Monthly Archives: December 2015

  1. The Advantages of Planting Bare Root Plants

    Have you ever been shocked to find that the tree or shrub you ordered showed up to your door completely naked?  Don’t be!  This is what we call a bare root plant, and they come with a number of advantages over their potted and balled-and-bur-lapped (B&B) counterparts. Autumn Blaze Maple TT1.5   The most obvious advantage?  Bare root plants cost less!  They are cost saving to the merchants, who pass these savings on to you.  Because their packaging is lightweight and stackable, shipping them is a breeze.  Potted and B&B plants must be handled carefully, because their heavy, soil-laden roots can make messes or even cause damage.  Bare root plants don’t have this problem.  Furthermore, the lighter packaging means less fuel is needed to transport bare root plants.  That’s not only cost-saving, but eco-friendly, too!   Speaking of eco-friendliness, bare root plants have other environmental advantages.  When plants are shipped with soil, microbes can hitchhike along.  These can include insect eggs and other pests that can cause shock damage to your yard.  The mix of microbes in the plant’s soil might not integrate well into the mix in your yard’s soil, which could delay your new plant’s integration into the landscape.  
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  2. Dwarf Citrus Tree: A Perfect Accent for Your Baby’s Room

    Indoor Citrus Tree Gearing up the nursery involves a lot of tough choices. After all, you and your baby will be spending a lot of time in there. You want it to be as healthy as possible for your little one, but also comfortable and decorative. There’s no better way to achieve all of that than houseplants. Houseplants are nice decorative accents, and are well known for improving air quality, as they produce clean oxygen from their leaves.
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  3. Fruit Tree Pollination: Does Your Fruit Tree Need a Friend?

    Many fruit trees require a pollinator, but what does that mean exactly?   Although there are fruit trees out there that are self fruitful (like some cherry tree varieties for example), others will require a recommended pollinator in order to produce fruit (like apple trees). Basically, fruit is produced when the female parts of a flower are exposed to pollen, which is what we mean when we say "pollination."  Pollen is produced by the male parts of the flower.  Some flowers, called “perfect flowers,” contain both female parts and pollen-producing male parts.  Plants with perfect flowers can sometimes pollinate themselves, but some have biological blocks in place that prevent self-pollination.  Other plants have flowers that are either male or female.  These require pollen-producing male flowers to be accessible to the female flowers.  Sometimes, male and female flowers grow on the same tree.  In some species, though, male flowers grow on male trees and female flowers grow on female trees.
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  4. 10 MOST AMAZING PLANTS THAT YOU DIDN'T KNOW EXIST

    Ever hear of a carnivorous plant? What about a flower that smells like rotting meat when it blooms? It may sound like something out of a horror movie or science fiction novel but these plants really exist. Here is a list of actually real but totally unbelievable plants. 10. Amorphophallus titanium, also known as the corpse flower, tops our list not just because it only blooms 3-4 times during its 40 years of life but also because it releases an odor that is much like rotting meat when it does bloom. It is also not difficult to see how it got its name upon closer examination. corpse_flower

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  5. THE FACTS AND FICTION OF MAN-EATING PLANTS

    They've been a staple of horror for centuries. Man-eating plants. The silent member of a league that includes vampires, Frankenstein, and werewolves. Man-eating plants have permeated books, news, television, and film. And why shouldn't they? From the ten year old with his “pet Venus Fly Trap” to native tribes wearily moving through unfamiliar jungle, man-eating plants are a primal curiosity and fear.

    Madagascar Man-Eating Tree

    In 1881 a German explorer named Carl Liche wrote about an expedition he took to Madagascar where he witnessed a human sacrifice performed to feed a man-eating tree. The Mkodo tribe and he were traveling through the jungle, when they came upon an unusual looking tree. The tribesman treated it with reverence and motioned for Liche to stay away. A woman was brought forward, and before Liche’s eyes the tree came to life, grabbed the woman and completely consumed her. This myth continued for some time, gaining further life when it was mentioned again in a 1924 book titled, “Madagascar, Land of the Man-Eating Tree”. It wasn’t until 1955, in the book “Salamanders and other Wonders” that the Man-Eating Tree, the Mkodo Tribe, and even Carl Liche himself turned out to be complete fabrications. Madagascar Man Eating Tree

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  6. Fruit Tree Fertilization

    [caption id="attachment_4366" align="alignleft" width="300"]fertile_soil Fertile soil[/caption] You want the best fruit your fruit tree can give, right? Good fruit comes from fertile soil, so the key is to  maintain soil health.  Sometimes, this means adding fertilizer, but know how to prevent over-fertilizing. Fertilizer in excess can be more damaging than no fertilizer at all. The most practical way of checking soil fertility is by investigating the annual growth of the tree.  If you inspect the branches and follow the branch from the tip to the previous year’s growth, you can measure how much the fruiting tree grew in a season. New growth is flexible and green, while last year's growth is darker (often brown) and more rigid.  A mature, fruit-producing tree should have 6-8 inches of vegetative growth each year.  Immature fruit trees grow more quickly, but don’t produce fruit.  

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  7. Top 5 Winter Interest Plants

    Winter is the ever-returning friend and foe of gardeners.  You may rue the arrival of Jack Frost every year, driving you inside and sapping all the color from your garden.  But did you know that there are a number of plants that can keep your garden pretty all through the cold season? Looking to liven up your white-washed winter landscape?  Dust the dreariness with one of these winter interest plants:   dogarctic1#5 Arctic Fire Dogwood During the summer, Arctic Fire Dogwood is your everyday deciduous shrub. Round and green and merry, it is a cute little puffball. When winter comes, its leaves fall away, exposing its fiery red-orange branches.  They spray upward from the snow like fire, boldly defying the cold.  
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