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Ask Rosie

Posted on Sep 19, 2018 in Backyard

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.

Ask Rosie

Posted on Sep 10, 2018 in Backyard

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.

Don’t plant a pest

Posted on Aug 10, 2018 in Backyard

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.

Tomatoes: the apples of most eyes

Posted on May 22, 2018 in Backyard

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.

Peony for your thoughts

Posted on Apr 29, 2018 in Backyard

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.

Celebrate Arbor Day

Posted on Mar 29, 2018 in Backyard

by B. Rosie Lerner There’s no better way to celebrate Arbor Day than to add beauty and value to your home landscape with a new tree. Trees can also provide shade and wind protection for many years to come if given the proper start. The last Friday in April is both the national and the… Continue reading.

A magnet for butterflies and bees

Posted on Feb 28, 2018 in Backyard

By B. Rosie Lerner The Perennial Plant Association  selected its 2018 Perennial Plant of the Year: Allium “Millenium” (yes, that’s Millenium with just one “n”). This announcement continues to show the focus on pollinator habitat these days — Allium Millenium is appropriately referred to as a butterfly and bee magnet! Millenium is a hybrid Allium… Continue reading.

Winter Wasps

Posted on Dec 19, 2017 in Backyard

In the dead of winter, we often find wasps on the carpet in our basement, but not always. Sometimes a dead wasp is on the windowsill, other times in a light fixture. We might see dying wasps crawling around lethargically or even attempting to fly. Like a lot of social insects, paper wasps survive subfreezing… Continue reading.

How to care for your Christmas amaryllis

Posted on Nov 30, 2017 in Backyard

by B. Rosie Lerner Amaryllis is a popular holiday gift plant, but it may have the lucky recipient wondering about its proper care. Amaryllis is a tender bulb that won’t survive outdoors even in the mildest of Indiana winters. But it can be grown indoors to provide a dramatic show of color during dreary winter… Continue reading.

Sweet potato or yam?

Posted on Oct 30, 2017 in Backyard

by B. Rosie Lerner Will you be eating sweet potatoes or yams at your Thanksgiving dinner? While many folks use the terms interchangeably, they are distinct. Botanically speaking, the sweet potato is known as Ipomoea batatas and belongs to the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae). True yams belong to one of several species of Dioscoreain (Dioscoreace),… Continue reading.

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