Landscaping

DIY special rose soil recipe

Rose growers can be divided into three classes: lackadaisical, committed and fanatic. Those in the first class dig a small planting hole, shove the rose in place and hope it survives. Committed rose growers follow the tips listed here. Fanatic...

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Chickweed control failure and a better idea

Q: My lawn was covered with chickweed last spring and this spring! I put down a pre-emergent carefully last fall and watered it in. Why did it not work? A: Since chickweed is an annual plant that sprouts from seed...

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Silver maple dropping black things

Q: We have a silver maple that is dropping dark black things. It is coming from the limbs that are in the early budding stage. Any ideas? A: Wow, I had never noticed this before you pointed it out. I...

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Pruning wisteria for more blooms

Q: I need advice on pruning wisteria. These limbs are twenty feet long but they produce blooms very lightly every summer. Do I prune in winter or summer? A: Both! At the end of each growing season your vine will...

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Slow decline of Japanese maples in pots

Q: My two Japanese maples have been growing in these pots for ten years. They have slowly declined each year. They lose leaves very early in fall and they each have small limbs that die every year, a little at...

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Why I Do Not Care For Bradford Pear

It has pretty white flowers and glossy green leaves; it grows easily just about anywhere. So why do I recommend against planting it? It WILL eventually start dropping big limbs. For a lot of people, the flowers stink. If it...

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Boxwood Alternatives

Q: I have a topiary boxwood that has succumbed to boxwood blight. I know one can’t replant a boxwood in the same site but are there other shrubs that I could put in the same place? A: Boxwood blight probably...

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Planting lantana seed

Q: Do you know of a company that sells lantana seeds by mail? A: I found several places online that sell the seeds. I have occasionally purchased plants and seeds on Amazon, but on at least two occasions the seeds...

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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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Good example of tree healing a wound

Q: A few years ago my neighbor hit this tree with his car. He covered the damaged spot with tar and we thought everything was fine until a few days ago when I noticed a patch of raised bark on...

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Bradford pear pruned severely

Q: Recently our Bradford pear tree was pruned to this extreme. Will it still grow and bloom? A: Bradford pear is a tough tree to kill so your tree will probably recover. The person who did the pruning thought this...

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Nice use of English ivy in a landscape

Q: I have been working on my yard for twenty years and have gone through a lot of trial and error. It is hilly and wooded and shaded. I’ve always had ivy for ground cover and have settled with azaleas,...

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Coneflower rosette mite identification

Q: Why are there not any petals on my coneflowers? The plant right next to it is beautiful, full of cones with petals. A: You have coneflower rosette mite. Here are the typical symptoms: > cone has tufts, flower petals,...

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Oakleaf hydrangea has two colors of green leaf

Q: What are your thoughts about these unusual leaves? A: Wow, neat pictures! This is called a chimera. Basically, the bud that produced one of these leaves had a mutation in its cells, causing some of those cells to grow...

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Are brown limbs always sure death for Leyland cypress?

Q: We came back to our home this fall to see our 25-year-old Leyland Cypress & 10-year-old Sky Pencil holly dying. Any idea as to cause? Any hope? A: They both look like they were damaged by dry weather. Leyland...

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Should I Cut My Lenten Roses Back

Q: We have lots of very healthy Lenten roses and autumn ferns. My husband wants to cut off all the leaves and fronds from the plants. I think they look great just the way they are. Is there any reason...

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Should I Shred My Leaf Pile

Q: I have a heavily wooded lot. I take the fallen leaves off my grass and move them into an area with mature oak trees. The piles are four feet high when I’m finished. Is it better to leave the...

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Wood Chips As Mulch

Q: I am having some trees removed and would like to have them chipped up and spread around my plants and flower beds. Is this a good idea?  A: Arborist wood chips are an excellent landscape mulch! Unlike other mulch...

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