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The Greener View: Gardening Gifts

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

The gardener you're shopping for this holiday may tell you that they have all the tools they need. But here are a few they probably don't have and will be glad you gave to them.

I like combining several small items into one larger present. For instance, a pair of garden gloves, some insect repellent and a bottle of hand soap or hand lotion in a...Read more

The Greener View: Poinsettias for Winter

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

If you have been in a grocery store or big-box store recently, I am sure you have seen red poinsettias for sale. Red poinsettias are the favorites; they easily outsell all the other colors. But in recent years, newer colors have become popular. Some of the new varieties are various purple, magenta and pink hues, as well as speckled and two-toned...Read more

The Greener View: Picking a Pruner

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Looking for a holiday present for your gardener? A high-quality pruner is a valuable tool for any gardener. The repetitive motions of actions like hedge pruning can aggravate hand and wrist injuries. Your gardener will appreciate tools that are easy to use and reduce the amount of work and energy required to use them.

Hold your hand out in ...Read more

The Greener View: Protecting Unplanted Trees

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I planned on tearing down a garage and the new empty space would be enough room to plant some dwarf fruit trees. Unfortunately, the project was delayed and the final location for the trees won't be ready before winter and the ground freezes solid. I already have some of the trees purchased. They are in a variety of pots. What would be the ...Read more

The Greener View: Preparing Bird Feeders

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

It's that time of year again -- time to get ready for winter. As our gardens prepare to go dormant for the winter, we can think ahead to the joy that bird feeding will bring. Fall is a good time to wash bird feeders and stock up on seed.

There are a few things to know in response to myths about bird feeding. First, birds will not become ...Read more

The Greener View: Pumpkin Varieties

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Several local stores are selling sugar pumpkins. I have never heard of this kind of pumpkin. I was told it is good for making pies or using as a small jack-o'-lantern. I bought a few, and I want to plant the seeds to grow more of them for next year. Is this a good idea?

A: You can save the seeds, plant them and grow them, but you may not ...Read more

The Greener View: Fall Tilling

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I think you wrote that the preferred time to till soil in a vegetable garden is during fall, not spring. Why is that? I have always tilled in the spring.

A: It doesn't matter whether you have a northern garden that is planted in spring or a southern garden that is planted in fall. There are several reasons fall is the best time of year to ...Read more

The Greener View: Clever Crocus Bulbs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Clever Crocus Bulbs

Q: I always tire of winter long before spring comes. I was looking at the selections of spring bulbs in a catalog and thinking I might plant some crocuses throughout my lawn. Do they require different care to get them to come back every year?

A: My mother and many others have crocuses and other bulbs planted in their lawns....Read more

The Greener View: Fall Leaves

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

As the cool weather arrives in the northern states, trees will start showing their hidden colors. The best color usually appears during the two weeks after the area receives its first killing frost of the season. Cool temperatures and bright sunshine promote better color. A cool, wet summer will keep more leaves on most tree species, so areas ...Read more

The Greener View: Azalea Lace Bugs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I feel your answer to the lady asking about browning leaves on the azaleas on the north side of her house should have included some information on lace bugs, which are very common on azaleas and typically cause the damage she describes.

A: You are right, I should have mentioned the lace bugs. Sometimes I run out of room in an article, and ...Read more

The Greener View: Lawn Mushrooms and Tree Sap and Resin

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: In the many years I've lived in my home, I'm noticing mushrooms in my front lawn for the first time. There are no dead roots or stumps in the yard, but there is some thatch.

What can I do to get rid of the mushrooms, or at least control them? I've noticed about three different types in the past few weeks.

A: Don't worry about them at all. ...Read more

The Greener View: Hibiscus and Tree Sap

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Could you give me some guidelines for trimming my hibiscus? It is blooming now. I see that some gardeners like to hedge them like a box, but I would like a more natural look. I appreciate the practical information you give each week.

A: Rose of Sharon, other hibiscus and shrubs that bloom on the ends of the new growth in the late summer or ...Read more

The Greener View: Azaleas and Willows

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have a long row of azaleas on the north side of my house that has been there for many years and has done great. I always prune them after they bloom. Due to the horrible heat this year, the leaves on most of the top have turned brown. They look sunburned. My question is, after the temperature cools off, can I prune all the dark-brown leaves...Read more

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