How-To Archive

New Zealand Trip – 2020

Come next February, I’ll be enjoying the warm summertime in New Zealand…and you can enjoy it with me! I hosted a garden tour of New Zealand in 2011. Ever since, I’ve wanted to go back. So now we’re going again…and...

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How To Cut Back My Huge Buckeye

Q: My buckeye lost its shade when two old pines were removed. Now it has absolutely taken over a side of my yard, covering everything in sight: azaleas, nandina, weeds, etc. The buckeye has white flower spikes in June. Should...

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Will A Vinegar And Salt Solution Kill Underbrush?

Q: Can you spread a vinegar and salt solution under big pine and oak trees to kill the underbrush below them?  A: Neither vinegar nor salt will kill the underbrush. Concentrated acetic acid, which smells like vinegar, might burn the...

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Mouthwash, Epsom Salts And Stale Beer – Mosquito Repellent?

Q: I have been told that a mixture of mouthwash, Epsom salts and stale beer can be sprayed around your landscape to keep mosquitoes away. What do you think?  A: I think this is an excellent recipe for hogwash. For...

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Fan Palm With Seed Pods On It

Q: I have a twelve-year-old fan palm outside. The tree has seed pods on it. How and when can I take the seed pods off and plant them?  A: There are several different plants that are called fan palm. In...

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Bumper Crop Of Baby Peaches – How To Thin The Peaches

Q: I have a bumper crop of baby peaches. Is there a rule of thumb for thinning the peaches? I know the branches won’t support all of them.  A: You are right. If you don’t remove some of the fruit,...

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How To Get Rid Of Johnson Weed

Q: How do you get rid of Johnson weed?  A: It’s tough! Johnsongrass, Sorghum halepense, was introduced from the Mediterranean as a pasture grass. But farmers soon found that this tall, aggressive grass, while favored by cattle, was very difficult...

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Squirrel Problem

Q: I have a problem with squirrels digging in my pots. I can’t keep anything growing in them since they dig up everything.  A: One of my gardening friends collects sweetgum balls and uses them to mulch around summer annuals...

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Filling In A Gully On A Sloping Yard

Q: I have a sloping yard that has developed a gully on one side that is hard to mow. I am having a tree removed and wonder if I can fill in with the chips, then cover with dirt and...

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Eliminating Slug Larvae

Q: Is there some way to eliminate slug larvae in the ground before they start destroying my plants? I use beer to kill the adult ones, but it gets quite expensive.  A: Slugs typically overwinter as adults, although there may...

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Planting A Bare Root Stella Cherry Tree In Winter

Q: My father and I are planting a bare root Stella cherry tree. I have read that we should add nitrogen when planting but in winter? What would you recommend? A: Your instincts are exactly right. There is no absolute...

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How To Keep Possums Out Of A Horse Barn And Pasture

Q: Is there any way to keep possums out of a horse barn and pasture? Their feces can carry a serious horse disease.  A: I had never heard of this possum problem! I am not a veterinarian but in my...

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Do I Flush Cut Or “Respect The Collar” Of My Japanese Maple Limbs?

Q: I think I heard you say that to use a flush cut when pruning Japanese maple limbs. But I found an article by Alex Shigo, whoever he is, that said something about respecting the collar. Can you clarify before...

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Ground Bees – Controlling

Q: My neighbor’s yard is covered in digger bee mounds. They are now spreading to my yard. I have at least over a hundred in just a few days. Do you have any suggestions to keep them away? A: I...

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Yellow Woodsorrel (Oxalis stricta) Control

Q: These weeds have taken over my beds. Can you help? What should I use to kill? A: The weed is yellow wood sorrel, Oxalis stricta, sometimes called yellow clover. It is tough to control. It arises from a taproot...

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Croatia/Slovenia 2019 Trip Announcement

A common saying from my teenage years: “If it feels good, do it again!”. I’m older now, but I still say it…and here’s an example: I’m hosting another trip to Croatia (and adding Slovenia)! The trip last year was so...

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“How to Give a Possum a Pedicure” Song

I love possums!                 They were a regular part of life on our family chicken farm. We never ate them but we were happy to supply our neighbors with the ones we caught....

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English Ivy – Management and Control

Q: English ivy is taking over my back yard. It has probably been there for twenty-plus years. What’s the best way to control it? PULL IT UP Check out this great Web site about English ivy removal. The Ivy Removal...

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