Brunch. The dine-in restaurant occasion I miss most during this pandemic.
Question: I have reduced fertilizer for my indoor plants in the winter because of the slower growth rate. I have not fertilized since early November. When should I begin fertilizing my indoor plants again? Do you recommend a particular indoor plant fertilizer?
Three new vegetables have been given awards by All-America Selections, the non-profit testing organization for new flowers and vegetables.
Needle-leaved evergreen conifers are the main source of green in most of our landscapes this time of year. However, there are a few broadleaf evergreens that are especially appreciated in mid-winter when most broadleaf plants are leafless.
All-America Selections, a non-profit testing organization has announced awards for three new flowers for 2021 gardens. Test gardens with professional judges are scattered throughout the U.S. and Canada. Display gardens featuring All-America winners can be visited to view winners. The display…
Question: We just moved into a new home. The developer will be planting a lawn and a few plants for the front. We need to landscape the back. The furnished front landscapes of other homes in this development are not very appealing. A few homes have done a more extensive planting in front. We…
Question: I have a friend with many indoor plants. When I asked her why she had so many, she said plants cleanse the air and add oxygen. Do plants actually improve air quality?
Question: I asked two of my gardening friends for help with my houseplants. One said I am watering too much, and the other one said I am not watering enough. I water all my house plants once a week. Do think that is too much or too little?
Question: I have had mixed success with indoor plants. I don’t have the best light situation in my home. Could you suggest some indoor plants which would do better under my low light conditions?
Question: Our family prefers real Christmas trees. How can we be sure we are getting one that will not lose a lot of needles before Christmas?
Question: My friend has offered starts of her Swedish ivy plant, which I admire. I have never started indoor plants from cuttings. Could you give me some suggestions on how to do this?
Question: Could you explain how the poinsettia became the most popular Christmas flower?
Question: Most of my indoor plants do not thrive during the winter. Their color is lighter and duller and they lose a lot of leaves. Are there some things I can do now to keep them healthy and attractive during the next few months?
Question: My neighbor suggested that I drain the gasoline out of my lawn mower for the winter. Is that really necessary? Do you have any other suggestions for winter preparation?
Question: I had good success with dahlias and begonias which I planted from started bulbs purchased in pots. Can I dig those bulbs and replant them next spring? Is it too late to plant tulips and daffodils?
Question: My husband and I have different viewpoints on our landscape. I like lots of colorful shrubs and flowers. He wants to keep things simple for easier maintenance. I would like to get my children more interested in gardening. What has been your experience in family gardening?
In normal times, food trends often started in restaurants, with top chefs. Maybe they got written up in food magazines or blogs. After some time, you could find the trending ingredients on grocery store shelves.
Question: How can I use my falling leaves to improve my garden and landscape?
Question: I would like to start some bulbs in containers for winter bloom inside. Could you explain how to do this? What kinds of bulbs should I plant?
If you are a teacher or a parent, back-to-school season can mean a ramped-up schedule with less time to cook. If you’re a college student in your first apartment or dorm room, you might be cooking for yourself for the first time. And no matter who you are, the pandemic means you’re probably …
Question: I have shrubs which are blocking my windows and have grown over walkways. Is this a good time to prune them or should I wait until spring?
Question: I have a new home with no landscaping. Should I start landscaping now or wait until spring?
You're trying to work. Your kids are attempting online learning. Everyone wants something to eat. And you're losing your mind.
Question: My lawn is looking off-color and tired. Is now a good time to fertilize and get it green again? Would this be a good time to plant some seed in thin spots?
Question: I was trapped at home because of the coronavirus. I decided to expand my gardening activity this spring. I planted vegetables and fruits for the first time in years. I now realize there are many other benefits to gardening besides a cheaper and better source of food. Are you findin…
Packed with nutrients and easy to eat, either as a sandwich spread or as a dip, nut butters can be a simple solution for school lunches, snacks and beyond.
Question: I have two large trees that I am afraid might damage my house when the wind blows. A local tree company has offered to top them so they are about half as tall. Is that a good idea?
