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The Greener View: Squash Vine Borer

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: My zucchini plant was doing fine and giving me lots of huge fruit, when all of a sudden it died. It only took a day to go from healthy to dead. What can work so fast, and how do I prevent it from happening next year?

Answer: It sounds like your plant had a borer. The larva of a moth called the squash vine borer is capable of causing ...Read more

The Greener View: Yellow Jacket Wasps

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: My patio is being overrun with yellow jacket bees. I want to find the nest and spray them, but a friend said they are beneficial insects. Are they really doing good for my garden, or can I just get rid of them?

A: Yellow jackets are not bees, but are small yellow and black wasps up to an inch long. They nest in the ground, in walls, under ...Read more

The Greener View: White Garden and Fall Webworms

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: I wanted to create a white garden using plants that have white flowers or white on the leaves. Some of the area is shade and some is sun. I am having problems with some of the white leaved plants. They are turning black on the edges -- almost like burnt paper. I am attaching a picture of a leaf. How do you recommend I treat this ...Read more

The Greener View: Fall Vegetable Garden

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Our vegetable garden this summer has been a disaster. First, it was too cold, then too wet and muddy, and now the weeds have taken over. I want to start over. Are there short-term crops that will still give me a crop if I plant again soon?

A: It is possible to get three crops in a single year in northern gardens and maybe even four crops in ...Read more

The Greener View: Protecting Fruit From Birds

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: What do I need to do to protect my blueberries, grapes and even my apples from the birds eating them? I can't seem to win. I tried netting, but it just got tangled in the vines and plants and the birds just reach through to eat the grapes.

A: Grapes can't be harvested early to ripen indoors. They must stay on the vine until ripe. Birds seem ...Read more

The Greener View: Lawn Circles

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: Last year in mid-June, I started to notice circular dead areas in my lawn. I thought they were grubs, so I put on grub killer and they seemed to not spread. This year at the same time, many more dead circles appeared in the lawn.

I called a company and they say it is a fungus and that they can put on an expensive treatment that isn't ...Read more

The Greener View: Endless Summer Hydrangeas

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: I purchased an Endless Summer hydrangea this year and have been rewarded with beautiful blue blooms. In order to keep the plant blooming, do I need to cut the blooms off as they fade? I have cut some to bring into the house, as they are so beautiful. Thanks for any help you can give me!

Answer: Hydrangea macrophylla Bailmer, ...Read more

The Greener View: Fertilizer and Squash Bugs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Every year by the beginning of July, the flowers in my hanging baskets begin to look droopy. The leaves start to turn yellow and there are fewer flowers. I thought it was because the weather turned hot and I didn't water enough. This year and last year I have been much more careful to keep up the watering. I have the right plants for sun and ...Read more

The Greener View: Purple Tomato Problems

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have a question about our tomato plants. I didn't notice it at first, but the leaves are turning purple. At first, I think it was just the veins of the leaves, but now the whole leaf is turning purple. We planted them early in hopes of getting fruit early, but so far there has been a few flowers and no fruit. They are in the same garden, ...Read more

The Greener View: Sidewalk Flowerbeds

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: We're adding a sidewalk up to the front porch that will run along the side of the house. I was wondering what kind of plants would be good to use between the sidewalk and the house? There is no soil there, it is pretty much sand. We want something that will not get real tall. Some of the area is sunny and some of it has trees.

Answer:...Read more

The Greener View: Pruning and Japanese Maples

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: Recently, you mentioned pruning out one fourth of the oldest branches on spring blooming plants like lilacs. How should I properly prune summer bloomers like spirea, potentilla or crepe myrtle?

Answer: Small blooming shrubs like these can be planted for several different effects. They can be used as small specimens in flowerbeds, as ...Read more

The Greener View: Mosquitoes Bite

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Your landscape and local area may not have been affected by the flooding occurring in Texas and other areas of the South, but there has been a lot of rain in many parts of the country. Even without flooding, summer is when mosquitoes reign. Mosquito-borne diseases killed many settlers and their livestock before wetlands were drained and ...Read more

The Greener View: Wet Soil, Wet Grass, Dead Maples

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We are not in the really bad rain areas, but we have had a lot of rain this spring. The soil in the whole yard has been waterlogged for several weeks. I have noticed that some of the leaves in the trees are starting to turn yellow and fall off. I thought they did this with dry weather. Is there a problem with the trees?

A: Waterlogged soil ...Read more

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