Gardening Q and A

Bird Seed – Red Pepper To Deter Squirrels!

Q: I heard that putting red pepper in bird feeders will keep squirrels away but not bother birds. Is this true? A: You heard correctly! Researchers at Cornell University mixed cayenne pepper with sunflower seed and found it significantly reduced...

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Pollen Count – Male Trees Responsible

Q: As we move into the spring allergy season, I’ve heard that the reason tree pollen counts are so high is that male trees far outnumber female trees. I have room in my yard for another tree and I’d like...

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Peat Moss – Makes Soil More Mud-Like

Q: Does adding peat moss to soil make it drain better or make it more mud like? A: Adding peat moss to soil makes it more mud-like. The reason is that peat particles are very small and they absorb lots...

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Onions – Small Bulbs

Q: I bought sweet onion starts from a big box store last October and planted them in my garden. The tops seem to do really well but all I get are skinny green onions that do not become big. What...

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Vines – Wrapping Counter Clock-Wise?

Q: Every vine that I’ve noticed winds around the support counter clock-wise. Do they all do that? In the southern hemisphere, do the vines all wind clockwise? A: Vines twine because as they grow longer they also circumnutate (bend in...

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Plants – First Come, First Serve Dig Day

Q: We are selling an old home for a tear-down and have the right to dig up any plants on the two acre property before we close. My family will get some of the plants but many more will be...

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Dimension 2EW – Usage On Zoysia

Q: There is a pre-emergent called Dimension 2EW that specifically lists mulberry weed as a target. Do you know if this product can be used in a perennial garden setting as well as on zoysia grass? A: Dimension 2EW is...

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Lemon – Proper Watering

Q: My son gave me a Meyer lemon tree for Christmas. The plant was filled with beautiful lemons and blooms. Since then, the blossoms have dropped as well as most of the leaves. I water it regularly. I have noticed...

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Crepe Myrtle – Should It Be Removed?

Q: I have a crepe myrtle eight feet from my porch steps. The branches extend over the walkway. In spring and summer dried buds fall and stain my concrete. Is my best move to remove the tree? A: There is...

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Apple Serviceberry – Will They Thrive?

Q: My local nursery has some apple serviceberry trees that have four to five trunks. Would this species thrive here? A: Apple serviceberry is Amelanchier x grandiflora. ‘Autumn Brilliance’ is a popular cultivar. This and other Amelanchier species are native...

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Crabgrass – Targeted Control

Q: I have a vegetable garden with a terrible crabgrass problem. Is there anything I can use to control the crabgrass and not hurt my seeds? A: You could use a weed preventer containing trifluralin (Monterey Vegetable Weeder). If you...

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Centipede Grass – Correct pH Balance

Q: I got the soil test results back for my centipede lawn. It says my soil pH is 6.5. I know centipede likes acid soil. Do you think I need to somehow make the soil more acid? A: Plants have...

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Labels – What To Use Outside

Q: I need to know what writing instrument I can use to make my outdoor plant labels. I need something that doesn’t fade. A: I use a Brother P-Touch label maker and flat metal label holders that have thick wire...

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Magnolias – Growing In Germany

Q: My family from Germany visits every year and they love magnolia trees. Is there any variety I can buy that will survive the winters in southern Germany? A: Plant hardiness zones in Germany run North-South, rather than East-West like...

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Christmas Cactus – Buds Often Dying

Q: Why do the immature buds of a blooming Christmas cactus often dry up and fall off? A: In my observation, it’s most often caused by low humidity or by the plant being near a furnace vent. Move your plant...

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Pre-Emergents – A Double Application

Q: I am considering combining two types of pre-emergents, Halts and LESCO 0-0-7 and applying them in one application, instead of double. Is combining the two products a good idea? A: Halts and LESCO contain the same weed preventer chemical:...

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Composting – Old Beans And Popcorn

Q: I’ve come across several big sealed buckets of twenty-year-old dry beans and popcorn. Is it possible to add these to our compost bin? A: I think crushing the beans/corn into pieces would be fine. A flour-like consistency might allow...

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Cinnamon – Growing The Tree!!

Q: I would like to grow a cinnamon tree! Could I grow it like my fig tree: inside in the cold months and outside in hot months? A: It’s theoretically possible. Look online for a source of the plant Cinnamomum...

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