Stories by Lee Reich

Thursday, Sept. 1, 2016

Grow blackberries without pain

For the past couple of weeks, I've been picking and eating what are arguably the best fruits I have ever tasted (a belief I often hold when a particular fruit is ripe).
By Lee Reich

Thursday, April 7, 2016

When it comes to pruning, get the right cut for growth you want

In the short space that follows, I think I can guide you on how to prune any plant, from a midget marigold to a mighty oak. That's because all plants respond similarly to pruning.
By Lee Reich

Thursday, Feb. 4, 2016

Artificial lights can keep plants growing during winter months

Short days put sunlight at a premium. Even houseplants feel it.
By Lee Reich

Thursday, Jan. 14, 2016

Soil terminology knowledge can help set best base for plants

Good gardens start from the ground up, but to be a good soil steward you have to understand some basic terminology.
By Lee Reich

Thursday, Oct. 1, 2015

Delectable, no-work, native persimmon has gotten a bum rap

"The (American) persimmon tree has received more criticism, both adverse and favorable, than almost any known species," stated a U.S. Department of Agriculture Farmers' Bulletin of 1915.
By Lee Reich

Thursday, Sept. 3, 2015

What makes a pepper hot?

Hot peppers’ hotness comes from compounds called capsaicins, which have no flavor themselves. Capsaicins merely stimulate pain receptors, and the body’s response is to speed up the heart and ...
By Lee Reich

Thursday, Aug 20, 2015

Clothe your soil: Cover crops help enrich it

Cover crops are plants that gardeners and farmers have, since the beginnings of agriculture, grown not to eat but for the good of the soil.
By Lee Reich

Thursday, Aug 6, 2015

Activators not necessary for compost piles

Look on the shelves of almost any store or in any catalog selling plants and gardening equipment and you'll find "compost activators" offered.
By Lee Reich

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Catalpa in bloom is like tree full of orchid blossoms

I stopped to stare at some buckets of flowers at a farmers' market last Sunday. The white flowers, their throats speckled purple and yellow and grouped together on stalks like a candelabra, looked ...
By Lee Reich

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Mulch is good, but which is the best?

Mulching can be one of the best things you do for your trees and shrubs. It also can be one of the worst things you do for your trees and shrubs. First, let's get our definitions in order.
By Lee Reich

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Help plants grow and stay healthy by staking them

Upright plants, bathed in air, are less apt to get fungal diseases, and those bearing fruits – tomatoes, for example – are less likely to have their fruits attacked by slugs and turtles. And of ...
By Lee Reich

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Planting seeds has benefits

"Plant seeds" may seem like an inane suggestion for a gardening column. But I'm serious. More and more people who garden these days put plants rather than seeds into the ground.
By Lee Reich

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Spruce up old apple trees to former glory

A neglected, overgrown, old apple tree does have charm, its gnarled, elbowed branches seemingly reaching out for a hug. The fruits, unfortunately, are more often than not too small, too high and ...
By Lee Reich

Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015

'Lucky bamboo' may be lucky, but it's not bamboo

The New Year is still young so let's continue to welcome it in - with some lucky bamboo. At this time of year, this plant appears in supermarkets and plant stores across the country. It may or may ...
By Lee Reich

Thursday, Jan. 8, 2015

Comeback being made for gazing globes in gardens

Did I see a glint of mocking laughter in a friend’s eyes when I mentioned the new addition to my garden, a gazing globe?
By Lee Reich

Thursday, Dec. 25, 2014

Use pesticides as last resort to guard your houseplants

With winter, scale insects are showing up on my potted citrus tree and some orchids.
By Lee Reich

Thursday, Dec. 11, 2014

Widespread rumor that mulch kills is not true

Rumor has it that mulching your garden beds or trees and shrubs could starve your plants. It's a rumor that has circulated for the past 40 years or so, ever since mulching surged in popularity.
By Lee Reich

Thursday, Nov. 27, 2014

Beets: A delicious year-round vegetable

The nice thing about growing beets is that you can eat them fresh for much of the year. A spring planting is ready to start harvesting by early summer, and a summer planting is ready from ...
By Lee Reich

Friday, Oct. 17, 2014

Cyclamen kin's blossoms offer a dainty, but hardy alternative

For the past few weeks, dainty pink or white butterflies have been hovering above the bare soil in some of my clay flowerpots. They're not really butterflies: They are cyclamen blossoms held aloft ...
By Lee Reich

Thursday, Sept. 18, 2014

For speedy composting give pile air, food, water

As the bumper sticker on my truck reads, "Compost Happens." Sometimes, however, it doesn't happen fast enough. That problem usually can be traced to some limiting factor.
By Lee Reich
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