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Category : Gardening

culinary herbs

Spice up your kitchen with a beautiful, edible herb garden

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One of the joys of gardening is the ability to snip fresh herbs as you cook. Fresh herbs liven up a dish in ways you can’t imagine if you’ve always used dried spices. When you have a culinary garden just steps from your kitchen, you’ll use fresh herbs more often — and reduce your reliance on salt and sugar to season fresh vegetables and stews. Herbs can also complement your other…

Keep fruit trees pruned for vigorous production. Photo: Kristi Garrett

How to prune your fruit trees

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January is pruning time in the Northern Hemisphere. Even in places where it’s not snowy — like Sacramento, my hometown — it’s time to get those trees and vines in shape for a fruitful summer. The master gardeners from our local University of California Cooperative Extension gathered at the Fair Oaks Horticultural center recently to demonstrate to a packed house the basics of pruning fruit trees, berry and grape vines, and roses….

Find specialty seeds at gardening centers or master gardener events.

How to read a seed packet

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Gardening is seductive. It starts with the hardy little tomato plant that catches your eye at the grocery store. Heady with success, your next step is usually a modest garden of several varieties. Yep, you’re headed down a slippery slope. Before you know it, you’re curled up before the fire with a good … seed catalog. You’ve been bitten by the gardening bug. Perhaps it’s those Instagram photos of colorful…

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…