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The Greener View: Poinsettia Rebloom

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We kept our poinsettia from last Christmas, and it has done well over the summer. We want it to bloom again for Christmas, but we can't find the clipping of the newspaper article you wrote about what to do. So, what do we do?

A: There are several basic environmental requirements that need to be matched, but the main one is long nights and ...Read more

The Greener View: Tree Drought

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: It seems like everyone got a bunch of rain in the past couple of weeks except for us. We have not had a measureable rain in three weeks. Several of our trees are dropping leaves. They are turning yellow and falling off six weeks before they should be falling off. Should I be concerned? We are on a well, and we can't water them as much as they...Read more

The Greener View: Growing Pumpkins

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: My pumpkins have turned orange, and it is still two months until Halloween. What do I do now?

A: If the last few inches of the stem next to the pumpkin have turned brown, it is best to harvest it. If it is still green, leave it in the garden. If you harvest it, it should be kept in a cool location until you need it. If it is kept in a ...Read more

The Greener View: Sterilizing Tools

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Can we eat the crab apples on our tree? They are larger than other crab apples we have seen. They look good but are very tart.

A: The only difference between a crab apple and a regular apple is the diameter. If it is smaller than 2 inches across, it is a crab apple, and if it is larger, it is an apple. You will notice that inexpensive bagged...Read more

The Greener View: Moving Bulbs

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We need help. We had a very large tree growing in the front yard. We had it taken down and the trunk ground down. The soil sat dormant for about eight weeks. We then added some good dirt at the same location and planted a Japanese fern tree. It is doing well.

The problem is that the root extensions of the tree are shooting up massive amounts...Read more

The Greener View: Leaf Miners

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Several of my perennials and tree's leaves in my backyard get leaf miners every year. I've tried many insecticides (the latest was Sevin powder) already, but they don't work. Is there something that prevents or controls leaf miners?

A: Leaf miners are really incredible insects. They are the larvae of certain kinds of beetles, flies, moths or...Read more

The Greener View: Fall Gardening

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Normally, August weather is hot and dry all across the country. In spite of that, it is still a good month to do many gardening and landscaping tasks.

Many vegetable crops produce more and have higher-quality fruit in cool weather, when the plant is not stressed. During the first half of August, plant beans, beets, broccoli, cabbage, ...Read more

The Greener View: Poison Plants

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I thought I got a poison oak rash when I went camping, but I looked it up, and it doesn't grow in the area we went camping. I think the real culprit is a poison sumac plant growing in my hedge that I trimmed before we left for the weekend. How do I get rid of it without damaging the hedge?

A: Poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac are ...Read more

The Greener View: Scale Insects

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: Everything under one of my large potted plants on the patio is turning black. What isn't black is sticky. What is wrong with this plant?

A: From the pictures you sent me, we know that the black stuff is sooty mold, but it isn't the real problem. The real problem is that the plant has scale insects.

There are many species of scale insects, ...Read more

The Greener View: Worm Castings

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have a problem in my lawn. Worms make it so bumpy that I can hardly walk in my yard without twisting my ankle. Any suggestions?

A: The bumps in the lawn are made of worm castings (poop). Most of the time, the castings are small piles that are not a problem, but they can be large enough to make walking in a lawn uncomfortable. We picture ...Read more

The Greener View: Tree Mulch

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have shredded bark mulch on all of my flower beds. Lately, I have noticed what looks like wet cornmeal on the mulch. These areas turn foamy and then turn leathery before turning into a brown powder. I spray them with the hose, but the spots just keep turning up in new places.

A: Your mulch has what used to be called "dog vomit fungus." Now...Read more

The Greener View: Bacterial Leaf Spot

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: We want to trim our trees, but we were told not to cut off any branches in the summertime. Why is that? The weather is warm, and we can be outside, and we don't want to trim the trees in the winter when it is cold. Is it really better for the trees to prune in winter?

A: There are several benefits if trees are not pruned in the summer. First...Read more

The Greener View: Shade Tree

Gardening / Jeff Rugg /

Q: I have just moved into my newly built house and would like to plant some shade trees near the house to help shade it during the summer. The back of the house faces west and takes a beating from the sun. If you would, please provide advice on the species of tree and the most advantageous planting location. I would like for the tree to be fast-...Read more

 

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