Home and Garden

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Christmas cacti makes timely appearance

By Erin McIntyre

It’s a Christmas miracle! My Christmas cactus actually bloomed this week, and that’s a rare occurrence. Apparently, the stars aligned and it got the message that maybe it should live up to its name. All year, my cactus quietly ...


Home looks better after you’ve been away

By Erin McIntyre

As Dorothy said, there’s no place like home. And there’s nothing like a vacation to make you realize that. One of my favorite things about traveling is coming home. I know that sounds weird, but it’s true. Appreciating my ...


You can cut back plant in spring, not only fall

By Dennis Hill

We planted Red Jupiter’s beard, Gloriosa daisy and Shasta daisy plants last spring. They have done beautifully, but having never planted them before, do I cut them back? If so, how far down do I cut them? — Priscilla In most ...


New Mexico privet requires some patience

By Dennis Hill

I’m planning to put in a privacy hedge of New Mexico privet. I would like it to be dense, and I plan to let it grow naturally and unpruned. How far apart should I space the plants? — Joseph The answer to your question depends on ...


How to care for a Desert Four O’Clock

By Staff

What is the proper care for a Desert Four O’Clock? Should I cut it back for the winter? — Nancy Desert Four O’Clock will die down naturally this fall (if it hasn’t already) and at that point you can cut the foliage ...


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Carrots: the grand finale to the garden

By Erin McIntyre

It’s not often that fresh vegetables make it to the Thanksgiving table from my garden. This year is a different story, though, and I’m thankful. We aren’t blessed with the longer growing season that other parts of the ...


Persistence can help kill lawn’s salsify

By Dennis Hill

This past summer, the lawn at my rental house in Clifton was invaded by western salsify. First, it showed up as thick grass-like rosettes with long, thick taproots. Later, it sent up tall stalks that produced large yellow flowers like ...


Not the brightest chicken in the coop

By Erin McIntyre

Chickens are the worst patients. I’m the first to admit I could resolve this problem quickly, with a knife or hatchet. Some chicken owners call this “euthanasia.” I grew up on a farm, so I call it “dinner.” But ...


Dying spruce likely from lack of water, sun or mites

By Dennis Hill

I planted an Alberta spruce into a ceramic pot measuring approximately two and a half feet high and twice the diameter of the plant’s root ball. It is planted in good soil and the pot has holes for drainage. Toward the end of summer, ...


It’s a great time to improve soil for next year

By Erin McIntyre

It seems odd to think of next year’s garden already, as I try to keep my kale and lettuce alive for just a little while longer and clear out the sad remains of my tomato plants. But it’s not too early to do some little things that ...


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