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Plants I Love – Salvia

Garden

During the busiest part of the season, boxes filled with recently introduced plants start arriving at my house. They are filled with cultivars sent by growers in hopes that I’ll write about them. Only a few make the grade to be featured in Everybody Gardens. It’s exciting to try these new varieties, but it means […]

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In the Dirt – Mulching

Garden

May is for mulching. A good two- or three-inch layer of mulch will preserve spring moisture, slow down weeds and keep plants happy. Whether it’s trees, shrubs, vegetables, annuals or perennials, they all will benefit from mulching. Mulch should never touch the base of the plant. Make a donut, not a volcano. It’s so frustrating […]

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Ask Doug Oster: Invasive mint, cucumbers, and Mountain Laurel

Garden

Gardening editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody. (The questions may be lightly edited for grammar/clarity/etc.) […]

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In the Dirt – Compost

Garden

If you haven’t figure it out by now, my garden is all about compost. It’s the thing that gives me the so-called “Green Thumb.” Compost gives plants everything they need; when they get that, varieties will outgrow most pests and diseases. Just about every day, I run in to someone who exclaims, “I’ve got a […]

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Ask Doug Oster: Larkspur, Chinese lanterns, moss and more

Garden

Gardening editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody. (The questions may be lightly edited for grammar/clarity/etc.) […]

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Catching hybrid striped bass on the fly

Outdoors

They are not subtle, these bruising brawlers. Some fish have the reputation of being almost refined. Angling literature, for example, mythologies brown trout for the way they selectively and daintily sip dry flies perfectly presented by the most reverential fishermen pure of heart. Sleek, athletic, strong, they fight hard when hooked. But they play by […]

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Vernal pools a source of unique, varied life in spring

Outdoors

It was further proof that life often bursts forth in the unlikeliest of places. I was at a close-to-home shooting range, tacking up targets. Someone else’s was lying on the ground behind the backstop, discolored and degraded from soaking up water in what appeared to be a puddle. Retrieving it for the trash, I noticed […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a morel recipe

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Gear of the week Gear name: Tournament Touch Screen Company: Rapala Gear type: Scale Product description: Maybe you’re a tournament fisherman. Maybe you’re just someone who likes to know the specifics of the fish you catch. In either case, the Rapala touch screen tourney scale is a […]

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D. Landreth Seed Company

Garden

When David and Cuthbert Landreth founded the D. Landreth Seed Company in 1784, they never could have imagined the ups and downs the company would see over the centuries. Sold during WWII, changing hands over the years several times and even fading away until recently being purchased by American Meadows Inc. President Ethan Platt has […]

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Margarita cupcakes are a festive summer treat

Food

Margarita cupcakes. What could be more perfect for spring and summer (or of course, Cinco de Mayo!)? You’ll find all kinds of reasons to make these fun, tequila-infused cupcakes. I mean, who doesn’t love a little spiked dessert? This recipe makes a deliciously moist cake with a light lime and tequila flavor — just like […]

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Easy, cheesy taco pasta

Food

If your Cinco de Mayo menu usually consists of some sad tacos, try kicking it up a notch this year with a cheesy taco pasta. It’s become a favorite in my household because it goes from stove to table in less than 30 minutes. Plus, I don’t mind that it only dirties one pot! But […]

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Memorial Daffodils

Garden

A stiff breeze blows through thousands of bright yellow daffodils, making them dance as Emily Milich-Franusich and her husband Michael Franusich walk hand in hand through a two-acre field of blooms as their cat Sophie leads the way in Butler Township, Butler County. Since 2015 the couple has spent their fall planting these bulbs in […]

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How to make taco seasoning at home

Food

Store bought taco seasonings are no fiesta. They’re filled with gross ingredients and labels that look like a chemistry textbook. If you’ve been looking to add more real food to your diet, you should try swapping this homemade taco seasoning recipe for those overpriced, small pre-mixed packets. Homemade taco seasoning is healthier, but it’s also […]

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Ask Doug Oster: Native grass, safe cleaners, garlic and more.

