It’s News to Me – Trends in Gardening

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Air Pots

Have you seen Air-Pots? I haven’t. Air-pots are plant containers made with a new technology that ensures a massive root ball for your plants, giving you a greater yield. The construction makes the roots seek out openings that are too small, so the root is then effectively pruned. This, in turn, causes the plant to send out side roots and more roots from the base overall. Pretty cool. For more information checkout:



Heat Zone Map

I live in the southwest corner of Pennsylvania, in zone 6a according to the USDA Hardiness Zone Map. Winters here are pretty cold, but occasionally they are warm. And conversely – our summers usually are not too hot, but sometimes they are really hot. It is this varying temperature issue that raised my attention to the Heat Zone Map. I first learned about it when visiting the Norfolk Botanical Gardens. The Heat Zone Map, developed by the American Horticultural Society, was first published in 1997. It is divided into twelve zones, somewhat like the USDA Hardiness Zone Map. Each zone indicates the average number of days where the temperature is over 86 degrees Fahrenheit, or 30 degrees Celsius. Soon we will start to see the heat zones on all our plant tags in the nurseries, reference books and catalogs.  Learn more about the Heat Zone Map here: I live in heat zone 2. To find your heat zone, check here:

AHS Heat Zone Map

AHS Heat Zone Map


We’ve all heard that dark, leafy vegetables are packed with healthy nutrients. But what about other dark vegetables? What about all of the dark red and purple ones that have been showing up lately? You know – the purple cauliflower and broccoli, dark purple carrots, and even tomatoes. The key factor to their color is the presence of anthocyanin, an antioxidant that helps reduce blood pressure, among several other health issues. Now that fall is upon us, the other really interesting thing about anthocyanin in plants is that it actually helps them resist cold temperatures, more than their non-purple cousins. So, why not go out and buy a couple of starts of purple broccoli, or even some red leaf lettuce? They will be great for your health and should make it over the next couple of months. And hey, they’re so dang pretty. Read more about purple in the garden here:

Purple Broccoli

by Seth Anderson

I’m sure some of you have already heard about the Air-Pots, the Heat Zone Map and the benefits of purple vegetables. Share your experiences with us. How have they helped your garden? SigsmallPatti


Shared on: Find Your Voice Friday; SITS Sharefest

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About Patti Estep

Patti is the creator of Garden Matter, a home and garden blog filled with projects to inspire your creative side. She loves crafting, gardening, decorating and entertaining at her home in Pennsylvania. When she is not working on a project at home or searching for treasures at nurseries and thrift stores with her girlfriends, you’ll probably find her with family and friends, at a restaurant, or home party enjoying new and different food adventures.

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  1. Your purple broccoli has made me think about the beautiful winter kale and cabbage I can plant as soon as it gets cool enough. Maybe the broccoli would make a great addition. Do you plant kale/cabbage? When do you plant them?

    • Hi Traci,
      Isn’t that broccoli beautiful! To answer your question I don’t plant fall veggies. Mostly because our weather is unpredictable but usually gets cold too soon. Though the article I wrote might just get me to try it with the purple ones. Also, I don’t have a lot of sun loving space to plant much here but I do often plant ornamental kale and cabbage which I believe are edible but not the best tasting. Thanks for stopping by and let me know if you try any cool purple veggies this fall.

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