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The Greener View: Moles

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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

The Greener View: Personal Weather Station

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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

The Greener View: Fixing a Dirty Pond

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

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

The Greener View: Garden Grapes and Spiders

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We have had grape vines for two years now. Several of them bloomed this spring and produced dozens of clusters of grapes. After spending the whole summer keeping the birds, raccoons and other animals away, the grapes are finally turning color. They are sweet but they are all the size of peas, not grapes. What can we do next year to get the ...Read more

The Greener View: Spotted Lanternfly

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Have you heard about the invasive spotted lanternfly (SLF)? The SLF (Lycorma delicatula) is not a fly, but a planthopper that has an adult stage that looks a lot like a moth. It is a serious pest on many plants. It commonly feeds and lays eggs on the invasive tree-of-heaven (Ailanthus altissima). It also feeds on fruit crops including grapes, ...Read more

The Greener View: Glyphosate

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

I recently wrote an article about two property owners sharing a fence line who needed to have their common weeds dealt with. If you review the article you will find that the first thing I told them to do was to pull or cut the weeds down and then pull them.

Next, I explained that the EPA regulates pesticide chemicals. Household items like ...Read more

The Greener View: DIY Compost Saves Money

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Instead of spending money to have your yard waste picked up and hauled off to a composting facility and then turning around and buying organic matter for the garden and flower beds, why not just do it yourself? Compost has many sources and many uses. It is mostly decayed organic matter. The most common ingredients are leaves, grass clippings, ...Read more

The Greener View: Poisonous Plants

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

I would like to describe an incident in hopes that it will protect some children. A young lady and her two boys came in the door carrying a branch. This is a common occurrence because bringing in a branch is the best way for us to identify insect and disease problems. At first glance, the branch looked free of problems, and that is when the ...Read more

The Greener View: Herbicides

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: My neighbor and I share a fence line. Many weeds and small trees are growing between the two fences. My neighbor doesn't like "chemicals" and wants to use a homemade concoction that to me is just a bunch of chemicals. I bought a weedkiller that says it works in 20 minutes and has soap as an active ingredient. It did kill some of the small ...Read more

The Greener View: Fall Gardens and Tomato Anthracnose

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I think I remember you writing one time that a fall garden would be easier to take care of and that it should be planted in the middle of the summer. Am I right? What should I plant?

A: You are right. Planting a fall vegetable garden is a good idea, and now is the time to start planting it for many people around the country.

A fall ...Read more

The Greener View: Getting to the Root of the Problem

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Question: I plant my annuals and perennials the same way, and some plants flourish while some just sit there. What am I doing wrong, and can the problem be fixed after the plant is in the ground? For instance, I planted six tomato plants at the end of May, and though their color is fine, two of them haven't grown an inch. They get plenty of ...Read more

The Greener View: Should We Water Our Plants in a Drought?

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: As you may know, many of us are in a moderate drought this summer. My husband and I have been discussing how much we need to water our landscape and lawn. We live in the upper Midwest, and we normally get summer rain in thunderstorms. July and August are usually the dry months, not May and June. So, what do you think: water or let the plants ...Read more



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