Plant Information


Smart Gardener

Gardening for Butterflies

It’s butterfly season! On warm summer days, these flying gems float from one flower to another in search of nectar. They are one of...


Plant Profiles


How often have you heard that the true lilies (Lilium) are either difficult to grow or are not well adapted to the Midwest?...

Question of the Month

Ripe Tomatoes

Tomato Ripeness

Q. How can I tell when the tomatoes in my garden are ripe?

A. Determining when tomatoes are ripe can be tricky, especially when we are anxiously waiting to sample the first tomatoes of the season. As a practical matter, the best guides to tomato ripeness, particularly for the heirloom varieties and those hybrids bred for the home gardener, are color and touch.

First, know the ripe color of the specific tomato variety. This is especially important with non-red tomatoes and some heirloom varieties. The former may not always match the name color...