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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

The Greener View: Magnolia Trees Not Flowering

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have a magnolia tree in the backyard that is about 9 years old. It is very tall and seems to be in fair condition but hasn't bloomed. It is facing the east side and I do use the tree and shrub stakes. We do have water restrictions, but I do use a tree ring for watering. Can you suggest anything? Also, when do you prune Magnolias?

A: ...Read more

The Greener View: Fungus on Hedge

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I sure could use some advice on my red tip photinia; the shrubs have been planted since 2004.They are planted around the house facing the very hot west side. They did pretty well for a few years and then began having black spots and growing very sparse.

I have tried several things suggested from the local garden centers, but nothing is ...Read more

The Greener View: Tree Buying

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: Our tree died and we want to replace it with a small tree, but we don't know anything about trees. What do we need to consider for picking a good tree for our yard?

Answer: Often, the best tree to plant is the one that no one else in the neighborhood has. If an insect or disease comes along and the neighbors don't treat their trees, ...Read more

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