Green Thumb

Green Thumb – Fall Garden Clean-Up for Pollinators & Wildlife

As the gardening season winds down, many of us will begin cleaning up our landscapes for the winter. While cutting back dead plants and raking leaves can make for a clean-looking yard, it may not be the best thing for pollinators and other wildlife that inhabit our landscapes. While monarch butterflies more

Green Thumb – Petunias

Petunias are better than ever Who can resist the bold splash of color in a border of blooming petunias or in a hanging basket loaded with flowers? New petunia colors are bright and lively, gorgeous and garish. Breeding has made them more vigorous, with stable flower patterns and colors, and a greater more

Green Thumb – 2023 Gardening Trends

The interest in gardening over the last few years is a trend that is here to stay. Creating a place of beauty affects our mood, which affects our outlook on life. Our gardens become a healthy place of retreat. Here are some of the notable trends we are seeing in 2023. Color more

Green Thumb – Growing Garlic

Want to get a head start on planting your vegetable garden for next year? Then garlic is the plant for you! Garlic (Allium sativum) has been grown for thousands of years as both food and medicine. It has a long growing season which may seem daunting. Fortunately, it is relatively easy more

Green Thumb – Zinnias

I’m sentimental about zinnias. They are the first flowers I ever grew as a child. My dad dug up a small plot on the south side of our house and showed me how to plant the seeds. I watered them with a sprinkling can. They sprouted fast, grew tall, and more

Green Thumb – Happy Houseplants

Keeping houseplants is a source of satisfaction for many. But when plants are not thriving it can be concerning and confusing. As soon as a leaf yellows or develops a brown spot, many reach for fertilizer or household pesticides, neither of which is an appropriate first response. Yellowing, brown edges, leaf spots more

Green Thumb – Bearded Iris

Irises are easy to grow, long-lived, and relatively carefree perennials, making them some of the most popular flowers in gardens. They can also be found in a variety of colors, ranging from pink, purple, yellow, peach, green, white, tan, bronze, to almost black, and bi-color. The American Iris Society divides irises more

Green Thumb – The Sweet Story of Strawberry Success

Nothing beats the taste of strawberries ripened to perfection in your backyard. Strawberry cultivars are separated into three distinct plant types based on their response to photoperiod (hours of sunlight received per day): June-bearing, ever-bearers, and day-neutrals. Strawberry plants tolerate many soil types but often do well on light-sandy soil with high more

Green Thumb – Seed Starting

Seed starting is a popular way to kick off the gardening season. If you’ve never started your seeds before, there are several advantages to doing so:• Better germination rates because you are providing ideal conditions• Less competition from other plants• Fewer insect and disease problems. Starting seeds to make your own more

Green Thumb – Sensational Succulents

In 2009, I had the opportunity to tour the Ball Seed Demonstration Gardens in West Chicago. There I learned that one of the cutting edge plant trends was to be growing succulents. Really? If I had been in the desert southwest, this would not have surprised me; but for northern more