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Category : Gardening

USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map

Are you planting the right crops for your zone?

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Visit: The USDA Zone Map (click on your state for more detail) If you are a new or even experienced gardener, you may find some comfort in the fact that North America is divided up into plant hardiness zones thanks to the United States Department of Agriculture and a few other groups. These plant hardiness zones serve as a general guideline for gardeners to help gauge when and what to plant…

Day 142 - Garden Plan

How to plan your vegetable garden

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Ah, the cozy days of autumn. All’s quiet in the garden as the rain and fog drive us indoors. Now’s the time to dream and plan for next year’s vegetable bounty. I’ll admit this planning stage is new to me. I come from a class of “gardener” who gets inspired once seedlings appear in the grocery store and exuberantly sunny days make my yard boisterous with life. This year I…

Compost the easy way with worms

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If you’ve ever wished there was an easy, compact and clean way to use your food scraps while feeding your garden, a worm bin may be just the thing. Compared with large, unwieldy compost piles outdoors, vermiculture can be easily accomplished indoors in just about any size space. “Worms are a no-brainer. I can’t tell you how easy it is,” says master gardener Patty Peterson from the Sacramento County University Extension…

Cover Crop

Not planting a winter garden? Here’s how to cover your beds for a fertile spring

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You’ve had a fruitful garden this summer, but now it’s time to pull out those straggly tomato bushes and get ready for winter. But what if you’re not enthused about being busy outdoors during the cold, rainy months? You can take the winter off and do your vegetable beds a big favor at the same time by simply planting a cover crop instead of winter vegetables. What is a cover…

Which compost bin do master gardeners prefer?

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Many home gardeners recognize the value of composting, but the thought of wrangling big, unwieldy bins is overwhelming. So many never get started. The master gardeners at the Sacramento County Cooperative Extension hope to make the task easier for you. To test which of the many styles of compost bins are most effective, master gardeners set up a variety of bins and used them this year to see which ones…