Author Archives: Emily Dydo

Dried Herbs from the Garden

Store Dried Herbs in a Jar

Follow these simple instructions from Little House in the Suburbs by Deanna Caswell and Daisy Siskins  for drying, grinding and storing fresh herbs from the garden.

Seed-Saving Basics

Harvested Celery Seeds in a Jar

Seed-saving is not difficult, but it is not as simple as collecting seeds from dried pods at the end of the season. To ensure some reliability and true-to-type seed, you need to take a few strategies into account.

‘Yoshino’ Japanese cedar

Virtues: We love ‘Yoshino’ Japanese cedar for its open, pyramidal shape and fragrant, blue-green needles. ‘Yoshino’ tolerates cold, grows quickly and does not require pruning.

Señorita Rosalita spider flower

Lavender-pink blooms of Cleome Senorita Rosalita

Virtues: We love Señorita Rosalita spider flower for its lack of thorns, sticky foliage, unpleasant aroma and unsightly seedpods. This heat-tolerant plant adds dramatic height to the garden with its spidery clusters of lavender-pink flowers that bloom continuously from spring …

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Sowing Lettuce Seeds

Successfully cultivating lettuce in the garden

Question: I’ve been having problems with my fall lettuce crop. I sow the seed in late August, but I end up with a lot of skips. What am I doing wrong?

Changing Plant Names—Why Bother?

Changes to the scientific name of plants are part of life, though often frustrating. However, names are only changed for good reasons, and changes aim to give an accurate representation, not only of the true identity of a plant but …

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Tips for Grouping Pots

A mix of different-sized pots for added dimension to your garden.

An assortment  of potted succulents can make a beautiful garden for a patio, deck or courtyard—especially if you apply basic design principles to the entire grouping.

Plants for Beneficial Insects

Bee pollination

Question: Are there certain plants I can grow to encourage beneficial insects in my garden? Beneficial insects include a wide range of insect predators and parasites.

‘Chocolate Sunrise’ canna

Yellow-orange blooms of Chocolate Sunrise canna

Virtues: We love ‘Chocolate Sunrise’ canna for its contrast of bright orange-yellow flowers against chocolate-colored foliage. Cultivated in a delicate breeding program in the Middle East, blooms appear in spring and last throughout the summer and fall, attracting bees and …

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Split-Resistant Varieties of Tomatoes

Cherry tomato on an in-tact vine.

Question: I can’t seem to produce a decent-looking ‘Better Boy’ tomato without it splitting open on the vine. What am I doing wrong? Am I growing the wrong tomato variety?