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Posted on 21 August 2010 by

Basil that Saved the World

basilpesto1By Mindy McIntosh-Shetter

Many years ago I decided that everyone should grow something to make the world a better place.

Through many sleepless nights and meditation the perfect plant came to me.

The simple basil would solve world conflict and hunger.

Just think what the world would be like if we all sat down, had pizza, and discussed the world’s problems. Maybe the United Nations should think about that as a form of conflict resolution. I can see the headlines now “Basil stops the war.” Well I can only hope.

Basil can grow inside or out and does not require a long-term commitment. This simple plant is started from seed and only requires a general soil mixture in a container or a patch of ground in the garden. Once seeds are planted water in and fertilize once a month and that is it. I tell people if you can keep a goldfish alive you can grow basil.

To encourage those Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 08 April 2010 by

Plant Profile: Rosemary

rosemary1By Sonya Welter

As a born and bred Midwesterner, for most of my life I assumed that rosemary–and, for that matter, every other herb–was a small, compact plant that grew in pots on people’s patios.

So when I went to Spain in college, I was stunned to discover that in its native habitat, rosemary is actually a bushy, aromatic, evergreen hedge that can reach up to six feet tall.

The hotel where I stayed in Toledo was on the edge of town and bordered some open scrub land; the rosemary there may have been intentional landscaping or may have sprouted up on its own, but either way it was a revelation.

In a cold climate Read the rest of this entry »

Posted on 13 July 2009 by

Reader Question: How to Identify My Plant

ragweedBy Vanessa Richins


“None of the dichotomous keys listed on your site found a plant I am trying to identify. Can you recommend another?

I found the plant in my backyard in CT. Most notable is that the leaves alternate between ovate with serrated margin and deeply lobed with serrated margin.

It has hairy leaves and stem, not woody at all, and oppositely arranged leaves. Any ideas what it might be or where else I could look?”

Hi Diana. You are correct that one of the most intriguing facts about this plant is that the shape of the leaves can vary widely.

How long has this plant Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted on 08 June 2009 by

What Do Those 3 Numbers on a Fertilizer Label Mean?

fertilizer-main_fullBy Vanessa Richins

If you’ve ever stopped to look at the fertilizer product shelf at the garden center, you may have wondered what the numbers on the front mean.

Never fear – it isn’t as complex as it seems.

First, the main number you want to look for is usually plastered across the front. You’ll see a series of three numbers separated by dashes, like 5-10-10.

These three numbers stand for the amount of Nitrogen-Phosphorus-Potassium and are abbreviated as N-P-K. The numbers are the percentages of the elements that are contained in that bag.

For example, if there was a Read the rest of this entry »

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