Q: We want to trim our trees, but we were told not to cut off any branches in the summertime. Why is that? The weather is warm, and we can be outside, and we don't want to trim the trees in the winter when it is cold. Is it really better for the trees to prune in winter?
A: There are several benefits if trees are not pruned in the summer. First...Read more
Q: I have just moved into my newly built house and would like to plant some shade trees near the house to help shade it during the summer. The back of the house faces west and takes a beating from the sun. If you would, please provide advice on the species of tree and the most advantageous planting location. I would like for the tree to be fast-...Read more
Q: I just bought a property that has a small pond on it. I thought the pond was covered in algae. I was told that it is covered in duckweed. The duckweed is apparently protecting the fish and frogs from herons and other fish-eating birds. Even though I would like to keep the animals, I don't like the look of the duckweed. Any suggestions?
A: ...Read more
Q: I was in a park recently, and there was a sign on a very pretty plant that said it was a tree peony. It was only 3 feet tall, so I suppose it will grow. I have never heard of a tree peony. I am looking for a small tree for my yard. Does a tree peony make a good ornamental tree?
A: I'm sorry to tell you that no, it won't grow into a small ...Read more
Q: I don't know if I have a good problem or a bad one. There are a bunch of new shrubs growing in my yard. They are growing in the flower bed in the back, and there is a line of them growing under the power lines behind our yard. They have pretty yellow and white flowers that are nicely fragrant. I think they are honeysuckles.
I would like to ...Read more
Q: I bought a wisteria vine from a mail order catalog. When it arrived, it was about as thick as a pencil and about 3 feet long. It didn't even have leaves. I planted it, and to my surprise, it grew just fine. After just a few years, the trunk was about as thick as a baseball bat. Unfortunately, a record cold winter two years ago killed the top....Read more
Question: How much water should I circulate in my water garden? I read conflicting reports saying to add more water anywhere from once a day to once an hour. I want the water to be clear, and I do have some goldfish in the pond, with a few lilies and other plants. My pond holds about 1,800 gallons.
Answer: This is a common question with a ...Read more
Q: I know you have occasionally written about birds in the yard and garden, but I haven't paid too much attention to the birds in my yard. Over the past few weeks of being stuck inside, I have noticed a lot more birds in the tree outside my office window. I assume they are migrating. There have been several with red feathers, and some with ...Read more
Q: I saw a hashtag of #stayhomeandgarden, and I thought it was a great idea, but I have a very small yard without much room for the dog to run around in. I know that some vegetables grow in pots, but I have only grown flowers in pots. I assume there is not much difference between the usual geraniums or petunias and vegetables, but I thought I ...Read more
Q: I had a remodeling project going on in the back of my house just before the government put limits on people working. The project is done, but the tractors, wheelbarrows and other equipment did a lot of damage to the grass in the side yard and backyard. At the time of the remodeling, it was too early to fix the yard. I know I need to reseed, ...Read more
Q: I just moved into a new home, and there are some small trees that I think will grow too large too close to the house. They are still small enough I think I can move them. The trunks are about 2 inches thick a couple of feet off the ground. They are about 10 feet tall. I am not sure how big of a root system they need to have to successfully ...Read more
Question: When I used my drop spreader to fertilize my lawn, it made stripes of fertilized and unfertilized grass. I do not want to buy another spreader. How do I use this one properly, and how do I correct the stripes I have now?
Answer: You will have to live with the stripes for a while. If you try to fertilize the unfertilized stripes, you ...Read more
Obviously, everyone knows about the economic hardships that the current virus situation has inflicted on many retail businesses. It is hard to have an entire store of shelves filled with inventory that can't be sold. I would like to remind everyone of the worst kind of inventory to have in this situation: live plants and animals.
Pet stores ...Read more