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Spring gardening is an exercise in patience. The longer hours of daylight might have you itching to start gardening. But hold off on clearing away last year's leaves and stalks. Doing your spring cleanup too early removes beneficial insects that are sheltering there. Without them, there's less food for birds and fewer flowers and vegetables later. Many experts recommend removing plant matter only after several days of 50-plus-degree temperatures. Also beware of mulching too early as it can inhibit plant growth. And premature fertilizing can hurt the lawn and the environment. But there is one gardening task that's perfectly suited for early spring. Now's a great time to repot houseplants. The longer days are stimulating them to resume actively growing.

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When the suburbs boomed after World War II, the Callery pear tree was chosen to line their many miles of tree-lined streets. It had beautiful flowers and foliage, grew quickly and was hardy. Over time, however, problems surfaced. The Callery pear's flowers stank, its branches flew off in the wind, and it had a nasty habit of spreading to where it wasn't wanted. Now it's being banned in some states as an invasive species. Controlling Callery pears is difficult because of their extensive root system. You can dig them out if you remove every last bit of that. Otherwise, stay on top of the tree's growth by removing suckers regularly. And there are plenty of beautiful native tree species to plant in the Callery pear's place.

The 2023 season brings us several firsts: the first-ever groundcover shasta daisy, called Carpet Angel; annuals like Glimmer, a shade-tolerant, mildew-resistant, double impatiens; and edibles like a peanut-shaped tomato called "Sun Dipper" meant to make dipping easier.

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Winter is known as the quiet season in the garden because most outdoor plants aren’t doing much. It’s the same for your indoor garden. Of course, your houseplants don’t have to endure snow and chilly winds whipping across the landscape. Yet, growing conditions in your home do change in several subtle ways during the colder, darker months of the year. You’ll need to adjust how you care for your houseplants in winter to keep them healthy and thriving. Use these tips to ensure your leafy friends continue to fill your home with their lushness and natural beauty through the depths of winter.

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A living Christmas tree is one that’ s balled or burlapped and ready for planting. It’ s a tree you can decorate and display for the holidays and then plant and watch it grow for years to come as part of your landscape. The challenge is timing and keeping the tree alive long enough before being moved outside for planting.

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