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The Greener View: Weather

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Before I get started today, I want you to know there will be a big announcement in this column in two weeks on June 1. It is good news that you won't want to miss.

I believe it was Mark Twain quoting Charles Dudley Warner who said that "everyone talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it." I am no exception, but I hope to give ...Read more

The Greener View: Lawn Mower Alternatives Again

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

In a recent article, I mentioned how an updated version of the old-fashioned reel lawn mower might be appropriate for the person who emailed their question. Sometimes, I edit the email to fit space and to zero in on one topic. In this case, several people complained that my answer wasn't comprehensive enough.

For instance, the original question...Read more

The Greener View: Herb Gardening

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: I have never tried planting herbs in my garden, so I don't know what to do or how to get the seasonings from them. Is an herb garden too complicated for an ordinary gardener like me?

Answer: You may have heard of herb gardens or kitchen gardens, or even gardens of herbs where the plants are trimmed into fancy mazes or knots, but you ...Read more

The Greener View: Crocus Problem and Salad Bowl Gardens

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Last fall we bought some crocus, daffodil and tulip bulbs. The daffodils are blooming, but the crocus and tulips are not. The crocus leaves started to come up but then stopped. The tulip leaves are there, but there are no flowers. What do you think happened and what can we do to prevent it next year?

A: The problem is most likely mammals. ...Read more

The Greener View: Potato Seeds or Seed Potatoes

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I saw a sign in the store that said potato seeds, but it appeared that the boxes for sale had potatoes in them. I have never seen potato seeds. Can I buy potato seeds?

A: Both potato seeds and seed potatoes are real, but it is unlikely that you will be able to buy potato seeds. Potato plants are in the same family as tomato, pepper, eggplant...Read more

The Greener View: Landscaping Questions

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

If you haven't bought an Easter lily, you should go buy one now. They will be on sale after this weekend, and if you want to you can call it a spring lily. You can enjoy the flowers and fragrance for the next few weeks and then you can plant it outdoors.

Keep the lilies in bright, indirect light until the outdoor nighttime temperatures stay ...Read more

The Greener View: Lawn Mower Alternatives

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Our lawn mower quit. We got just two mowings out of it this spring. The cost to repair it will be more than it is worth. I was thinking that we should get an old-fashioned mower that doesn't require gasoline, but my husband thinks they are heavy and that they don't cut very well. Have there been any improvements in lawn mowers besides the ...Read more

The Greener View: Organic Mulch is Beneficial

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: The trees planted in our new subdivision have grass planted right up to the trunks. I want to add mulch around them but don't know how far out to go or what kind to use.

Answer: Installing mulch is one of the most beneficial things you can do for any tree, but this is especially true for new trees. However, if mulch is too thick or ...Read more

The Greener View: Grass Seed and Dormant Oil

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: Does dead crabgrass look like white dead clumps dotted around the lawn? If so, should I dig each one up and fill in with grass seed, fertilizer and dirt?

Answer: At this time of year, all dead annual and many dormant perennial grasses look like white dead clumps. If the good grass in your lawn has some signs of green and there are ...Read more

The Greener View: Vegetable Garden Seed Question

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Can you suggest a way to buy good vegetable seeds? I can't afford to get a lot of plants, so I buy seeds. There are several brands at each store, and I don't know which will grow best for me. I always seem to have low success rates because of disease problems.

A: Plant varieties that have won an All-America Selections award should do well. ...Read more

The Greener View: Time to Make Maple Syrup

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

A sure sign of spring is the sight of maple syrup buckets on the sides of sugar maple trees. Early settlers found that Native Americans slashed trees to collect the sap. The sap was gathered into hollowed-out logs. Freezing temperatures caused ice to form, which was removed as pure water, thus concentrating the sap. Hot rocks were also placed in...Read more

The Greener View: Vegetable Seed Catalogs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I saw an article that you wrote that said there were garden vegetable seed catalogs available at the Direct Gardening Association web site. I can't find that site. Can you help?

A: Well, that group ended last year during the pandemic. So, to help you out, here are my favorite vegetable seed catalog companies.

Jere Gettle has been a ...Read more

The Greener View: Annual Flower Bed Planting

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: We have several bare areas where we want to plant something. We might be moving this summer, but maybe not until next year, so we don't want to spend a lot. We have not had good luck with the packs of annual flowers in the past. How do we make annuals work?

Answer: Annual flowers are usually very easy to grow. They are, by definition,...Read more



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