sunflower

Benefits of Drought

It’s official: the “U.S. Drought Monitor”, a site co-sponsored by University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, lists southwestern Massachusetts, where I do most of my gardening, as locked in a severe drought. The withered crops in my vegetable garden tell the same tale, as do […]

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Posted by on August 15, 2016 at 10:43 am   This post has 17 responses.

Cornell on Lawn Care: Do Less!

Lawns have been attacked for some years now, with claims that they require obscene amounts of water, fertilizers, pesticides, and gas-guzzling mowing, so of course the only responsible thing to do is to get rid of it all, right? But lawns are so useful they’ll always be with us,...

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Posted by on August 12, 2016 at 7:11 am   This post has 9 responses.

What Part of GMO Don’t You Understand?

  A few of you may still have doubts about global warming, even though the overwhelming scientific evidence says it’s a no-brainer. Regardless, some dissenters will say the argument for global warming is based on crap science Comedian Andy Borowitz wrote a satirical piece for the New Yorker, called...

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Posted by on August 10, 2016 at 6:57 am   This post has 18 responses.

Calling long range forecasting on its BS

He had me at “silly on weather.” A retired, Buffalo-based, 30-year broadcaster and longtime meteorologist,  Don Paul still contributes occasionally to the local paper with smart articles like this one. Reading them is so much more interesting than looking at some guy (or gal) standing in front of an...

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Posted by on June 29, 2016 at 7:26 am   This post has 6 responses.

The Greatest of All Time and the Meadow

  Muhammad Ali was laid to rest in my hometown on June 10th. Tens of thousands lined the city streets for a 19-mile motorcade processional that led from his childhood home on Grand Avenue to Louisville’s Cave Hill Cemetery. 20,000 filled the Yum Center for a memorial service that...

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Posted by on June 22, 2016 at 6:31 am   This post has 7 responses.

Solitude and Nature

Do we need to use all of our senses to truly connect with a natural place? I recently hiked several miles of strenuous, steep trail into one of Utah’s glorious national parks, then stopped just shy of the payoff (a natural stone bridge) because a score of other people...

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Posted by on June 1, 2016 at 1:22 am   This post has 11 responses.

God, Guns and Gardens

I’ve run myself ragged the last few weeks. Kentucky has had the most beautiful spring I can remember. May has been rainy and cool. Blooms went on forever. The weeds got ahead of me, yet chiggers and heat didn’t crash my spring party. But it became harder to avoid...

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Posted by on May 23, 2016 at 1:00 pm   This post has 15 responses.

Milkweed Spreading Through My Landscape Makes Me Happy

Two years ago, I wrote about the milkweed seedlings I rescued from a nearby lawn. They survived the move and have formed a decent-sized stand under a maple tree in my backyard. In this tough site (very dry part shade) they need no care whatsoever, and have been given...

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Posted by on May 18, 2016 at 11:59 am   This post has 10 responses.

#TBT The great compost tea debate

In June, 2007, we hosted a debate between horticultural professor Jeff Gillman (author of many books, including The Truth Abut Garden Remedies and The Truth About Organic Gardening) and garden writer Jeff Lowenfels, the co-author of Teaming with Microbes. The topic was compost tea, and this is the first...

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Posted by on May 5, 2016 at 8:00 am   This post has Comments Off on #TBT The great compost tea debate.

Cultivating Wildness

I became a gardener in order to experience nature daily, in order to live in a wilder way. Being wild is the opposite of being isolated. It is an experience of oneness with a vast, complex, diverse, accepting community of living plants and animals. Isolation is sitting motionless in...

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Posted by on May 4, 2016 at 1:50 pm   This post has 4 responses.

Who uses landscape fabric and why?

Last fall I had the idea of doing something nice for the rather boring and minimalist plantings outside my office. The building itself is great—an 85k-square-foot former railway signal factory (circa 1904–6) that has been repurposed into a mixed use complex including our offices, residential units above, banquet spaces,...

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Posted by on May 3, 2016 at 11:54 am   This post has 19 responses.

Firing Linda Chalker-Scott? Wrong is Wrong

Guest Rant by Jeff Gillman (This is the second rant here about the attempted firing of Chalker-Scott. Here’s the first.) And there it is….Our own Linda Chalker-Scott has been accused of being incompetent and is being investigated by Washington State University. If found incompetent, she will be removed from...

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Posted by Jeff Gillman on April 21, 2016 at 3:44 pm   This post has 4 responses.

#TBT: Yardening is not a word

This April 2007 post from me got some interesting comments, including a very nice response from Jeff Ball, who (we think)  invented the phrase. By the way, I entered “yardening” into a Shutterstock (the stock photo servive we use) search and got a bunch of images from yarden, Israel...

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Posted by on April 7, 2016 at 7:34 am   This post has 5 responses.

Perils of Plantsmanship

Recently I went to a lecture at the New York Botanical Garden by Italian garden designer Luciano Giubbilei. His passion was infectious and his images were ravishing – spectacular gardens composed of just a handful of elements. This was a message that particularly resonated with me, as I’ve become...

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Posted by on April 4, 2016 at 10:43 am   This post has 19 responses.

#TBT: Jerry Baker, Still Quacking

Susan first ranted about home remedy-hawker Jerry Baker (“America’s Master Gardener”) on her own blog in March of 2006, and it was that rant that caught the attention of Amy Stewart and Michele Owens, who were then scheming about a team blog. Here’s Susan’s July 30, 2006 follow-up post...

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Posted by on March 31, 2016 at 8:36 am   This post has 4 responses.

#TBT What’s Invasive? Telling People What They Can’t Plant In Their Yards

The debate over invasive species won’t go away any time soon. We’re sure that many would still have issues with Rant co-founder Michele Owens views on flag iris and other problem plants. This post is from July, 2009. I have very strong ideas about how a civilized society behaves. ...

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Posted by on March 24, 2016 at 8:00 am   This post has 34 responses.

Nine years of ranting about the map

Don’t worry—we’re not starting a new Throwback Tuesday series. But after reading Thomas Christopher’s post detailing his issues with the current USDA plant hardiness map, I felt it would be useful to revisit previous Rant discussions on this highly controversial topic. There have been plenty. The mere fact that...

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Posted by on March 22, 2016 at 8:00 am   This post has 7 responses.

Hardiness Disinformation

Successful gardeners are firmly rooted in what Karl Rove in 2004 famously disparaged as “the reality-based community.” That is, we study what we find around us and base our actions on that. I mention this because we are still, in a significant way, suffering from the Bush administration’s determination...

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Posted by on March 19, 2016 at 6:43 pm   This post has 31 responses.

#TBT: Natives are hot, but am I hot for natives? Or just confused?

Native plants—a topic that we’ll be discussing for rants to come. In this one from March, 2007, Elizabeth is noting the vast differences between the original environments for these species and her urban garden in Buffalo (among other things). She has a lot more native plants now than she...

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Posted by on March 17, 2016 at 9:11 am   This post has 10 responses.

How to Have a Flowering Lawn

Last week I spotted the first snow crocuses (Crocus chrysanthus) and snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) opening their flowers in my lawn — they are just one of the benefits of the fine fescue grasses that I grow as turf. These grasses are the basis of the “no-mow” lawns that you...

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Posted by on March 7, 2016 at 7:44 am   This post has 10 responses.
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