November2016 Archive:

Grow without soil indoors with hydroponics
Doug Oster

It’s approaching 80 degrees in one of the greenhouses at Yarnick’s Farm in Indiana. The rows inside are filled with tall cucumber plants teaming with fruit. But none of these vines are growing in the ground, they emerge from large white grow bags.   Since 1981, owner Dan Yarnick has been fascinated with growing plants

Morning frost provides beauty
Doug Oster

As the morning sun filters through colored leaves waking up the birds it reveals a thick coating of frost. It’s always a little sad to see the inevitable change of the season. Regardless of the temperatures outside, the garden is always pretty. Morning frost paints leaves and stems in white crystals. It’s cold and quiet

The last planting; trees, shrubs and bulbs can still go in the ground
Doug Oster

The sun has just peaked over the horizon on a chilly morning and starts to burn off a thick white layer of frost as Gary Ord from The Davey Tree Expert company uses a Kubota tractor to load a huge maple tree into a truck as Chuck Philistine guides him from inside the bed. The

Free London travel presentation Monday Nov. 21 with Doug at Penn Hills Lawn and Garden
Doug Oster

  I’ll be give a free presentation at Penn Hills Lawn and Garden on Monday Nov. 21 at 7 p.m. detailing my upcoming trip to London. I’m thrilled to be going back to England to show you the Chelsea Flower Show this spring. The tour will also include garden sites chosen from the Royal Horticultural

Tomato discovered on WWII battlefield lives on
Doug Oster

Dan Cummings was grounds supervisor at CCAC South Campus starting in the 1970s, where he befriended Joe Roberts, who enjoyed walking at the school. “He commented on how nice I keep up the place and asked me if I would stop over to his house to give him some pointers,” says Cummings of West Mifflin.

There are many ways to put the garden to bed
Doug Oster

The bright orangish-red leaves of a fothergilla shrub are one of the stars of the four-seasons garden right outside Linda Hyatt’s office window. “It’s wonderful,” she says about her view, which also includes a fenced-in vegetable garden. She’s the master gardener coordinator and extension assistant in horticulture at the Westmoreland County Penn State Extension office

Little garden spider puts everything in perspective
Doug Oster

On a springlike November day a tiny spider crawls along fuchsia colored flowers of smartweed methodically spinning a web between the stems and blooms. I just stood there watching and thinking as the flowers gently swayed in a soft breeze and the spider deftly worked to complete the web. The garden is a great place

History in miniature; tiny plants surround Phipps garden railroad
Doug Oster

A large, red button is pushed for the third time, starting Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Trolley on another musical journey around King Friday’s Castle, much to the delight of 2-year-old Charlie Lamb. The sound is drawing lots of other young children to this part of the garden railroad at Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, but the

A celebration of fall in photos; flowers, weeds and seeds
Doug Oster

I’ve heard gardeners say they get tired at the end of the season, ready to see the garden shut down until next spring. I never feel that way. The advantage of living in an oak forest is that frost is slow to come. I’m usually one of the last to be hit. The disadvantage is