Garden

Gardening editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody. (The questions may be lightly edited for grammar/clarity/etc.) […]

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Cemetery Daffodils

Garden

It was a conversation over lunch after a Botanic Walk and Talk at the Pittsburgh Botanic Garden that introduced me to Barbara and Chuck Batove’s beautiful story. Barbara knows Joe Hamm, whose Daffodil Hortus in Washington County is a legendary collection of nearly 2,000 different varieties. Barbara is planting specific daffodils at the graves of […]

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It’s just about prime time for catching flatheads

Outdoors

There are good times to catch big flathead catfish, and there are great times to catch big flathead catfish. We’re on the cusp of one of the great ones. So says Chris Souders anyway. And he should know. The Ohio-based angler is a two-time Cabela’s King Kat tournament series angler of the year and host […]

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Nate Hosie talks the when, where and how of turkey decoys

Outdoors

They’re twin tools of deception, turkey decoys and turkey calls, both meant to fool lusty gobblers. Nate Hosie uses both. That’s not how things always were, though. When the host of “Headhunters TV” was a high schooler in Montdale, Pa. – and killing birds frequently enough to be known as “The Turkey Slayer” – he […]

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How to make a margarita with just three ingredients

Food

Quick! How do you make a margarita? Margaritas should be one of the most simple cocktails out there, but somehow, we’ve gone and complicated things. We’ve convinced ourselves that to make them, we need a fully stocked bar, special glasses, a basket of exotic tropical fruit, and some sort of special whizzing machine. If you […]

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Ask Doug Oster: Wild onions, Milkweed seeds, Bittercress and more.

Garden

Everybody Gardens editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody. (The questions may be lightly edited for […]

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Outdoor Extras, including a spring gobbler tip

Outdoors

You want outdoor extras? We’ve got outdoor extras… Lure of the week Lure name: Bimbo Skunk Company: Bimbo Skunk Lure Lure type: Fly Sizes and colors: Available two colors, pink and chartreuse, both tied on a #10 hook. Target species: Bluegills and crappies. Technique: Fly fishing for panfish is lots of fun. Bluegills and crappies […]

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Plants I Love – Begonia

Garden

Overlooking the Pittsburgh skyline in a restaurant on Mount Washington, I was showing off pictures of my beloved ‘Bonfire’ begonias. A few years ago, the Garden Writers Association (GWA) had its national convention here, and we took breeders up there to show off the city. When I showed Anthony Tesselaar my photos, he said in […]

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Ask Doug Oster: Tithonia, Planting Bulbs, Compost Sourcing and more

Garden

Gardening editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody. There are three ways to send in your […]

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Ask Doug Oster: Leaf mold as mulch, Yew shrubs, Thistle and more

Garden

Gardening editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody. (The questions may be lightly edited for grammar/clarity/etc.) […]

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What’s the difference between an English muffin and a crumpet?

Food

When it comes to breakfast breads, most of us are carb-loving connoisseurs. Toasts like wheat, rye, and sourdough are just the beginning. Scones, muffins — both blueberry and bran, biscuits and bagels make their way into our morning meal more commonly than we’d care to admit. And of course you know the English muffin. It’s […]

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Springtime pea tabouli salad

Food

Spring salads can be so so good! Think of yourself eating whole, fresh ingredients and feeling happy, healthy, and full. This springy Mediterranean-inspired dish will deliver on all three. Springtime pea tabouli salad is filling thanks to the high-fiber peas and protein-packed quinoa (about 8 grams of protein per 1 cup cooked quinoa). It’s also […]

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A Legacy of Planting

Garden

On a warm spring afternoon, the sun highlighted a row of daffodils in such a way that the orange fringe of the cups exploded with color. I’ve seen them bloom every season for the past 20 but never really noticed the dark apricot center of the flower. I began to daydream a bit, pondering who […]

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