Question: My hedge is starting to lose its leaves on the lower branches. Is there something I can do to restore full lower leaf growth?
Question: I have shady and sloping areas where it is difficult to maintain a lawn. I have been told that ground covers could be a better choice. What kinds would you recommend?
Question: I neglected to plant annual flowers this spring, and now I miss the color. Is it too late to plant flowers?
Question: I have some insects on my plants that I would rather not spray with chemicals. Are there safe pesticides which I can use without danger to myself or my family?
Question: My shrubs have been sheared so they are thick and unnatural. Can I do some pruning that will bring them back to their natural shape and thickness? Is now a good time to prune?
Question: My containers and other flowers and vegetables look great until hot weather hits in July. Then they either get straggly or lose their dark green color. Even my lawn is losing color. Is there anything I can do to keep them healthy through the whole summer?
Question: I have arranged to have an automatic irrigation system installed so I can water with less effort. Could you give me some pointers in designing and operating the system for maximum efficiency and minimum waste?
Question: Most of the shrubs around my home are overgrown and unattractive. Where can I get ideas and information for replacing them?
Question: My neighbor said that I am damaging my trees by trimming the grass around them with a line trimmer. Is that true? What is my alternative?
Question: Can I cut the leaves off my daffodils and tulips now? Will that damage my bulbs? I want to move some of my bulbs. When can I do that? Is it all right to plant annual flowers where my leftover bulb leaves are?
Question: I pulled and hoed all the weeds in my yard two weeks ago and new ones are popping up again. I hate to use chemicals. Is there some way I can reduce my weed problem?
Question: Last year I had maggots in my radishes, worms in my broccoli and aphids on roses and other flowers. Is there a way to prevent these and other insect problems?
Question: What is the best height to mow my lawn this time of year — 2, 2-1/2 or 3 inches? I have someone mow my lawn now and the last time he mowed it too short.
Question: My flowers in containers deteriorate by mid-summer. Could you give some suggestions for containers that perform well throughout the summer?
Question: I notice that you evenhandedly mention both “conventional” and organic treatments in your articles. I’m wondering if you would consider putting your green thumb more heavily on the organic side of things.
Question: I am going to plant my tomato plants early so I can pick fruit earlier and get more ripe fruit. What is the best way to protect plants from frost?
Question: You recently recommended some vegetables which can be planted as early as mid-April. Are there flowers and other plants which will also withstand frost?
Question: In response to the coronavirus, I bought several packets of vegetable seeds. I haven’t participated in vegetable gardening since childhood. Could you give some basic instructions for a beginner? I will probably turn some of my lawn into a vegetable garden.
Question: I am stuck at home. I have never been much of a gardener. What gardening tasks could I do right now to keep myself busy?
Question: My friend suggested I add some bark dust to my vegetable garden before planting. Will that improve my garden?
Question: My lawn is full of thatch. Is there an easier way to control thatch than with a dethatching machine?
A flourless chocolate cake is the “must-have” little black dress of desserts. Minimal, simple and universally pleasing, it’s a classic for all occasions. And, short of intravenous therapy, it’s one of the most intense forms of chocolate consumption you will experience. A tiny sliver of this …
We all know by now that whole grains are good for us and that we should be eating more of them. Anyone who has dipped a toe (or spoon) into the world of farro, brown rice and quinoa also knows how satisfying and versatile the arena of whole grains can be.
Question: I would like to grow fruit in my backyard, but my space is limited. Would berries be a good choice for home fruit production?
“Sustainable” is one of gardening’s trendiest buzzwords, yet it carries a range of definitions. Just what does it mean in practical terms, and how important is it to the average gardener?
Question: We recently moved to a home with lots of shrubs that need attention. They are starting to grow together and lose their individual identity. Is this a good time to dig and move some of them? Is this a good time to trim them?
Sauces, dressings, salsas, mustards, honeys, international ingredients. The selection of condiments at grocery stores has expanded dramatically in recent years.
Question: Does our warming climate mean we now can grow a wider selection of fruit in east Idaho?