Covering Ground

Out With the Old, In With the New Garden Beds

Maybe the lawn is so full of weeds you can't stand to look at it anymore. Maybe you're dreaming of a colorful garden bed along the stone wall you can see from the kitchen window.

Starting over may seem daunting. But sometimes it's the only way to go. 

Spencer Curry Aquaponics 4 Bags of Goldfish, a Head of Lettuce

March 2015: What happens when a couple of new college grads get some goldfish and an aquarium? Maybe not what you think. I had the good fortune to visit Fresh Farm Aquaponics recently at a Glastonbury greenhouse.

Meadow in bloom, August, Waterford, CT Podcast: Meadows, lawns, and much more

Meadows, lawns ... How are they different? Where are meadows appropriate? 

A blanket of snow protects the winter lawn How we can protect the lawn in winter

Recently I wrote about ice melt products and what they can do to lawns and gardens.

Icy sidewalk When ice melt products meet lawn and garden

Simplicity is a beautiful thing, but you won't find it among ice- and snow-removal products. A bewildering array of ingredients pop out of these bags when we're on that mad dash down the driveway.

Unfortunately, products that increase sidewalk safety for people may not be safe for the lawn or garden you lovingly tended last summer. 

Nancy Ballek Mackinnon It's winter. Are houseplants happy?

Can we lose the insects and still keep the flowers? According to greenhouse grower Nancy Ballek Mackinnon of Ballek's Garden Center in East Haddam, CT, we can. She and her team grow several thousand indoor species at their retail greenhouse where, on a recent visit, I found myself in a riot of flowering houseplants.

Books by fireplace The gift of good reading for gardeners

Garden books and magazines have been some of my best friends over the course of my career in the outdoors. Here are some suggestions from 2014 that may please the gardeners on your holiday list and you, too. These four were featured in my recent column in The Day community papers.

Amaryllis photo by Colorblends Bulbs Eight gifts for gardeners

My quest for interesting gifts from regional suppliers netted eight ideas this year. Categories include planting pots from Connecticut River mud, amaryllis bulk purchases, rain barrels, local seeds, high quality tools and composting systems.

Micro Basil Greens Homegrown salad in winter

Most home gardeners surrender to the calendar this time of year. Fresh greens and tomatoes are not on the menu, unless you are lucky enough to find a winter grower. But it doesn't necessarily have to be that way. The possibilities range from easy-to-grow microgreens to difficult, but not impossible tomatoes. 

Deer damage to arborvitae. Peaceful co-existence with Bambi?

Yes, they are handsome animals, even fun to watch. But many property owners, when they look at deer, see only 165+ lb. creatures that require 6 – 8 pounds of vegetation daily during their 16-year lives. They've been called a "stomach on four legs" (and worse) by those whose landscapes are ravaged by the hungry critters. 

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