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Mystery seeds from China

Posted on Aug 20, 2020 in Backyard

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.

Here come the sunflowers

Posted on Jun 27, 2020 in Backyard

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.

A poison ivy primer

Posted on Apr 24, 2020 in Backyard

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.

Ask Rosie — March 2020

Posted on Feb 20, 2020 in Backyard

What’s killing the oak trees? Q: In 22 years I’ve had more than a dozen oaks die because of a grub or larvae. Symptoms: First the leaves die and turn brown at the top of the tree. It slowly spreads down the tree until all the leaves are brown and have fallen off. Then the bark… Continue reading.

Silver lining in snow clouds

Posted on Dec 20, 2019 in Backyard

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.

Fall leaves are treasure, not trash

Posted on Oct 24, 2019 in Backyard

By B. Rosie Lerner  The hot dry weather experienced throughout much of Indiana in late summer brought an early leaf drop to many landscape plants. But the eventual leaf drop comes no matter the weather. For some Hoosiers, this marvel is overshadowed by the chores of raking and disposing of leaves. What’s needed here is… Continue reading.

Ask Rosie: September 2019

Posted on Sep 02, 2019 in Backyard

Q: Please don’t think I’m totally crazy, but I couldn’t get anyone around here to answer this question and I thought someone at Purdue could. I have two trees in my backyard that are growing branches that are completely different from the rest of the trees. It is NOT another tree coming up under them,… Continue reading.

Tick Talk Time

Posted on Jul 02, 2019 in Backyard

BY TIMOTHY J. GIBB It is tick talk time. When I say “tick talk,” I am not referring to a timekeeping device, such as a watch or a clock. I am simply pointing out it is the best time to discuss ticks and their potential danger. Most people have had the disagreeable experience of finding… Continue reading.

Rhubarb is prone to bolting

Posted on May 01, 2019 in Backyard

BY B. ROSIE LERNER We can be so difficult to please. When plants flower when we want them to flower, we call it “blooming.” But when plants flower when we don’t want them to, we call it “bolting.” Flowering is an undesirable trait when growing rhubarb; therefore, bolting describes the event. Gardeners frequently ask why… Continue reading.

Pretty ground cover?

Posted on Feb 27, 2019 in Backyard

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.

Field of flowers

Posted on Feb 27, 2019 in Backyard

A growing concern for years, especially for those in the world of agriculture, has been the marked decline of bee populations necessary for pollination of plants and crops. That concern was dialed upward last year with the addition of the rusty patch bumblebee to the list of endangered species. It is the first bee to… Continue reading.

A breath of fresh air

Posted on Dec 27, 2018 in Backyard

Winter is the worst time of year for indoor air quality. House plants do more than simply make your home look better. These plants can help make your home healthier and better for you to live in by improving the air quality. Dracaena is a long striped plant that can easily thrive in your home… Continue reading.

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