Gardening Q and A

Impatiens – Is It Safe To Plant?

Q: For many years, I planted impatiens in my shaded areas. I read that they have developed some kind of disease and weren’t available at nurseries anymore. I saw a packet of impatiens seeds so I bought them and the...

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Where Can I Find Triple Ground Mulch?

Q: Where do I find triple ground mulch like I used in Pennsylvania? It looks great and it works wonders under shrubs. A: Due to shipping costs, mulch is usually generated from local sources. Triple ground bark mulch might be...

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Autumn Ferns – Best Time To Transplant?

Q: Autumn ferns are blocking my sprinkler heads. When is the best time to transplant them?  A: Autumn ferns can be transplanted any time of the year except during the hottest months of summer. Mid-spring is the best time to...

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Christmas Cactus – When To Repot?

Q: How do I know when it is time to repot a Christmas cactus to a larger pot?  A: I have a Christmas cactus in a twelve- inch wide clay pot where it has lived for ten years. Every spring...

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Should I Put Sand Down Before Zoysia Installation?

Q: I am going to be installing zoysia sod soon. My lot is heavily shaded but I’m having my trees thinned to help with sunlight. The soil stays a little damp. Would it be good to put down 3″ –...

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Acorns and Wires Chewed Through Around Car Engine – Culprit?

Q: My car would not start one morning. When I opened the hood there were acorns on top of the engine and nearby wires were obviously chewed through. What do you think did it?  A: I offer up three suspects:...

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Bermuda Grass – How Short To Cut It Before It Greens?

Q: How short should I cut my bermuda sod before it starts to green?  A: Set your mower height one notch lower than you typically use. Mowing will remove the brown turf leaves and expose the crown of the grass...

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Cleveland Pear Trees – Can I Replant In Late Spring?

Q: Four of our fourteen Cleveland pear trees have been killed by ambrosia beetles. Can we replant this late in the spring?  A: You can plant trees now but let me urge you to plant something other than flowering pear....

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What Causes Blueberries to Bloom Early?

Q: Every spring I find myself rushing out to put Christmas lights and blankets over my blueberry blooms to avoid them being damaged by a late winter freeze. What causes blueberries to bloom so early?  A: Blueberries are triggered to...

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Potato Plant Looks Melted After Freeze – What To Do?

Q: My potatoes were eight inches high when the freeze came recently. The plants look melted. Will the potatoes below send more shoots or should I replant? A: The warm weather we had before the freeze kept soil temperatures pretty...

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Daffodil Bulbs Are Mushy

Q: I had several clumps of daffodils that did not bloom this year. When I dug some of them to inspect, I found the bulbs very soft and mushy.  A: You were smart to dig them up to see what’s...

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Deer- Resistant Plants?

Q: We recently planted some dwarf loropetalum and mahonia. We were told they were deer proof but the neighborhood deer ate them. We are looking at the following replacements: abelia, gardenia, camellia, osmanthus, and distylium. Any more? A: You’ve made...

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How Much Composted/Bagged Cow Manure To Use In A Vegetable Garden?

Q: How much composted and bagged cow manure should I add to my vegetable garden before planting? A: Bagged cow manure contains very little nutrition for plants. And as for adding organic matter to your soil, there are better materials...

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Growing Eleagnus Shrubs?

Q: I am planting eleagnus around my property. I found one with berries and seeds. Can I plant them and grow more shrubs?  A: Before you plant more eleagnus, consider that many people call it a noxious weed. I grant...

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Flowering Times Of Cherry Trees

Q: You were talking on radio about the different flowering times of cherry trees. Can I get a list? A: Flowering cherry trees can give us blooms for at least two months in spring. Their flowering times overlap so there...

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Pine Tree Killed By Pine Beetles – What To Do With Stump?

Q: What do you do with the stump once you remove a pine tree that has been killed by pine beetles?  A: Pine beetle attacks are not typically so low on a tree trunk as to infest the stump. I...

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How To Sample Root-Knot Nematodes Before Planting A Fig?

Q: How do I sample for root-knot nematodes before planting a fig? A: Nematodes are tiny worms in the soil. Some species, like root knot nematode, harm plants by parasitizing roots. It is difficult to sample for nematodes before you...

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How To Get Rid Of Snails?

Q: This past fall I noticed little snails crawling on my outdoor furniture. I think they are coming from the decaying mulch we put down last year. How do I get rid of the snails? A: Your snail population should...

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