Q: I occasionally come across vines that I try to identify to avoid poison ivy. On a recent encounter in Paoli, Indiana, in early October, I thought I was prepared knowing that poison ivy has three leaves and Virginia creeper has five leaves, according to numerous sources. When I inspected the vine in question, to… Continue reading.
Controlling Creeping Charlie Q: How can I safely control/stop Creeping Charlie in the garden? Don Kochert, Floyds Knobs, Indiana A: Creeping Charlie (also known as ground ivy) is an herbaceous perennial that spreads by seed as well as horizontal, above-ground stems called stolons or runners. These runners are easy to hand pull, especially after rain… Continue reading.
Limelight pruning primer Q: I have 124 Limelight Hydrangeas in my yard (it’s a big yard). They are 8 years old. I’ve pruned them every winter. They bloom profusely and are in great shape. My question is: Can I skip a year pruning them, and, if so, how might that impact them? Greg Kubala, via email … Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Battling the mighty mite Q: We have lived in our home in the country since 2004. I always hang several Boston Ferns off our deck which became beautiful and huge. I never had a problem until last year; something attacked them — maybe a very small black mite — and just… Continue reading.
Flummoxed by white oak slime Q: About 18 months ago, my 30-year-old oak tree started weeping a liquid about 15 feet up on one side. A couple of branches way above it appeared to die off. The rest of the tree seemed OK. Later the backside seemed to crack in several places and a liquid… Continue reading.
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.
Electric cooperative consumers have been asking B. Rosie Lerner questions about their gardening problems since 2006. And as the Purdue Extension consumer horticulture specialist, she’s answered as many as we had room for. Now that she’s retired from Purdue (but, we’re thankful not from answering your gardening questions), we had a few questions she’s answered… Continue reading.
Need a handy step-by-step and month-by-month checklist to help your garden grow? Indiana Connection and our gardening expert, B. Rosie Lerner, have created this comprehensive, monthly plan for you to follow. Lerner is a retired Purdue Extension consumer horticulturist and is a consumer of Tipmont REMC. Download your month-by-month gardening to-do list HERE.
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 In late July and early August, folks around the country began receiving mysterious unsolicited packages of seeds that appear to have shipped from China. While curious gardeners may be tempted to see how they turn out, it’s never a good idea to plant “mystery” seeds, especially if they’ve come unsolicited from… 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 Perhaps you’ve heard of the old saying: “Leaves of three, let it be?” That’s still excellent advice for those who are sensitive to the poison ivy plant. But navigating past poison ivy in a sea of green leafy plants along the fence rows or forest paths can be downright confusing. A… Continue reading.