Tips for Hardy Gardeners

©Lisa Johnson

Every year, Tom Kasper runs down his list of good gifts for gardeners.

And every year, the most popular is still the gift of your time.

Tree Wrap
Lowes.com

With the past flurries and more to come in the future, Master Gardener Tom Kasper gives tips on how to protect your trees and shrubs this winter season. Sneak peek, Kasper suggests staying by the fire after you're done in the garden. 

Tom Taker/Flickr

Only Tom Kasper can make a story about daffodils and tulips sound like a Wes Craven movie.

simpleinsomnia/Flickr

Back in the day, you had to work in the garden if you wanted to eat.

Then many folks (perhaps justifiably) began enjoying the convenience of fruits and veggies (canned, frozen or fresh) from the grocery store.

Master gardener Tom Kasper says the pendulum is swinging back again toward folks growing their own food, but he says the attitude now is that people get to garden; they don't have to.

lundy | hive/Flickr

Want to plant a tree?  Tom Kasper says the first thing is to look up.  Power or phone lines in the way?*  Relocate your tree.

Scot Nelson [via Flickr]

Tom Kasper talks about how the abundance of rain and resulting humidity in recent months is leading to a rise in powdery mildew, a fungal growth that affects many plants.  Gardeners are advised to look out for it, and possibly remove affected leaves to increase airflow around their plants help stave off its spread.

Overduebook/Flickr

Tom Kasper says gardeners are starting to think ahead to the "F word" - "frost," in this case - and worry a little that some fruits and vegetables won't ripen before the weather takes a turn.

But leave it to Master Gardener Tom Kasper to know just the tricks to allow your summer bounty to ripen on the vine instead of on a windowsill. 

It's green and destroys everything it touches.

(Not permanently, but it does do damage)

It's not wildfire; it's aphids.

Gardeners might be tempted toward a Cersei-type solution, but they'd be better off taking a more ... Targaryen approach: only with a garden hose instead of a dragon.

Never fear, though.  Tom Kasper says ... winter is coming.

Stanislav Kozlovskiy

Dead-heading your flowers: no Volkswagen van needed.

©Tom Kasper

If you've been tiptoeing through your tulips lately, you've possibly noticed a significant insect problem.

After you've controlled your primal urge to blast the garden with chemicals, you may be looking for some organic solutions, but as Tom Kasper explains in this edition of Tips for Hardy Gardeners, they're not for the faint hearted.

David/Flickr

Master gardener Tom Kasper on what our rainy day/sunny day/ rainy day pattern might be good for.

Evan Long/Flickr

"Don't change the height of the mower dramatically!"

"Don't cut below 2 1/2 inches!"

"I'm busy crowding out other weeds; leave me alone!"

Master gardener Tom Kasper says listen to your lawn: it might surprise you.

Lisa Johnson

You can even sing today's forecast if you want to: The sun'll come out ... tomorrow ...

So if you're ready to take advantage of a little sunshine and some warm temperatures for a change, Tom Kasper says maybe one of the many classes this spring on bee-friendly gardening has inspired you.

You can do everything from giving over your whole yard to pollinator-friendly plants or just do one thing: remember, when you buy plants, to make sure they have NOT been exposed to neonicotinoids.

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