Saturday, January 29, 2022

Garden Notes

Harnessing bittersweet, harvesting kale on Martha’s Vineyard

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The unseasonable weather reminds gardeners that their work is never finished, really.

More fruit, leaf use, Kale soup tips

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Increasing yield, using what's available, and trying new recipes keeps some gardeners continually satisfied.

Bulbs. tubers, and plans for spring on Martha’s Vineyard

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Eighteenth annual Barn Raisers' Ball, Saturday 7:30 to 10 pm at the Ag Hall.

Saying goodbye to this year’s garden, and a bit on bats

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Elusive bats, fluttering at dusk, their Hallowe'en shapes silhouetted against the dying light, symbolize how much of the quotidian is unknown to us.

Dry weather imperils plants on Martha’s Vineyard

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With no significant rain in a month, Island flora is dangerously stressed when it needs to be tough going into the dark months.

Gardening on Martha’s Vineyard starts to slow down

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All the signs point to it: pesky yellow jackets, heavy dewfall, the katydid and cricket chorus, roadside banks of goldenrod. Summer is cresting and Labor Day looms.

Dog-day challenges, recalling a pair of Fair pillars

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While making last-minute preparations for the Fair, the author recalls Jane Newhall and Ozzie Fischer, two Fair pillars who are no longer with us.

Bloomin’ rhodies keep at it on Martha’s Vineyard

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Have actually spent much of my weekend working in the garden, instead of writing about Working in the Garden.

Martha’s Vineyard gardeners tidy up, fill empty spaces

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With needed mid-season TLC, gardens can be replanted with autumn vegetables. And consider raising fruit in the future.

Summer settles in for Martha’s Vineyard gardeners

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Vegetable gardeners shift to nurturing maturing plants and planning for fall crops. Roses need attention, too, and watch out for invasives.

Rhododendrons, azaleas, weigela, late lilacs – all showing off

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This has been a wonderful year for rhododendrons, the plants appearing to be at capacity for numbers of flower trusses.

Spray hazards, blight fight face Vineyard gardeners

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Indiscriminate spraying: This is what I saw a couple of days ago. In a neighborhood of seasonal and year-round houses a tree-service company was spraying the woods.

Mulch, bulbs, and bugs preoccupy Vineyard gardeners

Each spring we have the chance to start anew. We have the opportunity to take a fresh look at what we are doing in our relationship with our surroundings.

Weeds, seeds, and blossoms mean spring on Martha’s Vineyard

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Along with daffodils, dandelion tea-making time has come around again. The tea functions as a liver and kidney tonic, and diuretic.

Rake, prune, and watch bulbs light up

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Rake lawns and save the thatch for composting. Lawns are shedding dead material, from matting by snow and ice. This is some of the best material for composting.

The benefits of bees

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Various life forms responsible for pollination depend on pollen, nectar, and water for themselves and their young. Having a variety of trees and plants is a huge assist for bees.

Winter starts to relent on Martha’s Vineyard

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Dawn arrives earlier now, sunrise occurring before 7 am. On a clear dawn the SE sky is spangled with a glittering "morning star," Venus.

Some gardeners even find winter fertile

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Whether under limpid or lowering (rhymes with glowering) skies, winter landscapes are often black and white, with snow-covered ground and evergreens blackened by cold.

Planning, testing, questioning pay off for gardeners

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It is easy to have the feeling of losing one's head.

Look ahead, look down, and look after plants and animals

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Farewell to the old year and its accomplishments and woes, and greetings to the new one with its challenges and hopes.