Gardening Q and A

Fescue – Summer Heat

Q: I seed, re-seed and fertilize my fescue lawn every year. I get beautiful grass every spring until early summer and the heat kills it. The yard is mostly sunny all day. What do I do? A: Look at it...

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Okra – Trimming

Q: When okra gets six feet tall, what can be done to keep it from getting too tall to easily pick without reducing the daily harvest? A: You can’t do anything to reduce height that won’t also reduce flowers. I...

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Willow Oak – Replacing

Q: I just removed an old willow oak from the front of my yard due to disease. I would like to replace the tree and was wondering what type of tree I should consider. A: You have several choices and...

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Panicle Hydrangea – Pruning

Q: My hydrangea tree is fifteen feet tall and beautiful. I wonder if I should trim the lower branches and give the tree a trunk and a “head”. A: I’m guessing you have one of the panicle hydrangeas: Hydrangea paniculata...

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Greenhouse – Temperature Control

Q: I have wanted a greenhouse for a long time and the time has come to get one. Do I need a heater in my greenhouse? I want to overwinter many of my plants there. A: If your greenhouse is...

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Tomatoes – Bird Problems

Q: We have beautiful tomatoes but as soon as they begin to show color, they are pecked at by birds. Is there anything we can do? A: I suppose bird netting is a possibility but the easiest thing to do...

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Spinning Primrose – Winter Preparation

Q: I was given a spinning Persian primrose that blooms in the evening, just as it’s getting dark. What do I do with the stalks during the winter? A: Spinning primrose, Oenothera biennis, is also known as evening primrose. It...

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Compost Pile – Lemon Rinds

Q: Will fresh lemon rinds hurt my compost pile? A: Not at all. Anything that was previously a plant can be composted and the resulting humus can be incorporated into garden beds. Folks commonly compost banana peels, coffee grounds and...

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Lawn – Funnel Weaver Spider Webs

Q: My neighbor has hundreds of small spider webs all over his lawn after a rain. Any idea what those webs are? A: They are probably the webs of funnel weaver spiders. They are completely harmless and indeed eat aphids,...

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Hardwoods – Cicadas

Q: In the last couple of months we have noticed foot-long ends of limbs on our hardwoods turning brown and falling off. Do you know what is going on? A: Remember back in May when you heard the constant shriek...

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Squash – Protection

Q: Squash borers decimated my squash plants this year. Can I plant more this year or should I consider it a bust? Kimberly Hardy, e-mail A: Summer squash only take 50 – 60 days from planting to harvest so you...

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Asparagus – Transplanting

Q: My daughter is moving away. Is it feasible to transplant her asparagus plants to my garden now? A: Before you go to lots of trouble, try to determine what variety they are. If they are ‘Mary Washington’ or ‘Martha...

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Corn – Ants

Q: I have some ants that are congregating at the top of my corn tassels. I’ve seen that mineral oil may rid me of them; your thoughts? A: Ants congregate on corn to eat honeydew from aphids and sometimes to...

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Crepe Myrtle – Dwarf

Q: You mentioned on radio a crepe myrtle that would stay short instead of growing into a tree. I’m looking for something that I can keep around four feet tall. A: ‘Chicasaw’ , ‘Pokomoke’ and the Petite series are all...

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Cedar Tree – Berries

Q: What are the blue/gray berries on cedar trees now? A: They are the seed cones, which most folks call cedar berries. Each one contains a couple of hard seeds. Birds love the seeds of redcedar and scatter them far...

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Honey – For Allergies

Q: I’m having terrible allergies this year and I’m being forced to stay indoors. I’ve been told to find locally grown raw honey to eat daily. Where could I get some? A: Although this is widespread homespun advice, the allergy...

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Yucca Plants – Seeding

Q: I have several yucca plants that have finished blooming and have left behind stalks of seed pods. How do I plant the seed? A: Frankly, it might be easier to look under your existing plants and dig out small...

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Peppers – Storing

Q: I harvest hot peppers and air dry them throughout the growing season. In the fall I grind them and store them in jars. Recently I noticed small worms in one jar and moth-like insects in an other. What can...

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