Garden Talk: May 7, 2009

From NGA Editors

New Web Site for Sharing Produce

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Many gardeners are growing vegetables and fruits this year and often they end up planting too much of any one item. So what happens to the produce if you have extra zucchini, a bumper crop of lemons, or too many green beans? You certainly can give it away to friends, neighbors, and family, or to the local food shelf. However, if you’re interested in trading there’s a new website that allows people to trade, sell, and buy extra produce from their gardens. It’s like gardening classifieds!

Veggie Trader is simple to use. You sign up and browse through all the listings looking for the right match. You can list produce you have and want to trade or sell or list a type of produce you’re looking for to swap or buy. It’s best to be specific with the type of produce you have to trade. For example, specify ‘Big Boy’ tomato instead of just tomato. You indicate where you live by zip code and how far you’re willing to travel to swap produce.

It’s a fun new site and a good way to swap out your extra cucumbers for something exotic that perhaps you didn’t grow yourself. For more information go to: Veggie Trader.

Boxwood Basil

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For those that love to grow edibles but also have a formal look to your garden, here's a new basil that with fulfill your culinary and classical design needs. 'Boxwood Basil' looks like a miniature boxwood plant with its tight leaf and branch structure and upright shape. However, it is a basil. The leaves can be used for salads, pesto, and cooking. 'Boxwood Basil' makes an excellent edging plant or container variety for a formal appearance on your patio or in the garden. The 12- to 16-inch-tall plant has small, aromatic leaves and, like all basil, grows best in full sun on fertile, well drained soil. It tolerates heat well. It can also be shaped into a topiary. Imagine a basil scented animal topiary in your garden.

For more on this unique basil variety, go to: Burpee Seeds.

A New Teeny Coreopsis

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Coreopsis or tickseed plants are easy-to-grow perennials that produce abundant blooms over a long season. Varieties are available in a range of flower colors, including yellow, pink, white, and red. Many have feathery foliage.

For those of you that love coreopsis but don’t have the room for another one in your garden, try the new ‘Little Penny’. This diminutive coreopsis grows only 8 inches tall and spreads to a mound 16 inches wide. The daisy-like, tiny red flowers color the plant so it looks like a red ball. This fast-growing, compact coreopsis will continuously rebloom if cut back after the initial flowering. However, it is not one of the hardiest coreopsis and only survives the winters in USDA zones 9-10. So for most of the country it should be treated as an annual. It’s best planted in containers, along a flower border edge, or in mass plantings.

For more on this teeny tickseed, go to: Teranova Nursery

Premium Knee Pads

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It's prime gardening season and for many gardeners, the physical labor takes a toll on their bodies. Luckily there are new products on the market that can help prevent the aches and pains that often follow a good day digging in the soil.

Many gardeners are familiar with knee pads strapped around your knees to give extra support when kneeling to weed, plant, and sow seeds. Now here's a new product that's touted as the Cadillac of knee pads. The Premium Knee Pads features a triple-layer interior that conforms to the shape of your knee to distribute weight evenly over the knee and upper shin. It has a gel disc center that gives the core extra support and spandex straps that attach without pinching, binding, or shifting.

For more information on these ultra knee pads, go to: Lee Valley.

 
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