Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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Honoring the Health of our Earth

Hello Fellow Readers, As we ready our gardens for the new season of growth, many add fertilizers and other nourishment such as compost and manure. You’ve likely noticed, I advocate organic practices so we all may breathe green with a splash of color. Organic farming became known as su
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Bee Kind

Hello Fellow Readers, There’s quite a buzz about widely-used insecticides impacting our pollinators. One out of every three bites of food depend on a pollinator; hence they are critical to our food supply. Digging through research, there are varying opinions on the effect of insectici
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Volleyball Mushrooms

Hello Fellow Readers, Last week I mentioned that my neighbor Bill ate his volleyball – a Giant Puffball Mushroom that is, Calvatia gigantean. I have a volleyball too that I’ve been monitoring in amazement, but it didn’t occur to me to eat it! I’ve always admired folks that know
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Saving Herbs

Hello fellow readers, It’s fun to grow herbs and enjoy them all summer long. But I’ll admit, I still dive into my stash of dry herbs even though there’s fresh ones out in the garden. Lazy Mary? Maybe. But a big part if it is, I’m used to cooking with dry herbs. Bill from Stone Church
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Produce Abuse

Hello fellow readers, Can you believe we’ve been chatting for 165 weeks? I am so grateful for all we have learned from each other.  I hope you don’t mind that I revisited one of our early columns from 2012. Let’s just say, I’m concerned about produce abuse and thought we could help by

Rhubarb Edible vs. Ornamental

Hello fellow readers, One of the plants my colleague Marty and I touted in our recent talk at the Springfest Garden Show on Deer Resistant Plants was ornamental rhubarb. Artie stumped us when he asked for the botanical name. Rheum, pronounced ree’um, is the genus of rhubarb but
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Planting by the Moon

Hello fellow readers, Did you notice the full moon lighting up our nighttime snow-scape last week? No flashlights needed. It made me think of planting by the moon’s phases, a practice as old as agriculture. True it’s largely based on legend, but there are scientific concepts to back i
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Avoid Tomato Carnage; Ripen Indoors!

Hello fellow readers, On August 7th I proudly announced Happy First Tomato! Excited chipmunks didn’t get the first bite; the fate of all my tomato attempts in years past. Don’t laugh -I displayed my single bounty for a few days on the windowsill before I indulged in its am

Soil Temperature

Hello fellow readers, I am learning so much from all of you! On Mother’s Day, Pastor Marcia shared that soil temperatures were still too cool for farmers to plant their crops which related to her sermon on honoring all who nurture. While shopping for plants I met Phil from Morristown

Annuals vs. Perennials

Hello fellow readers, We are officially through our risk of frost so it’s time to shop for annuals. Many nurseries sell perennials in flats as well. Bob from Hackettstown was brave enough to ask what the difference between annuals and perennials is. I am certain it is confusing to man