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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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Controlling Backyard Pests
Even though it's not always apparent to the naked eye, your land is teeming with life: some good, some bad, some neutral. Your objective to control the bad without adversely affecting the good and the neutral

Tips for laying out and organizing your landscape
Here's a useful tip you should remember when you next plant trees, shrubs or any other type of flora. It's something that professional landscapers always do, but the rest of us might overlook.

Sometimes the Government really IS here to help
There's a lot of government-funded help out there for the asking, if you know where to look and what to ask for.

"Head's up! Literally that is."
"Before your plant your tree, take minute to look UP."

Plan Your Plants Before You Plant!
Here's a useful tip you should remember when you next plant trees, shrubs or any other type of flora.

They're baa-aack! Catalpa Tree Worms Ride Again
You might remember that, in a recent column, I answered a question from a reader about the worms that she recalled seeing on a tree and how they were used as fishing bait. I identified the tree as a Catalpa, and I pretty much thought that wrapped it all

Planning spring planting? Here are some ideas
Winter may seem kind of “blah” but in fact it can be an exciting time for those of us who enjoy landscaping and gardening.

Lovely landscapes... even when water is scarce
A recent e-mail question from a reader got me thinking about a subject that we haven't discussed before in this column. Monette West wrote: " We get your column in the Zapata County News in Zapata, Texas. Can you give me some info on xeriscaping.

Evergreens, holly and mushrooms: Q&A's
It's time once again for me to try and answer some of the many questions sent to me via e-mail from readers of this column. But first, I want to mention something I read recently about the health benefits of mushrooms, after being alerted by a...

Create privacy and drama with a living fence.
The wide open spaces might sound romantic or even desirable to us. But, even though America is a vast country, most of us only own and occupy a small portion of it. One or two acres are now described by Realtors as "large lots" and most homes...

Selecting trees and shrubs for a ‘blank pallet'
Spring is just around the corner, and it seems that many readers of this column are waking up from a long winter's hibernation and once again thinking about their landscape! The clue? An increase in the number of e-mailed comments and...

Smart landscaping can lower your Summer energy bills!
Can planting trees actually save you money?

Are your trees on thieves' "most wanted" list?
Tree theft – also known as timberjacking – is getting to be a hot topic. A few weeks ago in this column, I discussed how many landowners return home to find bare stumps where their valuable trees used to stand. It can be a very distressing...

Treat yourself to fun garden "gifts"!
Happy Holidays, gardeners and landscape enthusiasts! You've spent a lot of time and money in the past few weeks selecting gifts for your friends and family. You deserve a treat. You have my permission to treat yourself to some...

Chestnut trees can still grace your landscape - 06/06/04 - 06/12/04
Now there's a sight that might have been familiar to Henry Wadsworth Longfellow but would be almost impossible to see today.

Evict mosquitoes from your landscape this summer!
Mosquitoes. Just hearing that word is enough to bring a scowl to the face of most people who spend time working on their garden or landscape. Not to mention a few choice cuss words!

These trees quickly add privacy and a sound barrier
I have two problems that I hope you can help me with. I live in zone 4/5 and I am looking for a fast growing, sturdy tree or hedge to plant at the back of my yard to provide privacy and a sound barrier. What trees would you suggest?

Container water garden: a fun and easy project! - 05-25-04 to 06-02-04
A water feature is a charming addition to your landscape. But with water comes the potential problem of mosquitoes!

It's time again for the War on Weeds! - 05-16-04 to 05-24-04
It's just about time for yet another re-enactment of that epic conflict: The Annual Battle of the Weeds. Once again, it's you versus the weeds. And the weeds are winning...

Rain gardens: a beautiful "gift" to the environment - 05/09/04 - 05/15/04
Water. There's either too much of it or not enough. Just try to find a farmer who can say he had exactly the right amount of rainfall last year!

Horrors! Gardens invaded by worms and snakes!
It seems that several readers have found that their landscape is being invaded by crawly things, from the quite tiny (but voracious) to the larger, reptilian variety! This first one sounds a bit like a sci-fi horror movie...

These plants brighten shaded landscapes 09-09-04
Recently in this column I suggested a few ideas for trees that could provide some much-needed shade to your sun-drenched landscape. But what if your property is ALREADY quite shady? Perhaps you want to add some attractive shrubbery but don't...

“Thinking green” adds beauty, saves money
When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, what color immediately springs to mind? The answer of course is green! For many of us, that date is also when we’re beginning to see “green” reclaiming our landscape that has languished in shades of gray...

Reader needs help with forlorn lawn
My husband and I ripped up our yard a year ago, put in a sprinkler system and put down sod. It looked great for a few months and then in August we went away for a week and didn't water the grass. When we returned, our yard looked fried.

These big bloomers you'll be proud of your own!
Perennials, it seems, really are a perennial favorite with readers of this column. And no wonder. Perennials provide years of pleasure and a sense of continuity in your landscape as you see familiar friends returning season after season.

Turn so-so soil into loam and plants will thrive
Spring is here at last and landscape lovers are happily getting soil under their fingernails as they get back to planting their new shrubs and trees.

Correct planting gives shrubs and trees a head start
"I don’t understand it. I stuck ‘em in the ground, stamped down the dirt and splashed on some water, but my shrubs STILL died. I think there was something wrong with them.”

Create seasonal cheer with living window boxes
Time to answer more questions from the e-mail bag… and a tip from a reader who kept deer from munching on his trees.

Deciduous or evergreen? How to tell them apart
When a description says the plant is deciduous, does that always mean it loses its leaves? Does it lose both its flowers and leaves or just flowers?

Garden goodies lure birds to your backyard
What makes a garden into a welcoming club room for birds? Simply put, food,

Landscape architect a good investment for big projects
Designing your landscape can be a fun and rewarding project. But sometimes it makes sense to utilize the skill and experience of a professional, particularly when the project is quite extensive.

More must-have Web links for garden problem solving!
A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column that listed some helpful Web sites, hosted by the USDA, for gardeners and landscapers. A number of readers have contacted me and asked if I know of any more Internet resources. You bet I do!

No TLC needed for these out-of-the-ordinary plants
Instead of the “same old same old,” how about putting some pizzazz in your landscape this spring with some plants that are a little out of the ordinary!

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