Garden Gate July/August 2020

You CAN create the garden of your dreams with Garden Gate magazine! Every issue is packed with must-have plants, reader tips, simple time- and money-saving ideas, step-by-step, how-to help and the inspiration you need to create a gorgeous garden year after year.

United States
Active Interest Media
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6 Issues

in this issue

1 min
from the editor

Large containers, lightweight hoses and easy-to-use tools are a few ways I make watering easier... Can I make a confession? I don’t enjoy watering. I know some gardeners find it almost meditative. Not me. Dragging (and rewinding) hoses and lugging watering cans are just not peaceful activities for me. That’s why I stopped planting small containers a few years ago. Only those large enough to need watering a couple of times a week for most of the season make it onto my patio these days. I have to admit that I don’t dislike watering as much as I used to since I recently upgraded my watering tools. My new lightweight stainless steel hose is actually easy to rewind. And a watering wand with a lever release and a nice, tight connection to…

3 min
reader tips

A hoof pick (usually used to clean horses’ hooves) is perfect for removing weeds with short roots. It’s a little over 5 inches, is lightweight, fits easily in a pocket and is quite inexpensive. Perfect for little jobs!— Kathy Finch, WI Sock sleeves Stephanie Gelfan, MA Stephanie found that no matter how good her garden glove or how long her shirt sleeve, there was always a gap that left her wrists exposed to dirt, biting bugs, stinging nettles and poison ivy. When her son gave her a pair of socks that she knew she would never wear, she cut off the ends of the toes and made a loop for a thumb hole to keep the socks from riding up her arm. She slides her hands through the socks and pulls them up…

1 min
the wild side

Feather-legged fly Trichopoda pennipes This beneficial bug is about the size of a housefly but has a bright orange abdomen (or orange and black for females), two dark wings and characteristic bristles on their hind legs. Life cycle Adults lay small cream-colored oval-shaped eggs on infamous garden pests, such as squash bugs and stink bugs. The eggs hatch and one maggot burrows into the host, feeds on it for two weeks and then exits to pupate in the soil, killing the pest. Two weeks later it emerges as an adult. There can be up to three generations per year. Larvae overwinter in their hosts and adults emerge in late spring or early summer. Attracting them to your garden Adult flies feed on nectar, particularly preferring Queen Anne’s lace (Daucus carota), black-eyed Susan (Rudbeckia fulgida), coreopsis (Coreopsis…

3 min
repurposed hose edging

Like everything else in the world, garden hoses have a limited life. While your first thought may be to haul your old garden hose out to the dumpster, you may want to hang on to it. Using repurposed garden hoses and cable ties, you can transform all those old garden hoses into a great-looking edging that will last for years. Before you begin the project, allow the hose to lie in the sun to soften for several hours to make it easier to work with. Our edging features both standard rubber hoses and soaker hoses for a color-coordinated look. But you can opt for a solid color theme or create a patchwork effect with a variety of different colored hoses. Let your hoses be your guide. MATERIALS & TOOLS MATERIALS • 20 ft. of…

1 min
what is a micro prairie?

Good news! You don’t need to own acres of land to grow a micro prairie. “Some people do not realize they have the power to sequester carbon, provide habitat for wildlife, prevent erosion, and clean water by choosing to replace the norm — their non-native lawn or flowerbeds — with a prairie,” said John Hart Asher, environmental designer at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center of Austin, Texas. Micro prairies are smaller urban gardens that include a diverse group of native species and cultivars. There are no rules for size. You might choose to devote one section of your property to this kind of planting and team up with a neighbor who could develop a native garden adjacent to yours. By interconnecting micro prairies throughout neighborhoods, you can create extended…

12 min
native prairie plants for any size garden

Long before central North America was settled and developed, large swathes of verdant prairies teeming with diverse flora and fauna thrived there. Expansive grasslands existed from Canada south to Texas, and from Indiana west to Colorado. Though few original prairies still exist, gardeners across America have begun to take action to restore prairie plantings right in their own backyards. WHY A PRAIRIE? Prairie gardens, especially more expansive and interconnected ones, offer habitat, food and refuge for vital pollinator and wildlife populations. Also, compared to turf grass, mature prairie plantings require less water, fertilizer, fossil fuels and effort to maintain. That’s because many native prairie plants are naturally drought tolerant, pest resistant and adaptable to low-nutrient soils. Though original prairie plant communities were comprised of 60 to 70 percent grasses and sedges, urban…