Gardening Q and A

Is Soil Sold For Gardening Tested For Lead Or Arsenic?

Q: Is soil sold for gardening routinely tested for lead or arsenic? Should I be concerned?  A: My bet is that all of the commercial or bagged soils are tested for lead. I doubt that bulk soil, delivered by the...

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Moss Growing On My Asphalt Driveway

Q: What can I do about moss growing on my asphalt driveway? Grass killer didn’t work.  A: On one hand, I am glad the herbicide didn’t work. It confirms my observation that weed killer hurts weeds much more than moss....

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Can We Move Daffodils While Their Leaves Are Still Green?

Q: My husband’s family farm was just sold. Can we save the daffodils growing there even though the leaves are still green.  A: Go ahead with moving and planting them now. It would be better to put them in bright...

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Putting A Garden In – Can I Spray Weed Killer In The Area?

Q: Is it okay to spray weed killer on a area where I’m putting a garden or will the grass killer leach into the ground and affect the plants ? A: There are several types of weedkiller, so you’ll have...

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Will Umbrella Pines Grow Here?

Q: We vacationed in Italy and the umbrella pines were wonderful. Will they grow here?  A: I just got back from Italy myself! Italian umbrella pine, Pinus pinea, is the source of pine nuts (pignoli) used to make delicious pesto....

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A Chlorine-Based Solution Got On My Japanese Maple – Long-Term Damage?

Q: I recently had my house pressure-washed and they used a chlorine-based solution. Some of the spray got on a Japanese maple and turned some leaves brown. Will this be long term damage or will these leaves come back next...

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How To Control Honeysuckles On Boxwoods?

Q: We have some really old boxwoods that honeysuckle has almost taken over. How can I kill the vine?  A: The best honeysuckle control is to clip the vine at ground level under the boxwoods and immediately dab some glyphosate...

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When To Fertilize A Bermuda Lawn

Q: I have an 8000 square foot bermuda lawn and I use a reel mower. I put down 25 pounds of 32-3-8 in early May. When do I fertilize again?  A: Much of the decision about fertilizing a bermudagrass lawn...

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Can Millipedes Harm Anything?

Q: In all this dampness, we have had a lot of millipedes. They crawl up the side of the house and across the drive. Can they harm anything?  A: They don’t bother anything except your nerves. It’s creepy to step...

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Roadside Plants That Look Like European Elder?

Q: I fell in love with the fragrant flowers and berries of the European elder when I lived in Ireland. I see something that looks similar growing along roadsides here. I’m thinking it is Sambucus canadensis, but the flowers have...

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Transplanted Blueberry Bush – Not Fully Leafed Out

Q: I transplanted a large blueberry bush early last fall. I have other blueberry bushes that are fully leafed out now, but the transplanted one is only 20% leafed out. Should I remove berries to reduce stress or let the...

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Can I Put Rubber Mulch Around My Trees?

Q: Is it ok to put rubber mulch around the base of my trees?  A: I do not recommend using rubber mulch. Even though it does an adequate job preventing weeds, the stuff is hard to keep clean and it...

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Fescue Lawn – When Is It Safe To Put Down Liquid Weed Killer?

Q: My new fescue lawn has been growing well and has been cut twice. My landscaper used weed and feed granules but after five days I see no change in the weeds. Is it safe to put down liquid weed...

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Tall Fescue In Centipede Grass – How To Get Rid Of It?

Q: How can I get rid of tall fescue in centipede grass?  A: There are herbicides labeled to remove fescue grass from centipede but you can accomplish the same result without cost. All you have to do is manipulate the...

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A Plant To Avoid Erosion Of A Shady Slope?

Q: I have a steep slope in my backyard that is covered with English ivy. What’s the best ground cover I can plant instead to avoid erosion of the slope? It’s pretty shady. We back up to a park where...

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Cherry Leaf – Finger Gall

Q: I have a tree in the back yard that has developed these strange bubbles on its leaves. The entire tree is covered along with the leaves wilting and dropping at a pretty steady rate. A: It is just finger...

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Grape – Tumid Gall

Q: My grape vines are growing some weird thing. Can you identify? A: I think it is tumid gall. Generally does no damage to the grape. Cut it open to see what’s inside. Grape...

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Blackberry – Stem Gall

Q: I found this on my blackberry plant and thought you might know what it is. Should I remove it? A: I think it is a stem gall caused by the egg laying accomplished by a midge insect. Galls typically...

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