Home & Leisure

The Greener View: Gifts for Gardeners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

With the shipping problems across the country, many of us are looking for garden gift ideas closer to home.

If you are looking for outdoor furniture, check out Berlin Gardens LLC in Berlin, Ohio. They make a wide variety of tables, chairs, pergolas and gazebos out of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). It is a recycled plastic that will never ...Read more

The Greener View: Winter Garden Chores

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

It may seem like there isn't much to do in the garden over the winter, but here are some ideas that may keep you busy.

For northerners, is your snowblower ready? Do you have the gas and oil it needs, or electrical cords that aren't frayed? Make sure you have sand or salt and snow shovels in the garage and car. Use sand on the walks to reduce ...Read more

The Greener View: Fall-Blooming Rhododendron

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have many native and hybrid rhododendrons. One of my hybrids is now blooming and covered in buds. The flowers are much smaller than usual, and this past spring it had hardly any blooms. Never have I seen this plant bloom at this time of year. Not complaining. Just confused.

A: Your rhododendron is more confused than you are and will ...Read more

The Greener View: Poinsettias

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Have you seen poinsettias for sale yet? I have. Were they red? Probably. That is because we all know that poinsettias are red, right? Well, not so fast. There are pink, purple, white, spotted, striped and even yellow and orange poinsettias. Every year, the commercial plant breeders of poinsettias come out with five to 20 new varieties. Most of ...Read more

The Greener View: Feeder Watch

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

It is that time of year again: The weather is getting colder, and it is time to begin preparing for winter. As our gardens prepare to go dormant for the winter, we can think ahead to the joy that bird-feeding will bring. Fall is a good time to wash the feeders and to stock up on seed.

There are a few common questions and myths about bird-...Read more

The Greener View: Integrated Pest Management

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

The methods used in Integrated Pest Management (IPM) have been around for as long as gardening has been around. The word "integrate" means to incorporate separate compatible parts to form a unified whole. The pest can be anything that is alive that can cause harm to people or their animals, crops and property. We try to manage the whole program ...Read more

The Greener View: Wilted Trees and Finicky Birds

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Back in the spring, we planted several 10- to 15-foot-tall trees around our new house. We tried to keep up with the watering, but the trees looked a bit wilted all summer long. Now that they are going dormant for the winter, is there anything special we can do to help them?

A: You did not say if the trees came from a pot or if they were ...Read more

The Greener View: Hawk Migration

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

For gardeners in the northern two-thirds of the country, the fall is a time to clean up the leaves, plant a few bulbs and pack things up for the winter. Even in the south, the fall is a good time to reflect on how things looked over the summer and begin the planning process for next year.

For those of us who enjoy the great American hobbies of ...Read more

The Greener View: Diagnosing Plant Problems

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Diagnosing Plant Problems

many lawns in our area suffered through. We had army worms. One day the grass was green and the next day it was dead-looking.

A: I tell people all the time that there are only three things that affect plants: insects, diseases and everything else. Dead grass looks like dead grass, but we often have to be detectives ...Read more

The Greener View: Managing Fungus Gnats

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Last week you answered a question about removing fungus from houseplant pots before bringing them in for the winter. My plants always seem to have whole armies of crickets, pill bugs, ants, earwigs or worms. How do I get rid of them?

A: I am glad you asked, because I have an update to my answer from last week, but first let's talk about your...Read more

Move Houseplants in and Chipmunks Out

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: Fall is coming, and I need to move my houseplants back indoors. I noticed that some have a fungal type of growth on the soil surface. Is this condition harmful?

Answer: There are several types of fungi and algae that can grow on the soil surface in potted plants. I even found some rare liverworts growing on some nursery plants one ...Read more

The Greener View: Oak Wilt and Peach Tree Suckers

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have an old oak tree. During the recent cicada invasion, this tree took a mighty hit from those insects. Numerous small branches began to fall. I assumed they were falling because of the cicadas having made slits in the branches to lay eggs.

Then, later, the tree began to literally dry up. The moss on part of its bark began to fade and dry...Read more

The Greener View: A Melted-Out Lawn

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: All of a sudden, half my lawn grass died. It is mostly on the sunny side, with some in the shade. This doesn't look like the grass has simply gone dormant with the usual hot, dry summer weather. When I pull up on the grass, it just comes off by the handful without the roots. Any ideas on what happened and what to do next? The lawn is many ...Read more



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