Kodiak Daily Mirror - Daily newspaper of Kodiak, Alaska
  
Home and Garden
 
Garden Gate: How to keep care of Christmas cacti
As the days turn cold and we shuffle closer to the holiday season, our attention shifts toward indoor activities. So it’s no surprise that after a summer hiatus, houseplants receive more attention and I, in turn, am privy to grocery aisle comments like, “Why does my Christmas cactus look so bad?” or “Why do the flower buds form and then drop off?” Christmas cacti are the subject of frequent debates among gardeners...
Nov 26, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Getting the garden ready for winter
Getting your garden put to bed for winter can really save some effort next year. As I’ve mentioned in past columns, putting the garden to bed for the winter is mostly a matter of cleaning up and covering up. Easy. Today I’d like to share a few more how-to tips and paint a little picture of what goes on behind the scenes during this transition period between seasons. While it appears as if all activity in the garde...
Nov 19, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Kale is king
After a hard freeze, lettuce turns to mush and flowers sag to the ground like warm taffy. But not kale. Kale bounces back like those Roly Poly Tippy Toy Clowns that spring back to an upright position after you push them over. Over the past few years, local gardeners have discovered that kale is a vegetable to be respected and appreciated in the garden (as a survivor) as well as in the kitchen (as a nutritional her...
Nov 12, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: For plants, emotional roots often run deep
It's 4:30 in the morning. I rub my eyes and sit up on the couch, the sleeping bag slips down my shoulders. I am in a Family Room, a cluster of quiet spaces set aside by Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington for out-of-town family members who are visiting patients. The hospital has been home to my sister, aunt and brothers for four days now. Fortunately, the cafeteria puts out a good salad bar. ...
Nov 05, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Dealing with aphids
Having plants festooned with aphids is a common complaint this time of year. Where the heck do aphids come from? More than likely, they piggy-backed their way in on an outdoor plant you brought inside or rode in through the front door on a breeze or your sweater sleeve. Aphids also show up on plants you bought at the store or received as a gift from an unknowing friend. Tsk, tsk. Suspect aphids if you see yellowin...
Oct 29, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 5 5 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Tips to minimize Halloween treats
Halloween is a festive day that kids enjoy because they dress up and get treats. But with all the talk of childhood obesity in the news right now, this might be the year to rethink your children’s Halloween candy allotment. By all means, enjoy the holiday with your kids. After all, you don't want to be the Grinch and take the fun of candy out of Halloween. But plan what you’ll do at your house to assure that healt...
Oct 22, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Pumpkins carve niche in society
Pumpkins are rolling into the stores. I’m excited, because I love to carve those shapely squashes into funny-faced characters, and later, to freeze the pulp and pressure-can it in jars. So with Halloween around the corner, I figured it’s time to highlight this many-splendored vegetable and take a look at the many ways it has carved a niche in our society. The pumpkin speaks of fall, harvest moons and for some peop...
Oct 15, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Highbrush cranberry is an overlooked berry
What smells like dirty socks but tastes like a cranberry? If you guessed highbush cranberry, you’re right. Despite its cranberry name and uniquely tart flavor, the highbush cranberry is totally unrelated to the Thanksgiving favorite. So why should you be interested in these berries? First of all, they are ripe for the picking, and you can find them growing in shady, damp areas around Kodiak, near alder thickets an...
Oct 08, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Why do leaves change colors?
While you were picking lettuce in the garden, walking in Abercrombie or playing in a city park, the trees were working overtime. Yet it isn’t until fall that we really notice our local deciduous trees as they begin to turn yellow, bronze and red. Which brings us to a question we rarely stop to ponder: Why do leaves change to beautiful colors in the fall? What’s behind it all? Before I get into all that, there’s be...
Oct 01, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend
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Garden Gate: Calendula flowers fend off upcoming winter
Now that it’s officially fall, my attitude towards garden chores shifts from maintaining productivity to quiet resignation. All around me, time seems to have sped up: Raspberry leaves, bright green one day, turn yellow and droop along the canes like wet tissues. Lettuce plants that once leaped out of the soil with summer growth now slow to a crawl. On the bright side, calendulas fend off the approaching winter sea...
Sep 24, 2012 | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend
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