Landscaping

Solomon`s Seal – Is It Disease Resistant

Q: Please give me advice on Solomon’s seal. Is it disease resistant? A: Solomon’s seal, Polygonatum multiflorum, is an excellent plant! The variegated form is my favorite. The leaves are a striking green and white during the spring, summer, and...

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Peace Lily – How To Trim Back

Q: I was given a peace lily in 2009. I replanted it into a larger pot but it is now very large. How do I trim it back? A: I think your best bet is to simply divide the big...

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Norfolk Island Pine – Can I Cut The Top

Q: My Norfolk Island pine has grown to over 10′ tall. It’s too tall to easily fit inside. Can I cut off a few feet at the top to make it fit? A: Yes, you can cut off the top...

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Japanese Maple Tree – Should I Leave It Indoors

Q: I found a small Japanese maple tree growing near a bigger one so I dug it up and planted it in a pot. Now it is two feet tall. Should I leave it in the pot indoors for a...

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Ferns Growing In Landscapes – Edible Or Not

Q: Are any of the ferns I see growing in landscapes edible? A: One is, the rest are not. A few local gardeners grow ostrich fern, Matteuccia struthiopteris, in wet places in their landscapes. The fiddleheads (emerging fronds) that appear...

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Red Tip Photinia – Can`t Find In Nurseries

Q: I was recently in a nursery looking for a red tip photinia to plant along a fence. They advised me that they hadn’t carried them in years. Is this true? A: It is true that red tip photinia is...

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Ground Cedar – Where To Get It

Q: Where can I buy ground cedar? A: Ground cedar is an attractive evergreen forest groundcover that spreads by underground runners. The correct scientific name is Diphasiastrum digitatum but I prefer its older Latin name: Lycopodium digitatum, which means “wolf’s...

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Composter For Yard – Recommendations

Q: Any recommendations for buying a composter for the yard? A: It all depends on your sense of aesthetics, your space, and your wallet. If you have a small space in which to put the composter, the upright plastic bins...

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Centipede Lawn – Don`t Let Leaves Stay On Ground

Q: Our centipede lawn is nearly gone. Would it be beneficial to let fallen leaves stay on the ground throughout the winter for potential nutrients and/or protection? A: Allowing your leaves to remain will probably kill any grass that is...

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Tulips – Is It Too Late To Plant

Q: We usually plant a couple hundred tulips along our driveway in early November. This year, with the drought, I held off. Is it too late to plant them? A: It’s not too late. One year I gave my mother...

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Mondo Next To Zoysia Grass – Eliminate Invading Zoysia

Q: Five years ago I planted mondo grass adjacent to my zoysia lawn. Even though I put a metal sheet barrier between the lawn and the mondo grass, zoysia crept over. I’d like to eliminate the invading zoysia. A: Several...

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Silver Tip Christmas Trees – Where They Can Grow

Q: Will silver tip Christmas trees grow in my area? A: Silver tip fir, Abies magnifica, will not grow here. It can’t tolerate summer heat, preferring the mountains of Oregon and Northern California. It makes an attractive Christmas tree because...

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Career In Gardening/Landscape Design – Where and How To Do It

Q: Is there a school where I can study for a career in Garden Design/landscaping? I’m 37 years old and I don’t have a college degree but I’d like to be a foreman or designer or open my own contractor...

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How Plants Are Damaged By Cold

Q: How are plants damaged by cold? A: Plants experience cold damage due to ice forming in their cells. Hardy plants have strategies to reduce freeze damage. They do it by increasing cell wall elasticity, by lowering the freezing temperature...

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Zoysia Grass – Right Time To Apply Weed Preventer

Q: In late October, I had my backyard sodded with zoysia. It has taken root and seems to be doing well. When is the right time to apply weed preventer? A: In my experience zoysia grass is slow to make...

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Potted Ferns – Don`t Leave Them Outside

Q: I have had some amazing, beautiful potted ferns for five years. But they have become huge! Is there ANY way I could leave them on our covered deck? I hate dragging them in and out of the house. A:...

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Fig Root – Transferring From Pot To Ground

Q: I have a fig that is three years old in a large pot. I want to plant it into the ground. But the main root of the plant has gone through the bottom of the pot and into the...

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Clay In Garden – How To Build Up Soil

Q: If the soil in my garden is mostly clay will it help to add sand in addition to organic matter in order to break up the clay? A: If your soil is mostly clay, your plants will never prosper....

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