Hartley Magazine

All the latest news, hints, tips and advice from our experts

Short-Season Strategies for Successful Harvests

It’s summer and gardens around the country are already bursting with home-grown fruits and vegetables. Still, it’s not too early to think about bringing in the harvest—especially in places with short growing seasons. “Ninety days is what I’ve got to work with,” says Pat Munts, Spokane-based author of The Northwest Gardener’s Handbook. Pat is also […]

Cautionary tale about greenhouse pests – Ticks and Lyme Disease

The doctor said that nobody gets Lyme Disease in December! I did and figured that I picked up the tick in my greenhouse! I wasn’t checking for it because it was, after all, December. But I had seen a mouse in the greenhouse a month or so before the incident. I figured it came in […]


Three Lawn-care Myths

Lawn maintenance is the most common activity for gardeners around the United States. Yet some popular lawn-care practices have no basis in reality. They’re myths, says C.L. Fornari, author, speaker, and self-styled “garden geek.” In her newest book, Coffee for Roses, C.L., debunks all kinds of garden lore and hand-me-down tips. So this time of […]


Perennials that are moody depending on the weather

The other day I dropped by my brother’s new home and he proudly showed me the beds he had just planted with hypoestes (polka dot plant). “They’re great,” I said. “But you know they’re annuals. You’ll have to replace them next year.” His face fell. “But at the garden center they told me they were […]


Potting soil shockers and other news!

Potting soil is the most important ingredient for starting a terrific garden. It is also an important item for most indoor plants (Cactus and orchids being the exception, both require specialized mediums for growing.) Potting Soil Components – this will shock you. Compost is a major ingredient. Good compost is made from rotted vegetation but […]

Low-Maintenance Perennials—Melinda Myers Names the Best

Perennials are often touted as “easy-care,” but not all perennials are equal. Like many gardeners, I want ones that don’t need frequent dividing or deadheading. I need plants that are not fussy as to soil or weather conditions—and come back year after year. That’s a lot to ask for, I know, so this month I’m […]

Introducing Roger Marshall

Roger Marshall’s journey Gardening came to me naturally, while growing up in England in the 1950s. At that time, with war time shortages still distressing the UK economy, commercial fertilizers were hard to come by, so we made compost and used natural organic materials to fertilize our gardens, practices that I continue using today. English […]


The swinging times of Spring – temps 65 degrees F to 27 degrees F

On April’s Fool’s Day, it was a balmy 65 in Chicago—with a forecast for 27 two nights later.That kind of grim joke is why it’s handy to have a greenhouse or a cold frame to even out the crazy temperature swings of springtime. One task that makes a greenhouse useful is starting bare-root plants. Perennials, […]


Robin Stockwell and Debra Lee Baldwin Offer Great Advice for Succulent Success

Succulents’ time has come. This group of plants, which includes cactus, requires only one-third to one-fifth the water of other ornamentals. With long-term drought in the western U.S., interest has never been higher. Even in other parts of the country, succulents’ easy care and strong architectural presence make them eye catchers. There’s a succulent for […]