Lemon-scented Plants

If you want to add some lemon zest to your garden, but can’t grow a lemon tree, consider trying some lemon-scented herbs or other plants. Many different plants contain the same chemical compounds that give lemons their distinctive fragrance. This article covers a collection of plants that have scents suggesting lemons.

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The Italian Garden

If you’re looking for lots of beautiful flowers, the classic Italian garden is NOT the place to be looking. This style of garden focuses on  symmetry, grandeur and power over nature.  Intersecting axial lines, geometrically patterned beds, and evergreens pruned into geometric shapes intended to serve as a backdrop for sculpture, and dramatic water features are just some of the hallmarks of this historic type of garden that typically includes few flowers. Here’s an introduction to this formal garden style…

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Winter Pruning

Almost all plants need some type of maintenance, and trees and shrubs are no exception. These woody plants will generally be healthier and more attractive if pruned appropriately. The best time for pruning deciduous trees and shrubs is in the winter, when they are leafless. To learn more about pruning trees and shrubs, read this article…

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Using Manure in the Home Garden

Gardeners are always encouraged to incorporate organic matter into their soil. Manures are one good source that can also be used as a fertilizer. But the way that manure is treated and the animal it came from makes a big difference in fertility and how it should be used. To learn more about using manure in the home garden, read this article…

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Why Test Soil?

How much fertilizer should you use on your lawn or vegetable garden? Do you have sufficient organic matter in your soil? The only way to definitively answer these questions is to take a soil test. The results will help you determine what nutrients your plants should get for optimal growth. Get an introduction to the basics of soil tests in this article…

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The Buzz About Bees: Let’s Protect Our Pollinators

Bees are very important pollinators, critical to the production of many of the fruits and vegetables we enjoy, as well as the economic health of growers in Wisconsin and nationally. Wisconsin Secretary of Agriculture Ben Brancel discusses how the WI DATCP is protecting these essential insects in this article…

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Indian Corn

This time of year seasonal decorations made of natural materials, including Indian corn, show up at Farmers Markets and craft shows. Indian or flint corn is one of many types of maize or corn with colored kernels, either of a single or multiple colors. To learn more about these types of corn that have attractively-colored kernels, read this article…

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Phenology and Gardening

Have you ever noticed that some natural events, such as bird migration or flower blooming, occur on different calendar dates each year, but always happens in a predictable pattern relative to the weather and other seasonal events? Phenology is the study of the timing of natural events in relation to weather. Learn more about phenology in this article…

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Organic Pesticides

Although “organic pesticide” may seem like an oxymoron, there really are a number of naturally-derived materials registered as pesticides for use by organic growers. This article describes what a pesticide is and some of those approved for organic production. Learn more by reading the full article…

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Chocolate, Theobroma cacao

What could be better than chocolate? Many people love this sweet, rich treat, but not everyone knows where it comes from. The process of converting the seeds of a tropical rainforest tree to the confection we know involves a number of steps. But that tree itself is an interesting plant. To learn more about where chocolate comes from, read this article…

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