Grow Native Butterfly Weed Plant

Native - Butterfly Weed 2Native plants are amazing — they require no fertilizer, no soil amendment, and no drama. Butterfly weed or asclepias tuberosa, is especially beautiful in the garden whether it is planted among native plants or blended in with your more traditional perennial beds. Once established the plant requires no watering and no attention.

Without a doubt this is a drought tolerant plant that is suited to harsh conditions, but the best benefit of this plant is it’s Monarch Butterfly attracting quality. Help save the butterflies with a little butterfly weed love planted in your garden this season. Watch the video below to see how easy it is to plant the butterfly weed in your garden.

How to Harvest Vegetables in a No-Till Garden

Food Pantry VegetablesOne of the goals of a no-till garden is leave the soil undisturbed whenever possible. In a traditional garden, the end-of-season vegetables get uprooted, usually with the soil pulled out along with it, then the soil is turned over to aerate it. In a no-till garden, it is important NOT to destroy the microbes in the soil. Keeping most of the vegetable roots in the ground at the end of the season means the microbes will stay put and will not be destroyed.

Controlling Cucumber Beetles

 H-19 Little Leaf Cucumber

There are two common types of cucumber beetles, spotted cucumber beetle (Acalymma vittatum) and striped cucumber beetle (Diabrotica undecimpunctata). Adult beetles of both species feed on the leaves, stems, flowers, and fruit of cucumbers, melons, gourds, and squash. They also sometimes feed on beans, peas, and corn. Cucumber beetle larvae live in the soil and they feed on plant roots.

Cucumber beetle feeding is especially damaging to young seedlings. In addition to damaging plants through feeding, these beetles can transmit both bacterial wilt disease and squash mosaic virus disease, neither of which can be cured once plants are infected. Bacterial wilt is a particular problem, as it can quickly kill infected plants.

Growing & Scheduling Sunflowers

 Jua Inca Sunflower
Sunflowers in the Garden

Sunflowers are popular, easy-to-grow annual flowers. They make good landscape and container plants and are excellent cut flowers. Varieties are available in a number of heights, colors, flower sizes, and flower forms, so they can be used effectively in a range of ways in the garden and landscape. Although most sunflowers are grown as ornamentals, they also produce edible seeds relished by birds, and some varieties are grown primarily for their seeds.

Sunflowers are North American native plants and their nectar and pollen is attractive to beneficial pollinating insects.

Growing Small Fruits in Your Backyard

Joan J Raspberries without text

You don’t have to live on a large estate to grow fruits at home. Here are some tips on growing a variety of small fruits in your garden.

This information is broken down by the following general comments. Each discussed variety also includes the product number for easier searching purposes.

A). Site Conditions

B). Weed Control

C). Soil Preparations

Red Raspberries

Summer Bearing varietiesLatham (30350), Boyne (30345), and Killarney (30349)

Everbearing varieties: Autumn Bliss (30320), Heritage (30335), Caroline (30324), Joan J (30333), and Anne (30323)

A). Soak roots 24 hours prior to planting in water with Root Stimulator.

10 Fall Vegetable Seeds to Start Now

Beet Greens

At the beginning of the year we discussed spring seed starting and now it is fall seed planting season. Typically, you need to start your fall seeds 10 to 12 weeks before your first frost date. Read labels carefully as this time frame is a generalization and you might need more or less time in the growing process. Below is a great list to get started planting this summer for great eats all fall.

10 Fall Vegetable Seed Varieties —

  1. Arugula
  2. Cabbage
  3. Cauliflower
  4. Broccoli
  5. Purple Mustard Greens
  6. Rutabaga
  7. Radish

Improving Success with Seed Germination

Understanding Germination 

Introduction to Seed Germination

A good understanding of the fundamentals of seed germination helps gardeners improve their success growing seedlings, regardless of how experienced they are. Knowing these fundamentals provides an understanding of the “whys” behind the “hows” when germinating seeds and growing seedlings.

By paying careful attention to the key factors that regulate germination, gardeners can grow higher quality seedlings with reduced losses from cultural problems and seedling diseases. Remember that seeds are living organisms even before they germinate and begin growing.

Gardening for Pollinators & Beneficial Insects

The Importance of Pollinators

Pollinators are an extremely important part of the natural world and provide billions of dollars of benefit yearly through their pollination of a wide range of ornamental and food crops.

There is growing concern over honey bee and insect pollinator health and an increasing desire to create gardens that are safe and healthy for pollinators and beneficial insects. As a formally trained entomologist, it is exciting to see such a strong change in public opinion about insects, as gardeners are increasingly overcome the “ick” factor and are taking steps to better understand and protect insects.

Pinch a Coleus

Coleus and Thai BasilColeus has always been one of my favorite plants because of all the bold foliage combinations and the joyous way it seems to combine with herbs and vegetables. Those colors, in particular, make it easy to love whether planted in beds or containers.


  1. Place the stem of the plant, just above the top leaves, between your thumb and finger. Dig your fingernail firmly into the stem, pinching the stem completely off the plant in the center of the V where the leaves come together.