Q: The house we just moved to has a huge sunroom. I have had a small veggie garden in the past, but this sunroom seems to have so much potential for growing vegetables over the winter in pots. I have never had much success with houseplants and have never tried a vegetable indoors. What tips can you give me?
A: Since it sounds like this is a new...Read more
Last week the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) released a new plant-hardiness zone map for the United States. Does the new USDA map offer proof that the climate is warming? No, it does not. Do temperatures shift warmer and colder over time? Of course they do. The temperatures over large regions fluctuate and hopefully always will. ...Read more
Q: I love chrysanthemums. I buy several colors of them each fall. I have tried planting them in the ground but they have never come back in the spring. Any suggestions?
A: There are several reasons that they don't make it through the winter. First, you need to buy a hardy variety. There are around 20 species of mums and thousands of varieties. ...Read more
Q: I am so sad, and I hope you can give me a glimmer of hope. I moved my houseplants indoors for the winter, but I missed one whole group of plants that were on the other side of the house. I had moved them there to get them into a sheltered spot while I moved the rest in, but I forgot they were there. The nighttime temperature dropped to about ...Read more
Q: My landscaper told me a couple of things that I don't understand. I think he is just trying to make some money. Is this a good time to fertilize a bluegrass lawn? Is this a good time to apply weed controls in the lawn or flower bed? How low should my lawn be mowed at the end of the year?
A: Your landscaper might be right if he is using the ...Read more
Q: I saw your article on removing moles. We have gophers. Can you advise how to get rid of them?
A: Moles may be the easiest of the underground-dwelling mammals to remove from a garden. They are mostly solitary, and their tunnels are the easiest to find. They are slow and when they are caught, they don't do much to fight back or run away.
Q: I have several potted trees that I don't think I am going to be able to plant this fall. The area they are going to go into is not ready to be graded to the final grade. There is a maple, an oak and two crabapples. How can I store the trees until spring? I won't be able to fit them into the attached garage and I don't have a shed.
A: What ...Read more
Q: I am moving some perennials and I found some daffodil bulbs in the ground. They have some brown sticky sap on the sides of the bulbs. Is this normal? Should I be concerned about the other bulbs in the flower bed that I haven't dug up?
A: When buying bulbs, always look at every bulb for sticky areas, discolored liquids, sunken areas, and ...Read more
Q: I have been thinking about putting in a rain garden. Do you have any advice on building one? What kind of plants can be planted in the flooded soil?
A: A rain garden is similar to other perennial flower beds you might build: It just holds water for longer. Rather than build a raised flower bed by adding organic matter to get better drainage,...Read more
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 am thinking about getting my husband a home weather station because he is a big gardener and is always concerned about the wind and rain. Any suggestions? Are they accurate?
A: I have used a home weather station for many years and have given them away as Christmas presents. There are two divisions to the term home weather station. First, ...Read more
Question: We share the shoreline of a half-acre pond that is about three feet deep at the maximum. It is filled with gooey algae. The shoreline has some cattails and a few other weeds. There are a few fish, but they seem to die whenever we add algaecides. It is a mess. We were told that draining it and dredging it out could cost tens of ...Read more