General Garden Info

Where To Find Lime Without Magnesium

Q: Any idea where I can find calcium carbonate (lime) without magnesium in it for my lawn? My soil tested above optimal for magnesium, so I don’t want to use regular lime.  A: Lime without magnesium will be hard to...

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Is It Safe To Use Horse Manure In Large Garden

Q: Is it safe to use horse manure in large garden? I’m retiring and have plenty of land to plant vegetables to give to my neighbors. I will be getting the manure from a local stable.  A: I admire your...

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Goats And English Ivy

Q: My yard has been taken over by English ivy! What’s the good and bad about using goats to clear it out?  A: Goats are cute and you’ll never run out of stories to tell about the time they lived...

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Saving My Azaleas From Sewer Work

Q: The county is going to repair the sewer line in my back yard soon. In the way are some seven-foot-tall azaleas. What’s the best way to save them?  A: Grab some buddies or hire a small landscaping crew and...

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When To Cut Back Lantana

Q: Although I still have greenery on my lantana, can I cut it back now?  A: “When to cut back lantana?” has generated gardening controversy for years. Some say cutting it back too early allows ice to form in the...

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Getting Rid Of Four O’Clock Plants

Q: How do I eradicate four o’clock plants? The previous owner of my house planted them everywhere.  A: This is another plant, like clerodendrum and sweet autumn clematis, that has attractive flowers but can be a garden thug. Mature four...

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Do Pull-Behind Aerators Work

Q: I have a pull-behind plug aerator. Will it do the job?  A: It all depends on how deep the tool can penetrate into the soil and how many holes you make. Aim for ten holes, three inches deep per...

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Trees That Allow Sunlight To Hit Grass

Q: I have a new house with a young maple tree in front. I don’t want to stunt my small front lawn from growing. What’s the best tree that allows sunlight to come through?  A: To have a nice lawn...

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I Watered My Lawn But Now It’s Brown

Q: We recently had a new home built. Sod was planted the last of June. For the first two weeks, the sprinklers ran each day at sunrise for forty minutes per zone. I run them for twenty minutes per zone...

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White foam (fungus) on treated wood

Q: We recently saw a strange white foam substance on our landscape wall. Any help would be appreciated. A: It is the fruiting body of a fungus that is inside the wood, decomposing it. See Fungus on Treated wood Look...

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Is dogfennel an ornamental or a weed?

Q: What is this. Should I cut the canes to get it to grow back this year? A: It is common dogfennel,Eupatorium capillifolium. I cannot decide whether it is a weed or an ornamental plant. I love the feathery stems...

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White roots in dead pine needles

Q: I’ve dug up some strange white organic material while planting a hedge row in my back yard. The ground was neglected for several years and is covered with a thick layer of pine needles and pine cones. Should I...

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How High Can Raised Beds Be?

Q: I am working to create permanent raised beds in my garden. I have been told that raised beds should not exceed twelve inches high because the soil becomes too hot and dry.  A: Raised beds do dry out a...

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When to harvest garlic

Q: Now that my garlic plant has this beautiful bloom will it have a garlic bulb or onion to harvest or do I just leave it? A: By the time the plant flowers, garlic may be a little past optimum...

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Creating A Shade Garden Where Soil Is Clay

Q: I am trying to create a shade garden under several large white oaks where the soil is dense clay. How can I amend it? I have seen something called an air spade that injects compressed air to break up...

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Starting A Vegetable Garden On A Sunny Cow Pasture

Q: We are moving out in the country and I’d like to start a vegetable garden. Our property is on a sunny former cow pasture. I’d like to grow corn, squash, cucumbers, tomatoes, okra, and maybe potatoes. Any suggestions on...

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Roots Growing Through Weed Barrier

Q: Several years ago I put down rolls of weed barrier under my flowering cherry and then covered it with black wood mulch. Since that time the barrier has become covered with black dirt, mulch and weeds. Roots from the...

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Is It Ok To leave Seedlings Outside?

Q: I started a lot of seeds for my garden. I have them planted in small trays. I’m running low on space inside so is it ok to leave them outside for the night? A: I would not leave seedlings...

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