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: 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: 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: My friend suggested I add some bark dust to my vegetable garden before planting. Will that improve my garden?

What’s your favorite Summer Day Trip Destination?

Where do you like to go hiking, biking, swimming, golfing, shopping, fishing, dining, spas, tours and scenic drives? We want to know your favorite day trip spots.

Daybell Disappearance

Angie Dodge archive

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: 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?

Question: I enjoyed your article about pruning fruit trees. Are other trees also pruned like fruit trees? Could you explain the differences?

When the weather is frigid, and the garden has hunkered down for the winter, it’s time to turn to chicories. These leafy vegetables are our cold-season friends, packed with vitamins and nutrients, and winter’s replacement for sweet summer greens. While chicories are also referred to as “gree…

I sometimes joke and say that as a Southern cook, I use pecans like other chefs use salt and pepper. That is to say, on just about everything. I love pecans and every other nut because they add a crunchy texture and an earthy sweet — nuttier — flavor to food.

In their new book, “Reclaimed Wood: A Field Guide’’ (Abrams, 2019), woodworkers Alan Solomon and Klaas Armster close with an imagined recounting of one tree’s story from sprout to salvage.

Seven new tomatoes have received awards from All-America Selections, the nonprofit testing organization for new flower and vegetable varieties. I am only going to describe the three varieties that are adapted to our short season climate.

Three vining vegetables have been given awards by All-America Selections, the non-profit testing organization for new vegetables and flowers. All of these new varieties are early enough to mature in our short season climate.

Gardeners in 2020 will veer from the beaten path, opting for unconventional varieties and eco-conscious surroundings, according to a plant trends study by horticulturalists with the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS).

You’ve probably noticed it in clothing stores: racks and shelves full of high-waisted flares, rib-knit turtlenecks, acid green sweatshirts and disco ball metallics. It’s that ‘70s — and ‘80s — show.

Four new flowers have received awards from All-America Selections, a nonprofit organization for testing new flower and vegetable varieties. Developers of new varieties send their best new varieties to be tested in trial grounds throughout North America.

Question: Most of my indoor plants are in the dumps. Leaf color is fading and leaves are dropping at an alarming rate. Is there anything I can do to perk them up?

Years ago, I had one of those spineless cacti that once a year splash colorful flowers out the ends of their flat, arching stems. Such plants are usually named for when they are supposed to bloom: Thanksgiving, Christmas, or Easter cactii.

If you are searching for an easy and rewarding family dinner, then look no further than a chicken. A whole roasted chicken is a weeknight wonder, yielding a bounty of comforting food with little effort. It will fill your home with tantalizing aromas while it roasts, amply feed a family of fo…

Question: I would like to share some of my special indoor plants with friends and relatives without buying plants. I have friends who take starts from their indoor plants. Could you explain how this is done?

Speculoos (or speculaas) is a Belgian and Dutch Christmas cookie. They are simple, crisp cookies, very spiced yet not overly sweet, and similar to a gingersnap. Traditionally, they are made with a special mold, called a springerle mold, in which the dough is placed and pressed, yielding quai…

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Life becomes so hectic this time of year that we find ourselves coming and going at the same time. It sometimes helps to take a few minutes to relax and ask ourselves what is important and meaningful in life. What are some things that give joy, peace and stability in a hectic world?

Question: I don’t have a lot of time for gardening, so I use the most efficient methods possible, including power clippers. My neighbor says that trimming with hand pruners is better for the shrubs and usually more efficient over time. Can you explain how hand pruning can be more efficient t…

Question: Our landscape needs some remodeling. Our needs have changed. We want to replace some child-oriented features with facilities for entertaining our friends and grown family. We also have some overgrown shrubs which need to be replaced.

Question: I enjoyed this week’s garden column on building rich soil with organic matter in a new landscape. Are you going to write about how to add organic matter to existing landscapes?

It took me a long while to make puttanesca sauce, the feisty Italian tomato sauce packed with sharp, pungent and briny flavors. I admit it was the anchovies that gave me pause. While I don’t mind anchovies in moderation, I don’t liberally cook with them, either, foolishly reverting to a chil…

Question: I have been told by my neighbor, who is an excellent gardener, that I should add organic matter to my soil to improve it. Why is organic matter so important?