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Garden Ramblings, Issue #027
November 15, 2006
November 2006

Monthly Musings on the Garden Scene

If you prefer, you can view this month's issue online where you can also subscribe if this copy has been forwarded to you by a friend. ***********************************************************

In this issue:

- Letter from the Editor
- Flower of the Month
- How to Grow Avocado
- Why Aerate Your Lawn?
- Special Offers
- Tailpiece



Welcome to the November issue of Garden Ramblings your monthly window on what's going on in the world of gardening.

As I have mentioned in recent issues I have been thinking about a new format for this newsletter so you will see a few changes this month.

Since they have come up with an interesting plant, I have included Breck's "Flower of the Month" again this time.

There are two guest authors this month with advice on growing avocados and aerating your lawn.

The "Special Offers" slot is still here although the offers themselves are few and far between at this time of year.

If you want to keep up with all the news in the gardening world, you can read my blog Garden Supplies News.

Enjoy the issue.



Flower of the Month

The Breck's Flower of the Month for November is an unusually coloured variety of Columbine - William Guinness. Columbine is a charming old-fashioned, two-toned flower with long, graceful stems. Blackish-purple petals with a white heart make this Columbine something to behold! This special variety is also sometimes known as "magpie columbine" due to the contrasting colours akin to magpies. The more often you cut the stems, the longer it will bloom, drawing butterflies and hummingbirds all the while! Delicate foliage remains attractive all season. You may wish to leave the final blooms to go to seed to allow your Columbines to spread. Deer resistant as well! Here's the link.



How to Grow Avocado

Fruit gardening and vegetable gardening is a very exciting venture. Growing Avocado's was one of the challenges I took on as a hobby fruit and vegetable gardener. When you are not an inhabitant of state with a tropical climate you can grow avocado's in containers.

So, if you’re a fan of the avocado, chances are you already know how to grow avocado plants. Although the avocado tree is a tropical plant that thrives only in zones 9, 10, and 11, many gardeners grow avocado plants indoors, they grow it as a houseplant. Avocado plants are typically started from the seed in the center of the fruit. Many gardeners begin their avocado plants by piercing the seed with toothpicks and then suspending it (pointed end up) over a glass, vase, or jar of water. You can keep the water sweet by adding some charcoal in the bottom of your container. In two to six weeks, if the seed germinates, you should have a young plant, ready to pot. However, not all avocado seeds will germinate in this way. If your seed hasn’t sprouted in six weeks, toss it out and try again.

Another method of how to grow avocado plants is leave the pit in the sunlight until is begins to split and then potting it in soil partly exposed like an amaryllis bulb or sweet potato vine. Use a four or five-inch pot to start your plant and set it in a nutrient rich potting soil that has good drainage. After your plant is about a foot tall, pinch it back to half. Pinching it back produces a rounder and fuller plant. Once your plant has filled its pot with roots, it’s time to move it to its permanent home.

When you’re learning how to grow avocado plants, don’t expect fruit. Avocado trees take up to ten years to mature enough to bear fruit and indoor grown plants rarely last for that length of time. However, if you provide it with a moist soil, plenty of sunlight, and fertile soil, your avocado plant will be an interesting addition to your home container garden for three to five years.


Hans is an enthusiast gardener and one of the authors of the "How To" section of

Article Source: ***********************************************************

Interlude - Secret Garden


************************************************************ Why Aerate Your Lawn?

Over time the soil under your lawn becomes compacted. Soil compaction makes it harder for the grass roots to grow and reduces the absorption of water. Both of these problems cause a lawn to become stressed. When a lawn is under stress it tends to brown easily and is less resistant to disease.

In order to to reduce compaction, you must aerate the soil periodically. Aerating can be done by poking holes into the ground or by pulling plugs out of the ground. The latter method is preferred because it loosens the soil while poking holes actually packs the soil tighter. However, either method is beneficial. By making holes, you enable more water to soak in and you let fertilizer reach the roots.

How to Aerate a Lawn

You can use a tractor with an aeration rig, but if you are like most people, you don't own a tractor. You can purchase shoes with long spikes or a set of spikes on a handle. Both of these will take some time to cover your entire lawn. To make faster work of this task you can rent an aerator from a local tool center or you can hire someone to do it for you. Often the cost of a pro is little more than the cost to rent the tool, so do some checking first.

When to Aerate a Lawn

Ryegrass, bluegrass, bentgrass and fescue lawns should generally be aerated in the fall. Bermuda, Bahia, St. Augustine and other warm climate grasses should be aerated in the late spring.

After aerating your lawn, this may be a good time to apply seed, compost or fertilizer.

Terry Blackburn, Author of "Your Perfect Lawn," a 90 page eBook devoted to Lawn Preparation, Care and Maintenance. Find it at

Article Source:

Special Offers

There's not much to report this month I'm afraid.

If you're still looking for some spring-flowering bulbs Dutch Gardens still have a few, but you have to order by today, November 15, and you will get free shipping thrown in.

Dutch Gardens, Inc.

Gardener's Supply Company have a Huge Outlet Sale where you can save up to 50%. Prices slashed on 250 items. You'll find it at the bottom of the Menu where you have the choice of sales for Gardening, Landscaping or the Home. "Shop Outlet And Save Big!"


I couldn't resist including this. Turn on your speakers and Play.


Please feel free to pass on this newsletter to your gardening friends. Do let me have your feedback and suggestions to: [email protected]

That's all until next month but in the meantime you can always look at my Blog Garden Supplies News

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