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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

The Greener View: Houseplants in Fall

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

I once stopped to help a man whose car had flipped over and off the road. The car was smoking like it might explode. We moved a distance away. I asked him what happened, and he explained that he had lost control of the car when he tried to dodge a rabbit that had hopped onto the road.

Fall is a dangerous time for animals and motorists. As ...Read more

Fixing Up Your Fall Landscape

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

As we finish out summer and begin sending kids back to school, we can start thinking about fall gardening. Fall is a great time of year to work outside. A lot of garden and landscape chores are neglected over the summer, and it's not too hot, cold or wet to do them in fall. Fixing up the landscape will make it look nice through next spring.

...Read more

The Greener View: Powdery Mildew

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We have a large pumpkin patch, and most of the leaves have turned white. It appears to be powdery mildew. Is this a problem, or can we let it go? We don't want to spray the plants if we don't have to because we may make pies out of the pumpkins.

A: Powdery mildew is common with many vine crops, but it can also affect beans, peas, ...Read more

The Greener View: Mosquito Prevention

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Recently, there has been a lot of news about the Zika virus. Florida is the first state in the U.S. to see cases of the virus, but the two mosquito species that spread it are common in the Southern, southwestern, Midwestern and eastern regions of the country.

Mosquito-borne diseases have been a problem in the U.S. since the beginning. Malaria ...Read more

The Greener View: Tomatoes in the Heat and Fall Vegetable Gardens

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Just when I thought I was going to get fresh tomatoes from my garden, they stopped turning red. They are mostly green, but a few have a hint of pink. They have been like this for more than a week. I am watering them the same as always, and they don't have too many leaf spots or yellow leaves. What can I do to get them to mature?

A: Tomato ...Read more

The Greener View: Tree Roots and Stumps

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: I planted a Maple tree a few years ago. It's about 15 feet high now. Recently, I noticed that there are many roots near or above ground level. Is it because it's not getting enough water? We have bad soil, very clay like. Can I change the watering technique to help it grow more roots deeper in the soil? Will the tree be more likely to ...Read more


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