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Six garden chores to do before winter

Posted on November 13, 2017 |
By Judith Irven



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This year our first killing frost hit most of Vermont in mid-October. We awoke one morning to find a frosty lawn while, overnight, the leaves on tender plants like tomatoes and impatiens had turned a nasty black color. The growing season was drawing to a close.

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Community garden grows food, flowers, friendships

Posted on October 2, 2017 |
By Judith Irven



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The Middlebury Area Community Garden is hidden away in a sunny corner at the northern end of the grounds at Porter Medical Center (near the employee parking and not far from the new dog park).

Here you will find 16 individual garden plots filled with ripening vegetables and bountiful flowers. Each plot measures 20-feet long by 4-feet wide, and is separated from its neighbor by a neat 2-foot wide straw covered path.

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Garden strategies for preventing fruit fly infestations of soft fruit

Posted on September 25, 2017 |
By ANN HAZELRIGG Plant Pathologist University of Vermont Extension



VERMONT — The University of Vermont Extension Master Gardener Helpline has received several calls recently from Vermont gardeners complaining about their blueberries getting soft right after picking. This is likely a result of an infestation by a pest called the spotted wing drosophila (SWD).

This small fruit fly first showed up in the state in 2011 just after Hurricane Irene and has caused problems in all soft fruits, especially those that ripen late in the season such as blueberries, fall raspberries and grapes.

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Winning the battle of the weeds

Posted on September 1, 2017 |
By Judith Irven



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Surely weeds are some of nature’s greatest opportunists.

They appear spontaneously in places where other plants would not stand a chance, such as in disturbed soil or along the dry salty edges of Vermont’s beloved dirt roads.

And in our gardens? Within weeks of making our beds all tidy and seemingly weed-free, new weeds just pop up uninvited!

How does this happen?

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Pollinator meadows produce low-maintenance beauty

Posted on August 7, 2017 |
By Addison Independent



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Have you heard the buzz about helping pollinators with native plants? Planting a meadow of native plants for pollinators is a rewarding way to enhance your local ecosystem with a low-maintenance landscape feature. In the Green Mountain and Finger Lakes National Forests, we have planted pollinator meadows at two of the ranger stations, Rochester, Vt., and Hector, N.Y., as part of our Native Plants Program. Below, we share our tips so you can plant one too.

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Cady's Falls garden is a Vermont gem

Posted on July 3, 2017 |
By Judith Irven



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A Vermont garden gem

It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon in early June when Dick and I set off to visit some of our favorite haunts. After crossing the Green Mountains at the Brandon Gap we began our afternoon in fine style, enjoying a delightful lunch at Sandy’s Cafe and Books in Rochester.

Then we took Route 100 north through the beautiful Gulf of Granville, past Waterbury and into Stowe, where we followed the Stagecoach Road to its end and, after two successive quick left turns, reached our final destination.

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The Inner Gardener shares her secrets

Posted on May 22, 2017 |
By Elsie Lynn Parini



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This time of year it’s easy to have garden-envy, especially if you’re just starting a landscaping or gardening project of your own.

When you drive around, do you notice the beautiful, well-established gardens hugging other peoples’ homes, bursting with native foliage, well-timed blooms and a mysterious sense of effortlessness? And then look at your shovel, bags of compost, weed-covered lawn and wonder ? egads! How do I begin?

Well, there’s good news. You don’t have to do it alone.

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Bleeding hearts bring grace to spring gardens

Posted on May 15, 2017 |
By Judith Irven



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Everyone loves Bleeding Hearts, with their delicate flowers — each reminiscent of a little pink heart with a tiny drop of blood dripping from it — that are perfectly complimented by mounds of dainty fern-like leaves. They bloom in mid-spring, once the weather is settled and winter’s chill is out of the ground.

There are actually several kinds of Bleeding Hearts and their near relatives — all of which make delightful plants for the spring garden.

Fringed Bleeding Hearts

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Think spring! Color and blossom return to Vermont gardens

Posted on April 17, 2017 |
By Judith Irven



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As I started to write this ? on the first day of April no less ? we were in the midst of a crazy late-winter blizzard. But already the snow has started to recede, and I am happily anticipating the beautiful flowers of spring. 

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Late winter pruning: The perfect antidote for cabin fever

Posted on April 3, 2017 |
By Judith Irven



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Late winter is cabin fever season; after months of indoor living we find ourselves yearning for spring, and we can surely be forgiven for grumbling about Vermont’s recent March blizzard.

Wikipedia describes cabin fever as “a claustrophobic reaction from being confined in a small space for an extended period of time, resulting in extreme irritability and restlessness, often accompanied by an urge to go outside, even in rain, snow, dark or hail.” I certainly understand the urge to get outdoors, but I prefer to skip the rain, dark and hail.

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