January2016 Archive:

Forcing bulbs is fun, easy and gets us through winter
Doug Oster

I’m not sure if there’s any better feeling than seeing the plump flower bud of an amaryllis push out of the top of a big bulb. It means that the flowers are only a few weeks away. Amaryllis bulbs and other bulbs for forcing like paperwhites and hyacinths have everything they need to flower stored

Ravaged kale and happy kohlrabi as the winter garden persists
Doug Oster

It’s always a mystery how cold weather plants will react to the frigid chill of winter. They shake off the cold when it’s down to the 20’s, but sometimes are brought to their knees when it dips below 10 degrees. Some times rodents and other pests discover these treats to get them through the season.

These plants purify the air, removing VOC’s and more via NASA study
Doug Oster

Here’s the list from a NASA study which looked at houseplants and how they remove volatile organic compounds from the air. Aj Ewing, outdoor display foreman for Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens agrees that these plants do the job, but adds that most houseplants will clean the air. When choosing plants, he says, it’s more

Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’ named 2016 Perennial Plant of the Year
Doug Oster

                                  My garden is filled with anemone, it’s a tough and beautiful plant the blooms mid-summer and comes back year after year. I’m always excited to see the Perennial Plant Association’s Perennial Plant of the Year and especially thrilled

Colors, texture and fragrance of windowsill plants get gardeners through winter
Doug Oster

        There’s just something that feels good about having plants growing inside during the “off season.” Their color, fragrance and texture are needed in the dead of winter and I appreciate them the most right now. As I put the finishing touches on a story about houseplants in this Friday’s Tribune-Review, I’m

PRC composting, vermicomposting and rain barrel classes announced
Doug Oster

PENNSYLVANIA RESOURCES COUNCIL ANNOUNCES WINTER 2016 SCHEDULE OF WORKSHOPS The Pennsylvania Resources Council has announced its Winter 2016 schedule of workshops to take place in January, February and March at several locations in Allegheny County. To register for a PRC workshop, visit www.prc.org/programs or call 412-488-7490 x226. VERMICOMPOSTING WORKSHOPS Saturday, January 23, from 10:30 a.m.

Why snow is such a great thing (for the garden)
Doug Oster

As winter finally arrives in full force and temperatures dropping to single digits, there’s nothing better for the garden than a layer of snow. It’s quite a relief actually. Even though it’s not a great day to realize your snowblower isn’t working, the snow protects perennials, bulbs, roots of trees/shrubs and in my case cool

Seeds are easy and a cool way to plant bulbs
Doug Oster

I’ve know Jeremy Gruszka of Marshall for many years, I’ve seen him grow up working at Soergel Orchards in Franklin Park. It was a pleasant surprise to see him Manning the 2 Plant International booth at the Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show. Gruszka is regional sales manager for the company. Bloom Pads are one of

Tough hydrangea actually blooms! In fact twice a season
Doug Oster

One of the joys of an event like the Mid Atlantic Nursery Trade Show is stumbling on to interesting plant introductions. Josh Vokal from Proven Winners ColorChoice Flowering Shrubs was happy to show off a cool hydrangea. ‘Tuff Stuff Red’ is a mountain hydrangea (Hydrangea serrata) that will flower after a hard winter. The normal

New gardening trends for 2016 at MANTS in Baltimore
Doug Oster

The floor of the Baltimore Convention Center is filled with nurserymen looking for the newest trends for gardeners. They are weathered from decades spent in the fields, but look happy to have a little break. It’s wonderful to sit back and watch as they greet each other during the off season, comparing stories and wondering