By B. Rosie Lerner Q: Twenty years ago, I planted six Norway spruce trees around the house. Now they are 45- to 50-feet tall and started to lose needles back in November 2020 by the hundreds. Could it be a disease or squirrels are chewing them off to make a nest? Do Norway spruce have… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Q: I have a lot of these plants (pictured at right) growing in the field near my home. Can you identify this plant for me? And is it poisonous? I have horses and am concerned that this could make them sick. A: This is a very common weed called pokeweed. It… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Q: I am curious if you have an idea about a weed that grows in our yard every year. It spreads very rapidly, seems invasive and grows to a pretty high level as summer goes along. We have asked many people, and they are quite stumped. My wife does not like… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner As recovered COVID-19 patients were being wheeled from some Indiana hospitals to family members waiting to take them home this spring, they were cheered by hospital workers and serenaded with the eternally cheerful Beatles tune, “Here Comes the Sun.” You needn’t have experienced “a long cold lonely winter” — or spring… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Though your aching back may not agree, heavy winter snows actually are good for your garden and landscape. Snow provides moisture as well as protection from cold and wind. Snow is an excellent insulator against low temperatures and excessive winds. The extent of protection depends on the depth of snow. In… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Q: I’m having an argument with my wife about a plant in our yard, and we hope you can help arbitrate. I’ve sent a photo of a plant that we found growing near some shrubs. Neither of us remember planting it. My wife thinks it’s pretty ground cover and that we… Continue reading.
Q: I had potato bugs really bad this year. I picked them off every few days, but they just came back. I tried Sevin, but the rain just washed it off. What can I do about potato bugs? — S. Newland, Columbus, IN A: There are a number of insecticides labeled for control of Colorado… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Q: I sent in a mystery plant question that was featured in your column in the July 2017 issue. The plant was not doing well then but has finally begun flourishing. I have identified it to be a portulaca molokiniensis. I have found various sites that all give different descriptions on… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner People often select plants first for their beauty and second for their functionality in the garden. Frequently, we don’t know or don’t consider a plant’s behavior when we’re selecting them. Almost by definition, a species that is an effective ground cover will have a spreading habit. But does that make the… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner If you’ve ever had to work on a tree leaf collection, no doubt you included a leaf from Indiana’s state tree. Also known as tulip poplar and yellow poplar, the tuliptree is actually not a poplar at all. It is a member of the magnolia family known botanically as Liriodendron tulipifera…. Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Most gardeners would agree that tomatoes are the most popular crop for home growing. But what gardeners can’t agree on is what tomato is considered “the best,” since taste is such a personal matter. The diversity of cultivars available makes it easy for anyone to grow tomatoes — even if all… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner To admire a peony in full bloom is a fitting way to celebrate our full arrival into spring. Although it is native to Asia, the peony has become a staple of Midwestern flower gardens — so much so that the Indiana Legislature in 1957 adopted the peony as the state flower…. Continue reading.