Gardening Tips by Bob Beyfuss

"Gardening Tips" is a column about all things flora written by Bob Beyfuss of the Cornell Cooperative Extension.

Gardening Tips: January 29, 2013

Salt Alternatives for the Homeowner
It is minus eight degrees with the wind-chill at minus 25 as I write this from my chilly, (53 degree) living room on January 22. I have to drive to Walton today and I will be wary of any “wet” spots on the highway, since they will surely be black ice. Thank goodness for road salt!

Gardening Tips: January 22, 2013

Thinking Green
It’s mid-January and I just got my first seed catalogue in the mail. In years past I would have had half a dozen or more by now, but thankfully, these businesses can take a hint when you don’t buy from them for several years. I wish the credit card solicitors would take the same hint! This catalogue is from Burgess, a seed company in Bloomington IL. I love to read the descriptions of the flowers and vegetables offered each season, but by now I have learned that pretty pictures do not always portray reality for the average person.

Gardening Tips: January 15, 2013

After almost two months of living in the Sunshine State I recently returning to the frozen northeast for perhaps six or eight weeks. I picked a tough time to travel as the recent Arctic blast has made traveling a risky business. I quickly found out that pumping gas in Florida short sleeves is no fun when the temperature is near zero. I really wish that more gas stations would allow the gas pump handle to click on automatic so I could sit in the car while the tank is filling.

Gardening Tips: December 18, 2013

Holiday Gifts for Gardeners
I hope you survived Black Friday or even Black Thursday this year without going broke buying “bargains.” A bargain is only a bargain if you actually have use for the item. I have noticed that some people buy stuff just because it’s on sale. This makes for great legitimate “bargains” for others at garage and yard sales next summer. Holiday gift shopping may be a joy for some people but for others it is pure torture. Some of us are just not that good at picking out gifts that will be appreciated. Fortunately almost three quarters of all the households in this country participate in some sort of gardening activity so the following suggestions might make your task a bit easier this year.

Gardening Tips: December 4, 2013

Leftover Bulbs
Just in case you forgot to finish planting all your spring flowering bulbs outside, this week you will learn how to “fool” Mother Nature into getting those bulbs to flower for you indoors. All spring flowering “bulbs” are not technically “bulbs”. Tulips, daffodils, hyacinths and onions are true bulbs containing an entire, complete plant within swollen storage leaves called scales. They also feature a papery sheath called a “tunic” and a hardened stem at the base called a basal plate.