Community Education - "Hands in the Dirt" Articles

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Planning the Garden:  Every year in the spring it gets hectic and crazy. Before we know it the bulbs have finished blooming and the nurseries are loaded with this year's must have plants. We never seem to catch up.  Many gardeners make all sorts of resolutions to weed more or buy less, promising ourselves that this year we will do better. Why not begin now by implementing some changes we can do while the garden slumbers and the demands on our lives are a little less. Make these a part of your new garden resolutions!

Hydrangeas:  Gardeners have discovered their hydrangeas have had few or no blooms after the last two bitter winters. Many have asked about the late bloom or no bloom they experienced for the second year running. I wasn't much better off, with my beautiful Endless Summer ™ deciding that September and October would be the best time to cover itself in blooms, just in time for the first cold snap of the coming winter.

Planting Bulbs for Spring Flowers:  Over the decades we've all heard many pearls of wisdom about planting bulbs. Some were based on experience, handed down over the generations.  Others were no better than superstition. The same questions and myths come at this time every year.  Which gardening pearls of wisdom do we hold dear and which do we ignore? The really big questions are: what do we do, and when do we do it to have that gorgeous spring display?

Warm to Cold and Back Again - A Tennessee Gardeners' Winter Nightmare:  If you are among the many gardeners worriedly inspecting their gardens, there is one clear concern for many. What should we do to protect the many early sprouting and blooming plants from the next arctic blast sure to hit us in February or March, as has happened so often in previous years? Bulbs are the most visible right now, but many other plants have also been pushing up those tender buds and tentative green shoots, ready for frost damage.

Whitewash - It's Not Only for Fences: Tom Sawyer may have gotten his friends to whitewash fences, and in some places people are fond of whitewashing homes, windows, floors and outdoor furniture, but what's this about painting trees with white paint? Recently the question was posed about this practice and why it is done. This isn't done much locally, here in Blount County, so many people probably haven't noticed it too much. The question certainly intrigued me enough to read up on the scientific reasons.

Blount County Extension Master Gardeners


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