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The Plant Man Article Archive

Here is an archive of "The Plant Man" columns, written by LandSteward's Steve Jones, published weekly in more than 78 newspapers across America.

SHOPPING INFORMATION: You will find "hot links" imbedded in these columns that will take you to the appropriate page at the website of Greenwood Nursery, the sponsor and underwriter of Land Steward. Click on the links to find descriptions and buying information about the plants and products that interest you.

You can also click on the Greenwood Nursery logo at the top right hand corner of this page to go to Greenwood's homepage. Be sure to join our free Land Steward club and take advantage of a 10% new members discount, too! Click on "Become a member of Land Steward"

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Attack weeds early... and replace with elegant backdrops
Weeds! If you already see them poking their nasty little heads above the surface of your flowerbeds, now is the time for action, if you’d prefer NOT to break your back (and do a lot of cursing) throughout the spring and summer!

Ground Cover Plants: Great-looking greenery year ‘round
Groundcover is an excellent alternative to a high-maintenance lawn and can enhance the look of your landscape beautifully while reducing the amount of sweat-equity you need to invest.

Groundcover: Careful prep yields great results
“Low maintenance!” That’s the clarion call I hear frequently from readers who contact me for ideas that will enhance their landscape without devouring hours of their valuable time.

They’re back! American elms are on the rebound
After several decades, when many horticulturists believed it was heading for extinction, the American elm is making a comeback.

A planting primer for trees and shrubs
Right about now, a lot of us are getting ready to plant some new goodies around our landscape.

Winter garden projects can be fun, too
When we’re stuck in the middle of winter and spring seems a loo-ong way off, it can be a frustrating time for those of us who love to be outside tending to our gardens or tinkering with our landscaping.

Old newspapers can smother wild strawberries!
In response to a previous question regarding wild strawberries, I am also trying to rid an area of them. I don't want to use chemicals so I am trying to smother them out by laying down newspaper (3 or 4 sheets thick, making sure...

Trees form vital part of land's ecosystem
It seems that it's human nature to take for granted that which is always here. That's never more true than with trees and the soil they grow in. But what happens to our lives when they dwindle... or even vanish?

Critter-proof your shrubs before they’re just stumps!
With the Holidays behind us and spring on its way, I’ve been receiving a number of e-mails from readers who are already working on ideas for the planting season just ahead.

Gardener’s “resolutions:” Here are five you CAN keep
The New Year is upon us! With all that pre-Holiday hustle and bustle finally behind us and spring not yet on the horizon, it’s a good time for all of us gardeners and landscapers to draw up our annual list of New Year’s Resolutions.

Garden tools need some winterizing TLC
It’s getting to feel a lot like Christmas. But it’s not so much Santa as Old Man Winter that gardeners and landscapers need to be thinking about right now!

Poor soil may cause Walnut tree’s sickness
This week, I heard from a number of readers who were having a variety of different problems with trees.

Holiday gift ideas for gardeners and landscape lovers
The Holidays are fast approaching, and no doubt there are some garden enthusiasts on your gift list. Here are some gift ideas for all those Green Thumbs... and some for the “horticulturally challenged” as well.

Poinsettias are non-toxic, despite the persistent myth!
For me, Thanksgiving always seems to be the point where fall ends and winter begins. The official calendar may disagree with me, but with Thanksgiving behind us and Christmas less than a month away, I'm already thinking about next spring.

Mix shrubs with trees to retain soil on river bank
With winter fast approaching, and a fresh, new spring not far behind, it seems that even more readers than usual have questions and comments about trees, shrubs and all things landscaping.

Help your lawn breathe: organic or mechanical treatment?
Investing a little “sweat equity” right now will pay dividends next spring in the form of a greener, healthier lawn!

Lush lawns begin with autumn action now!
In a recent column, I discussed some of the autumnal chores that gardeners and landscapers should be addressing now to ensure an easier and more productive spring next year. That column included some brief lawn tips. Bu that wasn’t enough!

Your fall landscape: Ten “do it now” garden tips
The days may be getting shorter and chillier, but there’s still plenty to do in and around your landscape!

The Halloween garden: more than just pumpkins!
It’s almost time for Halloween again, and your landscape can play a significant role in the fun and games... and not simply by providing trees for the local kids to drape with toilet paper.

Breathtaking fall colors: where to find the best!
Once again, it’s the fall season in America, and as temperatures begin to cool, deciduous trees from coast to coast are changing into their spectacular autumn clothing!

Lights... Camera... COLOR!
There seems to be one thing that almost all of us can agree upon: One of the most important aspects of any landscape is... Color!

Storm-damaged trees: Here's what you can do
In recent weeks, violent weather has been affecting a major part of the United States. I've been receiving a lot of e-mails asking my advice about what can be done with storm-damaged trees. Many months ago, I wrote an article on this subject,...

These trees have it made in the shade! 09-02-04
If you've been outdoors working on your landscape anytime during the past month or so, you've probably stopped every now and then to mop your brow and silently wish for more shade and an ice-cold drink. I'm sorry to say that I can't do much...

"Easy care" plants for the horticulturally challenged!
"I have a brown thumb," a reader of this column recently moaned.She meant that she had the opposite of a "green thumb," often apply to people who seem to have a knack of growing just about anything successfully. Our...

Readers offer helpful tips on garden pests
One of the most enjoyable aspects of writing this column is that readers frequently contact me with their own ideas and suggestions that I am able to pass on to you.

Ornamental grasses add year-long garden pleasure
There's grass... and then there are grasses! You mow down the grass, but grasses get a whole different treatment. You scowl and say, "Darn it! Look how long the grass is getting!" Then smile benignly and say, "Look at those long, lush...

An all-natural snake repellent? This one has many benefits! 08-07-04
In a recent "Plant Man" column, a reader asked for suggestions to rid his landscape of snakes without having to kill them. One reader responded with a fascinating (and non-toxic) idea that you'll find in this week's column, below.

These trees add color and class to your landscape! 08-01-04
Sometimes, we take trees for granted because... well, they're just "there." But I think that trees are some of Nature's most beautiful creations, and today I'd like to share some of my favorites with you. Perhaps my thoughts will inspire...

Lawns take a "heat beating" in the summer
Summer is the season when you and your family look forward to relaxing on the lawn. Whether you're playing catch with the kids, working on your tan or simply strolling around barefoot, there's something special about the feel of lush...

Tree woes can cause headaches... and heartaches!
Trees add so much beauty and tranquility to our landscape. But when trees develop problems they can cause some big headaches. Several readers have sent me tree-related questions via e-mail, and I've done my best to help. If you have question...

Fruit trees need summer care for best yield 07-02-04
It seems hard to believe, but we'll soon be enjoying the "fruits" of our hard labor... literally! I'm talking about those fruit trees and bushes we've carefully grown and nurtured. We'll be picking apples, peaches, raspberries, pears and...

Dry your own herbs to enjoy all year.
Have you ever sat in a traffic jam and seen a billboard beside a new development that reads "If you lived here you'd be home by now"? Earlier in the spring, I wrote three columns about planting and enjoying container herb gardens. So now...

"Super seven" list of summer garden jobs
It's official: Summer is finally here as of June 21! And all that talk about "the lazy, hazy days" might make us think there's nothing to do around the landscape, except maybe pull a comfortable wicker chair under a favorite shade tree and...

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