Gardening Tips by Bob Beyfuss

Gardening Tips: January 28, 2015

Backyard Bird Feeding
Before I begin this week’s column I want to pass on a suggestion from a reader that was prompted by my comment last week about supporting your local food pantry. Many people who need food from these pantries also have pets and pets must be fed also. My late friend Kathy loved her cats dearly and sometimes she would spend her last money on cat food instead of food for herself. If your local food pantry allows it, consider donating some pet food along with groceries. Most privately run pantries will not object and you will be doing a really nice service to those less fortunate than most of us.
Many gardeners are also bird lovers and for good reason! Birds are important predators of insects that damage our gardens during the growing season. They also provide us with beauty and amusement during the cold winter as they flock to our bird feeders.

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Gardening Tips: January 21, 2015

2015 All American Vegetable Variety Selections
Since the 1930s new or improved, vegetable and flower varieties have been tested at various locations around the country. The ones that perform the best are designated as AAS winners for each year. Some of these varieties go on to become more or less mainstay selections for thousands of gardeners all over America. Some never become popular and quietly disappear from seed catalogues, despite their glowing reviews.

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Gardening Tips: January 14, 2015

Full Moons and Food
The Arctic chill has descend­ed on the region, as January cold has extinguished the last sparks of fall and the December Holidays are just expensive memories now. This is normal for this time of year, but normal does not mean nice when it is close to zero. One of the drawbacks of winter life is that it is pretty uncomfortable to sit out at night and watch the stars, or the moon even. The full wolf moon has just occurred.

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Gardening Tips: January 7, 2015

Happy New Year!
It is time to try to remember to write the year 2015 on checks and other written correspondence. Every year this seems like less and less of a concern, as the computers that run our lives and keep track of pretty much all of our day to day activities automatically remember everything for us. We are immersed in a cyber-age that has changed the world more profoundly than any natural event in memory.


Gardening Tips: Dec. 31, 2014

Care of Holiday Gift Plants
I hope you were lucky enough to receive a pretty plant as a Holiday gift this past week. I gave my daughter an amaryllis bulb as usual this year. They are long lived, potted houseplants for us in New York, but they are hardy outdoors in central Florida. She has quite a collection of them in a shaded location in her backyard.


Gardening Tips: December 17, 2014

Mistletoe
This is the time of year when my thoughts once again return to plants. From Holiday gift plants to Christmas trees to decorative greens and last, but certainly not least, mistletoe! Much of the following information comes from The Hidden Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History www.hiltonpond.org. The common name “mistletoe” is used world-wide for a diverse assortment of plants, some of which aren’t so closely related. What these plants all have in common is their life-style: They are so-called “stem parasites” that live on branches of trees and shrubs.


Gardening Tips: November 19, 2014

Putting the Garden to Bed
Well, it is time for my annual “putting the gardens to bed” column. Here are some tips for your home landscape.


Gardening Tips: Nov. 12, 2014

Apple season
The fresh vegetable season is pretty much over for 2014 with a few exceptions, such as parsnips, spinach, hardy kale, and a few other members of the cabbage family. I will harvest most of my Brussels’s sprouts this week before the deer decide to invade the garden for a few last snacks. The Asparagus ferns have turned yellow but garlic, shallots as well as other bulbs are still growing new roots. I hope you a good garden and were able to preserve some of the season’s bounty for fall feasts.


Gardening Tips: October 29, 2014

Household insect invaders
Last week we had some summer like weather for a few days that could be characterized as “Indian Summer” in areas, which had previously had frost. Indian summer has been defined as a period of warm weather following a hard frost. Now that most of our region had a hard or “killing” frost, we can look forward to more Indian summer. At least I hope so! Sometimes we get Indian summer in October and sometimes it occurs in November.


Gardening Tips: October 22, 2014

Fall Food
There are not too many evenings in October when I can sit outside in a light jacket and look at the stars. This is especially rare after Columbus Day, but tonight as I write this on October 14th, the temperature is 65 degrees at 8:30 PM and I am savoring these few remaining days of Indian Summer. It has been a beautiful summer and fall here in the Hudson Valley and Catskill Mountain region except for the serious lack of rain we are now experiencing. The creeks are low and even the forest soils are powder dry. Winter still seems very far away despite the noticeably shorter days, but that will change soon. Our fall colors are at peak in the valley, but past peak in the mountains.


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