Q: Wow, what a cold spring we are having. I have a lot of perennials in my yard, and the worse-looking ones are nearest the house. I thought they would get the most protection, but I must be wrong. What can I do for them now, and what can I do to keep them from having problems next time?
A: The problem for many early blooming plants isn't the ...Read more
Q: When I ordered some grape vines and raspberries back in January, It sure seemed like having them arrive in April would be a good idea. The catalog and websites I ordered from predicted this would be a good time to plant bare-root plants. The plants arrived on time, but we are not only still getting snow; the temperatures predicted for the ...Read more
Q: I was reading a mystery novel, and one of the characters mentioned that the garden had been double dug. I was wondering, is that still a common practice?
A: It probably isn't, but it should be. In the past, gardeners depended more on having a good soil than having good chemicals. A deep organic soil is much better for the plants. A deep bed ...Read more
Q: My maple tree was pruned two months ago, while it was dormant during the winter. There is still sap running down the trunk where the branches were removed. The arborist said that we should not cover the wounds with paint, but I think the tree would be better off if the sap were to stop running. What do you think?
A: Your arborist is right. ...Read more
Q: I have a friend who says he has switched to a nonchemical approach to lawn care. He says he went fully organic because it is safer. He wants me to switch, but I am not sure that I should.
A: First, we need to remember that the word "organic" is not synonymous with the word "safe." The attempt of organic gardening and lawn care practices is ...Read more
Q: My tulips and daffodils are coming up. When is the best time to fertilize them?
A: Right now is the perfect time. Most people wait until the end of flowering, but just as they are coming up out of the ground is better. A bulb wants to produce flowers and seeds right now, and then it must store carbohydrates in the bulb for next year. We want...Read more
Q: I am in love. I received a phalaenopsis orchid as a gift at Christmas. It is still blooming in March! I can't get over the fact that I haven't killed it yet and it still looks beautiful. I want to take care of it and see whether I can get it to bloom again. What do I need to do to repot it and take care of it so it will keep blooming?
A: ...Read more
Q: I love fresh tomatoes. I moved into an apartment with a small patio. It gets a lot of sun, so it should be OK to grow plants, but I need small plants. Are there any really small tomato plants?
A: I have good news for you. There are a lot of small tomato plants that have great tasting, full-size fruits. The only problem is that most people ...Read more
Q: I have tried growing my own vegetable plants for a couple of years, but they always seem to fail. I am careful with the watering and following the directions on the seed packages. Most of the seeds sprout, but very often, they reach an inch or 2 high and then fall over like they were chopped off at the base. I know there are no insects, slugs...Read more
Q: Our area recently received a lot of ice and snow. Some of our trees were bent over during the storm but seem to be recovering after most of the ice and snow melted off. My problem is that some larger trees have broken or cracked limbs. They are in the backyard and have provided us with a lot of shade, and I don't want to lose them. How soon ...Read more
If you receive a flower arrangement or a bouquet of roses for Valentine's Day, you may wonder how to take care of them. Even though cut flowers are not attached to the plant anymore, they are still alive. Just like a living plant, they need water. Just like when they were attached to the plant, they will use water faster and wilt quicker if ...Read more
Midwinter is a time when many high-school and college students are narrowing their career-choice options. Opportunities in horticulture and landscaping are abundant for individuals who enjoy working with plants, working outdoors or working with people. There are careers in arboriculture, floristry, greenhouse management, irrigation and landscape...Read more
Last week, we looked at the flowering-plant winners of the 2018 All-America Selections testing program. This week, we have the vegetable winners. There are three peppers, three tomatoes, one Chinese cabbage and one sweet corn.
When you see the red, white and blue logo of All-America Selections on seed packets or in catalogs, you can expect the ...Read more