Gardening Q and A

Wood chips – Flames

Q: Can a pile of wood chips burst into flame? My last three deliveries from the local tree guy smoked by day two and you could feel the heat radiating off the pile. When I went to spread them, there...

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Root rot – Cure

Q: Several of my plants are dying from root rot. A nursery employee said to mix hydrogen peroxide with water and put it in the ground at the base of the plants. He said that by re-introducing oxygen into the...

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Indoor growth – Tomatoes

Q: I’m new to gardening and was wondering if it was possible to grow tomatoes indoors year round. Our rental house has a sunroom so plants can get a lot of light there most of the year. A: I admire...

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Cat grass – Hairballs

Q: What can you tell me about cat grass? It is supposed to help cats with bringing up hair balls. I bought a small kit and the grass grew but my cat ate the grass and pulled up the roots....

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Blueberry Bushes – Chandler

Q: I’m planning to plant two blueberry bushes and have seen several pieces about the Chandler variety. You recommend rabbiteye blueberries, but I can’t find whether Chandler is a rabbiteye or not. A: Chandler’ bears huge berries but it’s a...

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Mowing height – Three inches

Q: I have a small lawn service and occasionally a customer will have a neglected yard with very tall grass. How do I get the mowing height back down to the recommended three inches? A: Do the initial cut at...

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Drought – Pine trees

Q: I’ve noticed since the drought that when it rains more trees seem to be falling over. Pine trees seem to break at weak points, but the broad leaf trees seem to be pulled out of the ground by their...

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Lawn pH – Watering

Q: My university soil test says I have a significantly low 4.6 pH. They recommend 45-55 pounds of lime per 1000 sq. ft. Is this enough to raise the pH permanently to 6.5? What is the best time to put...

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Grape vines – Relocating

Q: Two years ago I bought at a home improvement store four grape vines, one each of ‘Suffolk Seedless’, ‘Mars Seedless’, ‘White Niagara’, and ‘Concord’. Now, by their fruit, I seem to have four ‘Concord’s. If I relocate the vines...

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Peach orchard – Limb thinning

Q: I used to work in a peach orchard. We would thin each limb to no more than three peaches to grow large, lush peaches. Can you do the same with tomatoes: thin out the groups of 3 down to...

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Deer Feeding – Mistake?

Q: I have several deer in my garden every morning. They seem so hungry and have even started chewing on my cabbages. Is it a mistake to feed them? A: Feeding them will DEFINITELY attract more deer! Deer somehow communicate...

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Houttuynia plants – Ivy

Q: Several years ago I planted six houttuynia plants at the bottom of a slope that also contained English ivy. Now the houttuynia is taller than the ivy and stinks like the dickens. Is there something I could spray on...

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Chlorine soaked leaves – Compost bin

Q: Is it OK to place chlorine-soaked leaves from our swimming pool into our compost bin? A: Yes, there is not enough chlorine on the leaves to hurt the composting...

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Solarizing soil – Eliminate pupae

Q: I had a horrible time with squash vine borers this year. Will solarizing my soil this winter (clear plastic covering for 6-8 weeks) help eliminate the pupae for next year? A: Solarizing in winter won’t heat the soil enough...

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Water conditions – Aerate soil

Q: I usually aerate and overseed my fescue lawn in the fall. With the current watering restrictions, is this still something I can do? A: Current water regulations allow you to water every other day. But for best germination, fescue...

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Thorny plants – Crime deterrent

Q: What are some of the best thorny plants to grow under windows as a crime deterrent? The house gets full to part sun on all sides. A: Chinese holly, barberry, shrub rose (Knockout, Nearly Wild or rugosa), pyracantha, mahonia,...

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Identifying – Bird at feeder

Q: I need help identifying a bird I have at my feeder. It looks like a cardinal except for the head, which appears to be devoid of feathers! It has normal red body feathers and a head with no crest....

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First garden – Pesticides

Q: This is our first time planting a garden. We would like to protect the garden with natural pesticides. Do you know if there is an effective organic pesticide that can be used? A: The best way to protect a...

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