Gardening Daily Tips 128

Achillea, Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Plant type: Herb, Perennial

USDA Hardiness Zones: 4b to 8b

Height: 18″ to 36″

Spread: 4″ to 6″

Exposure: partial shade partial sun to full sun

Bloom Color: Pink, White

Bloom Time: Early fall, Late summer, Mid summer

Leaf Color: Green

Growth Rate: fast

Moisture: dry to moist

Soil Condition: Loamy, Neutral, Sandy, Well drained

Form: Upright or erect

Landscape Uses:

Container, Ground cover, Massing, Seashore, Woodland garden

Special Features:

Attractive foliage, Edible, Fragrant foliage, Invasive, Naturalizing, Attracts butterflies, Suitable for cut flowers, Suitable for dried flowers

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Q&A: Japanese Red Maple

Question: My Japanese Red Maple is 12 years old and for the first time this year it only has leaves on 1/3 of the tree. All the other branches appear to be dead. The leaves are on the side of the tree closest to our house. There does not appear to be any animal damage on the trunk. What caused this? Will my tree live? Should I cut off the dead branches? Thank you.

Answer: If the tree is only leafing out on the protected side, the side closest to the house, it sounds like winter damage. Cold winds or ice can kill back branches, or at least retard their growth. Try scraping the bark on the affected branches. If you find green tissue beneath the bark, the branch is still alive and there’s still hope. If the tissue beneath the bark is brown, that part of the branch is dead and you can safely cut it off. With any luck there will be live material somewhere on those seemingly dead branches. If so, they will eventually leaf out. If not, the entire branch should be pruned away. As long as the roots and the rest of the tree is healthy it will send out new sprouts and you can train those sprouts into new branches. Let’s hope for the best!

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Q&A: Edible Flowers

Question: Can you give me a list of edible flowers, what parts of the plant are edible (and what parts to avoid), and any other tips?

Answer: First of all, do not eat flowers if you have asthma, allergies, or hay fever. And eat only those that have been grown organically and have no pesticide residue. Collect flowers for eating in the cooler parts of the day — preferably early morning after the dew has evaporated. Choose flowers that are at their peak, avoiding those that are not fully open or are starting to wilt. Immediately before using, wash the flowers, checking for bugs and dirt. Remove the stamens and styles from flowers before eating — the pollen can detract from the flavor and some people are allergic to it. As far as what parts to on which flowers: You can eat the entire flowers of Johnny-jump-up, violet, runner bean, honeysuckle, and clover. Remove the sepals of all flowers except violas, Johnny-jump-ups, and pansies. Eat only the petals of rose, calendula, tulip, chrysanthemum, yucca, and lavender. Roses, dianthus, English daisies, Signet marigolds, and chrysanthemums have a bitter white portion at the base of the petal where it was attached to the flower; remove this portion before using. Dandelion leaves are delicious in salads or cooked as a green. The flowers are edible when young; they become bitter with age. Remove dandelions’ sepals — they are bitter. You can also eat both the flowers and the leaves of nasturtiums.

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Q&A: Comparing Greenhouse Glazing

Question: I am planning to buy a hobby greenhouse kit, about 8’x12′ for seed starting, bulb forcing, rooting cuttings and overwintering a few tender plants. I’m in Zone 6. I’d like a comparison of some of the glazing options. I’ve ruled out plastic film (I want something more permanent and attractive), and glass (I need better insulation). On the market, I’m finding twin wall polycarbonate at 4.5mm, 6mm and 8mm, corrugated polycarbonate, among others. The various companies make a variety of claims about insulation, light transmission, condennsation control and durability. Can you help me sort it out?

Answer: Basically, it’s a matter of cost vs. benefits. You need to isolate the main requirements to meet your needs and work through a hierarchy that way. In your case, to overwinter tender plants in zone 6 will take a lot of heat so insulation value in relation to your heating costs may be the determining factor. After that, look at the other benefits — if the structure is visible from the street you may want to reduce condensation, if the structure may need strength to combat heavy snowfall then that may be a consideration. Longevity may also be important to you if this is a major construction project and/or your budget is tight. You might want to talk to some greenhouse owners in your area and find out what their experiences are; you might also be able to see some of the materials in action — they don’t all have the same “look”. Finally, regardless of the material you use, keep in mind that every individual greenhouse has its own individual “quirks” that you’ll discover them over time so you just make the best choice you can and then work with the results. Since I don’t know your specific requirements (and I’m not you) I can’t begin to tell you which one in my opinion would be best in your situation — they all have pluses and minuses one way or another as you have already realized!

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Tip: Care for Your Easter Lily

Once your Easter lily blossoms fade, get ready to plant it outdoors. Although not reliably hardy outdoors in the Midwest, if you keep it healthy until frost has passed and put it in a sunny spot in the garden with some protection, you may get it to rebloom next year.

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Tip: Grow Aggressive Herbs in Containers

Grow mint, lemon balm, and other aggressive plants in containers to keep them from running rampant through gardens.

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From the ArcaMax editors

Vietnam Travel

Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Island, Vietnam Travel Video Guide

Uploaded by on You Tube

Heritage listed Ha Long Bay is a major tourist attraction in Vietnam, and rightly so. The bay is home to over a thousand jungle clad limestone pillars, several of which are hollow and contain enormous caves. I next visit Cat Ba Island, the largest island in the bay. Half of Cat ba is National Park. I interview Tuan, a local cafe owner. He takes me for a tour of the island and we also visit a floating village, where people farm fish in small enclosures.

Vịnh Hạ Long, đảo Cát Bà, Du lịch Việt Nam Video Hướng dẫn

Di sản được liệt kê Vịnh Hạ Long là một điểm thu hút du lịch lớn ở Việt Nam, và đúng như vậy. Bay là hơn một ngàn trụ cột rừng đá vôi phủ, một số trong đó đều trống rỗng và chứa các hang động khổng lồ. Tôi tới thăm đảo Cát Bà, hòn đảo lớn nhất trong vịnh. Một nửa của ba Cát là Vườn quốc gia. Tôi phỏng vấn Tuấn, một chủ quán cà phê địa phương. Ông đưa cho tôi một tour du lịch của hòn đảo và chúng tôi cũng ghé thăm một ngôi làng nổi, nơi mọi người có trang trại nuôi cá trong các thùng nhỏ.

Translation – Vu Khac Hao with help from Thư Minh Triệu and Nguyen Bich Thuy. Any traditional Vietnamese loops Discovery Sound

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