods clinging to their socks. These come from the Palmer’s grappling-hook plant (Harpagonella palmeri), which is considered rare in the United States. What is Palmer’s grappling-hook? This wild, native flora lives in gravel or sand slopes in creosote bush communities. It is very tiny and may be hard to notice, but once it gets its hooks in you, it can be hard to shake off. What is Palmer’s Grappling Hook? The arid inhospitable desert regions of the southern United States and northern Mexico are home to very adaptable plant and animal species. These organisms must be able to withstand searing heat, long drought periods, freezing night temperatures and low nutrient food sources. Palmer’s grappling-hook is native to the desert and coastal sand areas of California and Arizona as well as Baja and Sonora inRead this article
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When Do Succulents Bloom: Learn About Flowering Succulent Care

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2019-02-07 15:00
Most of us grow our cacti and succulent plants for the attractive and unusual foliage. Flowers on a succulent are a special surprise. All succulent plants and cacti have the capability to bloom at some point, but location and conditions have to be just right. If a bloom stalk or bud appears, you’ll likely exclaim “My succulent is flowering!” Proceed in the right way to get the most beautiful, long-lasting bloom. Read on for tips to help with caring for flowers on a succulent plant. Blooming Succulent Plant Care When your bloom stalk or flower begins to develop, keep an eye out for aphids buzzing around it. They are particularly attracted to this type of new growth. Spray them with a 50% to 70% alcohol product or a horticulture soap. Some succulent growers remove the stalk at this time for this reason. If your intriguing bloom leads you to provideRead this article
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What Is Watermelon Charcoal Rot – Treating Charcoal Rot In Watermelons

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2019-02-07 11:04
When you have watermelons with charcoal rot in your garden, don’t count on getting those melons to the picnic table. This fungal disease attacks many different types of cucurbits, including watermelon, usually killing the plants. If you are growing watermelons, read on for more information about charcoal rot and what to do when you see it. What is Watermelon Charcoal Rot? Charcoal rot in watermelons is caused by the fungus Macrophomina phaseolina. It is a fungus that lives in the soil and is very prevalent in some states, including California. It can persist for up to 12 years. The fungus that infects watermelons with charcoal rot can also infect hundreds of other plant species. In melons, the pathogen first attacks the stems near the soil a few weeks after planting. But you won’t see symptoms until much closer to harvest. Symptoms of Charcoal Rot in Watermelons The first signs thatRead this article
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Tom Thumb Lettuce Care – Learn About Growing Lettuce ‘Tom Thumb’ Plants

Organic Gardening - Thu, 2019-02-07 07:01
Lettuce has long been one of the most common staples in the vegetable garden. In addition to the quality taste when picked fresh, lettuce is also a great option for first-time growers or for those wishing to grow their own produce without access to adequate garden space. The combination of its quick growth habit, compact size, and ability to grow in a wide range of conditions makes lettuce an easy choice. Some varieties, such as Tom Thumb, are specifically suited for growth in containers, grow bags, and raised beds, making even more great options for small space gardeners. Tom Thumb Lettuce Facts Tom Thumb lettuce plants are a unique variety of butterhead or bibb lettuce. These plants produce crisp buttery leaves which form a loose head. Reaching maturity in around 45 days, the most unique characteristic of these plants is their diminutive size. Small 4- to 5-inch (10-15 cm.) plantsRead this article
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Van Cherry Care Info: Learn About Growing Van Cherries

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2019-02-06 18:19
Van cherries are attractive, cold-hardy trees with shiny foliage and clusters of white, springtime blooms followed by delicious, reddish-black cherries in midsummer. The beauty continues in autumn when the leaves turn a shade of brilliant yellow. Interested in growing Van cherries? It isn’t difficult, but the cherries require cool winters in USDA plant hardiness zones 5 through 8. Read on and for more information. Van Cherry Uses Van cherries are firm, sweet and juicy. Although they’re delicious eaten fresh, they can also be incorporated into cooked dishes and a variety of desserts, including pies and sorbets. The cherries are often used in jams, jellies and sauces and can be preserved by freezing or drying. Van cherries pair well with a number of sweet and savory foods, including smoked meats, cheese, pork, poultry or leafy greens. Growing Van Cherries Plant the cherry trees in late fall or early spring. Van cherriesRead this article
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Using Cat’s Ear Plants: What Are The Benefits Of Cat’s Ear

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2019-02-06 15:00
To homeowners who desire a perfectly manicured lawn, persistent weeds like dandelion, purslane, plantain and cat’s ear can evoke anger and hatred. However, to gardeners who are fascinated by the healing properties of plants, these same little “weeds” are cherished treasures. While most gardeners and herbalists have probably heard of the excellent medicinal and culinary uses of dandelion, plantain and purslane, cat’s ear is an oftentimes overlooked and underappreciated herb that is loaded with antioxidants. Continue reading for tips on using cat’s ear plants and learn how to reap the many cat’s ear benefits by keeping this plant around. Is Cat’s Ear Edible? Cat’s ear plant is a perennial native to Europe, which has naturalized in North America, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and other regions. In many of these places, cat’s ear is considered a nuisance or noxious weed, but in other places, it is considered a culinary or herbalRead this article
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What Is A Tosca Pear: Learn About Growing Tosca Pears

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2019-02-06 11:00
If you love Bartlett, you’ll love Tosca pears. You can cook with Tosca pears just as you would Bartlett and they are also delicious eaten fresh. The first juicy bite will make you want to run out and start growing your own Tosca pears. Before you purchase a Tosca pear tree, continue reading to learn how to care for Tosca pears in the home garden. What is a Tosca Pear? As mentioned, Tosca pears are similar to Bartlett pears. Tosca pear trees are a hybrid between the early season Coscia and the Williams bon Cretien, aka the Bartlett pear. These pears were developed in Tuscany, Italy and, due to their Italian heritage, are thought to have been named after the infamous opera by Giacomo Puccini. The earliest pears to ripen (available in the late summer and early fall), Tosca pears are bell shaped with a greenish-yellow skin and bright white,Read this article
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Ulster Cherry Info – Learn About The Care Of Ulster Cherries

Organic Gardening - Wed, 2019-02-06 07:00
Few things beat the sugary, rich taste of a dark, sweet cherry. Caring for and maintaining a cherry tree is not too difficult, and you can even get most varieties in dwarf form. Growing Ulster cherries is a great option if you want an abundant harvest of sweet fruits. Ulster Cherry Information Ulster sweet cherries are similar to the popular Bing variety. They are dark, deep red in color and have a very sweet flavor. The variety was created as a cross between Schmidt and Lambert cherries. These cherries are perfect for fresh eating and snacking but also for making wine and juice. The Ulster variety was designed to produce an abundant amount of large, sweet cherries, like Bing, but to be more crack resistant. Cherries tend to crack when they get wet during ripening, but Ulster has good resistance to this phenomenon. It also has decent resistance to drought,Read this article
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