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2015 – Year of the Sweet Pepper

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Sweet peppers come in a variety of shapes, colors and sizes.  The Colors include red, yellow, ivory, orange and purple and shapes include the elongated banana, the blocky bell, the oblong bells and smooth cherry types.  Sweet peppers are called “sweet” because they do not contain capsaisin the chemical that makes chili peppers “hot” and can…

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Impatiens – Easy Growing

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The Sakata Seed Company has produced a tough and colorful Impatiens series called Spreading SunPatiens®.  They are available in a number of colors including red, white, salmon, orange and lavender.  ‘Spreading Shell Pink’  was recently announced as an All-America Selections winner.  This line of impatiens, which are considered a breeding breakthrough, thrive in full sun…

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Spotted Lanternfly

Posted on by & filed under Don Buma Blog, Garden News, Shrubs, Trees.

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A new exotic insect pest was recently announced by Pennsylvania agricultural officials. The Spotted Lanternfly, a colorful flying insect native to China, India, Japan and VietNam, has prompted a quarantine in five PA townships where it has been discovered. These are the only reported observations of this pest in the US so far. The Spotted…

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Pruning Nandina

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Nandina, Nandina domestica, also called heavenly bamboo, is one of those plants that some people love to hate. These feelings are probably engendered by the over-use use of nandina because of its aggressive behavior. However, it is a tough and pretty much year-round interest plant with white flowers in spring, green foliage throughout the year…

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Sheet Composting

Posted on by & filed under Don Buma Blog, Garden News, Horticulture News.

This is a follow-on to my previous encouragement that mulch leaves rather than bagging and curbing them. Compost piles are a great manner in which to turn shredded leaves into a healthy soil enriching product. However, if you are like me, the overall work required to set up and manage a compost pile does not…

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Do Plants Experience Wind Chill?

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During some of the coldest  parts of the winter when weathermen report bone-chilling wind chill factors, have you ever wondered if plants also are subject to those same wind chills? Here is what Kansas State University, which sometimes experiences amazing wind chills, has to say about this topic. “Though wind chills can have a profound…

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Houseplants Looking Tired?

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This time of year houseplants may start to look a bit tired and even drop leaves. This often causes concern for the plant owner but it is a fairly natural response to lower light levels that the plants are experiencing. The lower light levels are a combination of shorter days and the lower angle of…

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Mulch Don’t Bag

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Leaves that are falling on your lawn are a gift of nature. They represent free fertilizer, the basis for healthy compost, a wonderful soil amendment and also a quick and easy mulch that will enable your soil to retain moisture. So why do so many homeowners go through the aggravation of collecting and bagging them…

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Fall Peony Maintenance

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Peonies are not flowers that are generally associated with southeast Virginia gardens since they grow best in areas that stay below freezing for days at a time. However, I have seen very attractive specimens growing throughout the Hampton roads region, usually the early season blooming cultivars. At this time of year the foliage should be…

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Fertilizing Spring Bulbs

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Fall is a good time to fertilize bulbs that blossom in the Spring. This would primarily mean daffodils and tulips, although minor bulbs such as crocus and snow drops will also benefit.  It is best to base the fertilizer application on a soil test. This is particularly the case if you fertilize fairly regularly. Phosphorus…

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