Q: Please do an article on how to get rid of moles. I have lived 20 years at my home and never had a problem. This spring, I paid a wildlife person who only caught one mole. I sprayed mole repellent and also put down grub control. My yard now has many low spots from the damage they caused.
A: Mole tunnels are often found near the surface of the...Read more
Q: I saw tulip and daffodil bulbs for sale at the store. I remember my mom having tulips, but she also had problems growing them, as I recall. I would like to plant some, but I don't want problems. Any tricks for growing them?
A: If you are in the northern half of the country, you should be able to grow them pretty easily. Farther south, you ...Read more
Q: We kept our poinsettia from last Christmas, and it has done well over the summer. We want it to bloom again for Christmas, but we can't find the clipping of the newspaper article you wrote about what to do. So, what do we do?
A: There are several basic environmental requirements that need to be matched, but the main one is long nights and ...Read more
Q: It seems like everyone got a bunch of rain in the past couple of weeks except for us. We have not had a measureable rain in three weeks. Several of our trees are dropping leaves. They are turning yellow and falling off six weeks before they should be falling off. Should I be concerned? We are on a well, and we can't water them as much as they...Read more
Q: My pumpkins have turned orange, and it is still two months until Halloween. What do I do now?
A: If the last few inches of the stem next to the pumpkin have turned brown, it is best to harvest it. If it is still green, leave it in the garden. If you harvest it, it should be kept in a cool location until you need it. If it is kept in a ...Read more
Q: Can we eat the crab apples on our tree? They are larger than other crab apples we have seen. They look good but are very tart.
A: The only difference between a crab apple and a regular apple is the diameter. If it is smaller than 2 inches across, it is a crab apple, and if it is larger, it is an apple. You will notice that inexpensive bagged...Read more
Q: We need help. We had a very large tree growing in the front yard. We had it taken down and the trunk ground down. The soil sat dormant for about eight weeks. We then added some good dirt at the same location and planted a Japanese fern tree. It is doing well.
The problem is that the root extensions of the tree are shooting up massive amounts...Read more
Q: Several of my perennials and tree's leaves in my backyard get leaf miners every year. I've tried many insecticides (the latest was Sevin powder) already, but they don't work. Is there something that prevents or controls leaf miners?
A: Leaf miners are really incredible insects. They are the larvae of certain kinds of beetles, flies, moths or...Read more
Normally, August weather is hot and dry all across the country. In spite of that, it is still a good month to do many gardening and landscaping tasks.
Many vegetable crops produce more and have higher-quality fruit in cool weather, when the plant is not stressed. During the first half of August, plant beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, ...Read more
Q: I thought I got a poison oak rash when I went camping, but I looked it up, and it doesn't grow in the area we went camping. I think the real culprit is a poison sumac plant growing in my hedge that I trimmed before we left for the weekend. How do I get rid of it without damaging the hedge?
A: Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are ...Read more
Q: Everything under one of my large potted plants on the patio is turning black. What isn't black is sticky. What is wrong with this plant?
A: From the pictures you sent me, we know that the black stuff is sooty mold, but it isn't the real problem. The real problem is that the plant has scale insects.
There are many species of scale insects, ...Read more
Q: I have a problem in my lawn. Worms make it so bumpy that I can hardly walk in my yard without twisting my ankle. Any suggestions?
A: The bumps in the lawn are made of worm castings (poop). Most of the time, the castings are small piles that are not a problem, but they can be large enough to make walking in a lawn uncomfortable. We picture ...Read more
Q: I have shredded bark mulch on all of my flower beds. Lately, I have noticed what looks like wet cornmeal on the mulch. These areas turn foamy and then turn leathery before turning into a brown powder. I spray them with the hose, but the spots just keep turning up in new places.
A: Your mulch has what used to be called "dog vomit fungus." Now...Read more