One of my favorite sayings is, “If tomorrow were my last day to live, I would still plant an apple tree anyway.” You might find this as an interesting activity on your last day of life, but it truly embodies the importance of not being selfish but rather giving to those who will come after y…

We live in an era when youth have many different entertainment and activity options that were not available even 20 years ago. Whether it is playing video games, social networking, or sporting events, they have many electronic or social activity options to choose from, and nowadays one activ…

At this time of year, with sweltering temperatures and lots of sunshine, it’s not that fun to walk around on black asphalt parking lots or roads. Picture this in your mind: You are walking out of a dark, cool, air-conditioned theater and into bright sunshine and 100-degree temperatures radia…

Most gardeners plant, weed, water and try to grow a successful garden, yet for some reason it never quite grows evenly, and success will vary from one side of the garden to the other. So why does this happen? This generally occurs for a variety of environmental and cultural causes.

Using natural elements in your landscape or garden area does not mean that you are a lazy landscaper, but rather a smart gardener. Too often we bypass the usefulness of large rocks, boulders or gravel as they lack the color of annual flowers or the brightness of life growing around us in the…

There is a steadily growing interest in home production of organic food. For most home gardeners, utilizing organic methods of production comes naturally and can easily be implemented with little difficulty. The first principle of organic production is to feed the soil rather than trying to …

Beautiful trees in your landscape can be some of the most prized possessions a person can have. Beyond offering shade, wind protection, beauty, interest in the landscape and reduced heating or cooling costs, trees also add to the experience of activities out in your yard. If you think back t…

Some people are lucky enough to have a backyard visited by all kinds of wildlife. Others have about as much wildlife in their yards as there is excitement in a graveyard. Having migrant birds visit your property on an annual basis, in spite of construction and human encroachment, truly adds …

There is a steadily growing interest in home production of organic food. For most home gardeners, utilizing organic methods of production comes naturally and can easily be implemented with little difficulty. The first principle of organic production is to feed the soil rather than trying to …

The skill and knowledge to successfully grow plants in your yard, garden or indoors takes trial, error and time. Many of us know people who seem to have green thumbs and can put a plant cutting in water on a windowsill and have it root out successfully with little effort.

Over the last several years, I have browsed plant catalogs, and every now and then run into roses that have a patriotic theme. I was reminded of this with the Fourth of July upon us, and I thought it may be appropriate to find out more about them. The first and most popular rose I will menti…

Annually, University of Idaho Extension teams up with the Applied Plant Sciences Department at Brigham Young University-Idaho to host one of the region’s most interesting and educational gardening events available to the general public.

Living in the potato state and being surrounded by fields of potatoes, most people take the positive attributes of spuds for granted. Adding to their commonness, they are also inexpensive in the grocery store, and so ultimately the good old spud just isn’t as respected as it should be, espec…

We all want a beautiful yard, and we know that to have an outdoor oasis of beauty it requires lots of time, energy and just plain work. This is discouraging to most people and it’s why landscape projects or gardens get neglected, half finished or never get started.

As many home gardeners try to be more self-sufficient and cut costs, they look to starting plants at home, and with the right tools can have great success.

Often we hear people refer to their small acreages as a “hobby farm,” a “gentleman’s farm,” “a responsibility for the kids” or “something to give me some exercise.”

There are rewarding endeavors in the world of small-acreage businesses, and if you love trees, fruit, and pruning then a small acreage orchard might be the right direction.

In other parts of the country the “U-pick” farm industry has grown incredibly over the past 20 to 30 years. Some people like the experience of going to pick fruit as a family, and making memories out of a simple and fulfilling work experience.

Being prepared for unexpected events in life is just good common sense. When running a small-acreage business, there are many aspects to consider when getting prepared for unseen circumstances. There are two critical parts of getting and keeping any small-acreage business prepared.

This will be the last small-acreage / gardening article for the season and I will restart with more articles in January. But, I think it’s a good time to review a few of the simple yet easily forgotten aspects of owning a small acreage.

So, to continue our discussion from last week about how you’re going to make a small-acreage business viable and successful, you need to identify your niche.

Gardening is not a sport for the weak-hearted, the half-dedicated or the person who thinks that a pretty yard comes in a bottle. It can be overwhelming, frustrating, expensive and more work than fun.

Sometimes known as “southwest injury,” sunscald on trees is damage to the bark on the side of the tree facing the sun, which in our area is the southwest. Sunscald can occur in both the summer and the wintertime and can be caused by many environmental factors.

We all have pests come into our yards and cause problems with our landscapes, gardens, trees and bushes. These pests can range from small grubs that eat the grass roots in our lawn to moose eating our shade and fruit trees during the middle of winter.

The days are growing shorter, trees are starting to change color in the mountains, shadows grow longer, and our nighttime temperatures are starting to drop. As trees prepare for dormancy, they are not focusing on branch and tree top development but rather, they are taking up water and nutrie…

This truly is the most enjoyable part of the gardening season for most die-hard gardeners. It’s that point where you are enjoying a sizable harvest of fruits and vegetables from your garden, berry patch, and yard.

Birds have many wonderful attributes in our yards and landscapes, but can cause issues in our gardens by eating fruit or picking seeds out of the ground. There are ways to help drive them off, and prevent them from taking up residence where their presence is detrimental.

Because of their adaptability to a wide range of growing conditions and the many uses for the fruit, grapes are the most important fruit crop in the world.

The hobo spider is a European species first collected in Seattle during the 1940s. It first was detected in Idaho during the late 1960s and established statewide by the early 1990s. It now occurs throughout Oregon and Washington as well as in parts of Colorado, Montana, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming.