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Moist soil 

If you're like me, your poor container plants get dried out pretty well before you realize it. There is a new product on the market called Soil Moist that can be added to your plant's soil to help retain moisture. Apparently it's similar to a gelatinous bead that absorbs the water and then slowly releases it back into the soil. As Martha would say, "It's a good thing" and will sure save your container plantings.

Grasses are a gardener's best friend 

Have an area in your garden that needs some sprucing up but doesn't get much moisture or gets way too much sun? Try ornamental grasses. Many grasses are ideally suited to dry gardens and produce fan-like plumes that add color and grace to the planting bed. I particularly like varieties of Pennisetum and Miscanthus but there are many many more available to beautify your yard.

New plantings 

When adding new plants to the garden, pour some water in the hole before you place the plant. Especially at this time of year, it won't droop so quickly and will cut down on the amount of water and time needed to establish itself.

Eco-friendly tools 

I found this article on ENN: Environmental News Network describing various eco-friendly gardening tools. How about lawn-aerating sandals or a recycled bucket? Great way to protect the environment and enjoy what you love most.


Want new plants but don't want to spend the bucks? Try Rootone. It's a rooting hormone that allows you to start new plants with ease. Just take a fresh cutting of your favorite shrub, wet the end of the stem and dip it in Rootone. Shake off the excess and place in a good potting mix. Keep it watered and it won't be long before you have new plants.


Did you know that you can get tetanus from the soil? If you're like me, this is a surprise to you. I always thought tetanus came from being punctured by a rusty nail. Not so according to the National Coalition for Adult Immunization. Apparently tetanus bacteria lives in soil, dust and manure. If you have a scratch on your hands and are working in the garden, you have the chance of contracting tetanus. I'm not telling you this to make you worry, just to make you aware. If you can't remember the last time you had a tetanus shot, talk to your doctor. Mine was proactive and asked me on my last visit so I'm good to go for ten more years. So check your medical records or ask the doc. It can't hurt. Of course the alternative is to always wear gloves in the garden, but there's always that pesky weed laughing at you when there are no tools in sight...

Lawn bling bling 

Bling bling - took me awhile to understood what that meant. I was reading an article recently about lawns and pesticides. The reason for the pesticides was to eliminate unwanted "weeds" like clover and dandelions in the grass. Clover is actually a good thing. Yes it spreads in the lawn. But it provides nitrogen to the lawn so you don't have to fertilize as much. It also makes your grass look green in the cooler months when everything else is brown, and it stands up to doggy urine. It's better for the environment and your health than all the chemical fertilizers and weed controls, and it isn't invasive. So you have a little clover in the lawn - sit back and enjoy.

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Thanks to Andrew Stenning who contributed the photograph for our masthead