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While spring is the ideal time to begin digging and growing a traditional vegetable or flower garden, plenty of planning and other tasks can be done at any time of the year. Gardeners spend most of the summer watering, weeding and watching young plants grow. Fall is a good time to plant trees, shrubs, bulbs and some perennials. And winter is a perfect time to start ordering seeds, planning out your rows and getting organized. There’s no wrong time to start — but these tips might make it easier for you!

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Almost all vegetables and most flowers need about six hours of full sun each day. Spend a day in your chosen spot, and watch how the sun moves across the space. It might receive more sun than you think.

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If you brought pots and urns indoors during the winter, you can take them outside once temperatures are consistently above 45 degrees. Place the plants and flowers in appropriate areas around your patio or deck — some plants need shade, while others require direct sunlight. If you grew plants indoors during winter with a hydroponic garden, make sure you have enough pots or urns if you’d like to replant them outdoors.

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Pruning the stems of a houseplant is just the first step. After a few years, depending on how fast a plant grows, roots will fill a pot until they have no room left to grow. Roots attempting to escape out the drainage hole of a pot is one indication of overcrowding.

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The most obvious reason to prune a houseplant's stems is to keep the plant manageable. For example, growing in the ground in a tropical climate, branches of weeping fig, a familiar houseplant, will reach skyward and spread as high and wide as a sugar maple's. Indoors, at the very least, your ceilings limit the desired height of a houseplant. For looks, you might want to keep the plant smaller, perhaps much, much smaller.

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There aren’t many don’ts for starting up a milkweed patch, Hasle said, but one plant to avoid is tropical milkweed, a nonnative plant that flowers late in the season. The best garden is one you can sustain, Hasle said. And it can make for a fun family project.

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There’s not a one-size-fits-all monarch garden. Although the Field Museum’s project is still fairly new, there are already some findings after a pilot and pandemic season. Participants sent in weekly reports, including the makeup of their garden, and development of eggs and caterpillars.

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Last year, Bloomscape’s top-selling plant was the mini money tree, which is purported to bring positive energy and good luck to the owner.

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