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Gardener

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Reports of food shortages during the COVID-19 pandemic are not hard to find. But for every story about hoarding or a meat shortage, there are reports of farmers dumping millions of gallons of milk or plowing over vegetable crops.

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Before you plant, find out what grows well in your area. Go on an organized garden tour or two or visit nurseries and take notes about what plants you love and the conditions in which they’re grown. Protect your heart and your wallet by seeking plants in harmony with your growing conditions.

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You don’t need many tools to have a good garden, said Yvonne Savio, creator of the Gardening in LA blog and a retired director of the Los Angeles County Cooperative Extension Master Gardener program. She recommends starting with a sturdy hand trowel, a hand fork for scratching fertilizer and mulch around plants and a large garden fork for incorporating organic amendments into the soil. Using a fork instead of a shovel is easier on your back and better for the soil, she said.

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Gardeners without a lot of living space increasingly are choosing the dwarf varieties of their favorite plants. They also require less pruning.

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Plants with red, purple or black leaves are striking additions to any landscape, making them attractive to gardeners looking for something new in 2020, said Marguerite Beckford, a horticulture agent in Sarasota County.

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Vegetable gardeners will be looking to diversify their harvests with leafy greens generally grown outside the United States — bok choy, mizuna and komatsuna among them, according to the horticulturists.

Fresh herbs can make an everyday meal feel fit for a special occasion but buying herbs from the grocery and trying to keep them fresh until you cook adds up. Fortunately, you don’t need a lot of space or money to grow your own herbs at home. This space-saving herb garden from Mr. Stacky has a slim vertical design that maximizes herb growing space indoors or outdoors.

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Last week George was sharing with a friend that he was honored by the Campus Master Gardener program for 20 years in the Master Gardener progr…

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