Vermont Garden Journal

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The amaryllis bulb has become one of the symbols of the holiday season. Amaryllis bulbs have traditionally produced large, single flowers in the red, pink or white color range. Now there are unusual colored types with double flowers, striped flowers and dwarf selections.


The Farmer's Almanac and the National Weather Service are predicting a snowy, cold winter. This Thanksgiving weekend is a good time to get your shrubs ready.

One gardening question I hear often is, "How do I get my orchids to bloom again?" Here is a tutorial for how to get the easiest and most widely available orchid type - the moth orchid - to do just that.

Fall is composting time and there are lots of ways to do it. Here is a Composting 101 review for new composters and those needing a refresher!

I've been growing mushrooms in wood chip beds for years, but last year I decided to try something different. A local mushroom grower was selling pre-inoculated shiitake logs, so I purchased some. Well, even after a dry summer and my infrequent watering, our logs are fruiting.

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There aren't many vegetables where you're eating the same varieties that were cultivated thousands of years ago but that is a the case with shallots.

It was my daughter, Elena, living in Canada who turned me on to Jack-O-Planterns. Instead of just having the spooky glow of a candle or lights inside your jack-o-lantern, you have plants sprouting from the head!

I, SB Johnny

The fall colors are starting on native trees and shrubs turning our forests ablaze. Vines also can provide fall interest beyond their colorful leaves. Many are familiar with the bright red colors of Virginia creeper and Boston ivy this time of year, but two other fall vines give color in a different way.


We know the taller and later blooming cousin of this spring-flowering bulb, which is native to drier regions of Iran, Iraq and Turkey. The bulb iris, however, grow a little bit differently.

Illustration by Keith Ward

The horseradish is a vegetable that dates back to ancient Greece where it was used medicinally for back pain and as an aphrodisiac.

Clemson Extension Service

Vermont's Act 148, the Universal Recycling & Composting Law, is having a big impact on how Vermonters deal with their waste. This law has been phasing in mandatory recycling and composting for businesses and residences since 2014. By 2020, food scraps and organic waste will be banned from the landfill.

Phil Armitage

Chip and Dale and the Alvin And The Chipmunks may be the warm, fuzzy versions of real life squirrel family pests but if you're a gardener, you know that chipmunks and squirrels can be a pain in the bulb. These rodents aren't picky and will eat tomatoes, roses, tulip bulbs, plums and many other plants.

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As the calendar turns to September, our attention turns to winter squash. Once they're planted, winter squash tend to take care of themselves.

The squash start sizing and coloring up this time of year and due to this year's hot temperatures, it seems pumpkins and winter squash are maturing early. They can stay in the garden until you're ready to harvest. If you can’t easily pierce the rind with your fingernail, it's best to wait until the vines die back to harvest.

glennimage / iStock

Zinnias haven't always been the darling of the garden. When they were first discovered in its native Mexico by the Spanish, they were thought so unattractive they was called "mal de ojos," or sickness of the eyes.

However, through years of breeding, zinnias have been transformed into one of our favorite garden flowers.

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Saving seeds isn't for every gardener but there are great reasons to do it. It saves you money, preserves unusual heirloom varieties and helps you develop varieties adapted to your yard.

With concerns about plant extinction and rare home varieties becoming unavailable, the best way to ensure you have the varieties you want is to save your own seed.

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This summer, some areas of our region have only received 50 to 75 percent of their normal rainfall. The lack of rain combined with hot, sunny days has had an impact on the garden.

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There are more than 600 varieties of hydrangea around the world and while the blue hydrangea gets the most press, there are newer types that don’t get as much attention.

Courtesy, Fine Gardening

I like a shrub with a description that says it tolerates shade, clay soil, wet soil and erosion and still blooms. This shrub is called the pepperbush or summersweet. Its botanical name means “alder” in Greek since the leaves resemble those of the alder tree. We call it clethra.

Rey Rojo / iStock

We've all lost beautiful summer squash, pumpkin or winter squash plants to the Squash Vine Borer. This destructive moth lays eggs in July at the base of these plants and the larvae burrows into the stem causing it to wilt.

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The variability of summer weather means you have to stay on your toes to make sure your garden gets enough water. Here are three tips for keeping your flowers and vegetables hydrated this summer: