Unwanted Grass

Grass is usually a good thing; in lawns that is.  However, if you’ve got grass anywhere else – a veggie garden, a flower bed, in groundcovers – then it’s a weed.   Grass can get to the unwanted location through bird transfer, through misapplied seedings or through spreading.  The rhizomes pictured here show this undesirable…

Vegetable Gardening 101

Nothing provides greater satisfaction than to grow your own food. It’s also really easy to start, with a small investment in some seeds, a few transplants, and a container or plot of land. A basic requirement in vegetable gardening is a clear understanding that there are cool season vegetables—those that grow and produce best when…

Tangled Roots and Potting Soil

Getting annuals, veggies and perennials off to a good start in container gardens is crucial to their success.  This starts with choosing well branched, stocky plants and examining the roots. First, gently squeeze the pot between your hands or fingers and then tease the root mass out.  Inspect the roots.  They should be white, bright…

Managing Weeds in the Garden and Lawn

Weeds may be our least favorite topic but still one of the driving forces behind phone and email questions right now, with “How do I kill…?” leading the discussion. Weed identification may seem immaterial, after all, the consuming focus is to be rid of the pesky plant, but in reality, this should always be the…

Warm Season Veggies

Cool season veggies are great – cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, cabbage and George Bush’s favorite – broccoli.  As the soils warm however, the time for planting warm season veggies is upon us.  Crops such as peppers, eggplant, squash, tomatoes and cucumbers thrive on warm growing conditions – 75 to 85 degrees F.  Hopefully, your weekend project…

Mulch Volcanoes—A Harmful Practice for Trees

Too often the mindset is if a little is good then a lot must be better. So it goes with the spring task of mulching. A “mulch volcano” is the tongue-in-cheek term given to those copious heaps of woodchips surrounding a tree.  No one knows exactly where this harmful practice came from but all it…

Dwarf Witch Alder

Choosing a shrub can be difficult. It is best to choose a plant that will be allowed to grow and will not need routine pruning.  Most shrubs are picked for their color, shape, size, or another attribute.  However, they are often put in the wrong place.  Shrubs should be allowed to grow with out having…

Apply a Preemergence Herbicide – Lawn & Garden

Each year, we struggle to keep the weeds out of the garden and lawn.  Oh sure, not too many show up in May, and the ones that do sprout are easily controlled with a hoe or a dandelion digger.  However, human nature being as it is, we soon tire of weeding.   When early summer rolls…

Henbit, Ground Ivy, and Speedwell

Three weeds we see at this time of year resemble each other so closely that it is often confusing as to which is which. Henbit, ground ivy, and speedwell are flowering right now so it is easy to notice them.  I’ll admit, conversations about weeds are some of people’s least favorite, but talk we must…

Flooded Vegetable Garden Plots

Looking forward to the vegetable garden this spring, it’s easy to think that now that the flood waters have receded, our gardening season can carry on as usual.  While many of the callers to Extension are aware of potential dangers of gardening on a flooded site, the exact way forward is a little unclear.  Here…