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.
The last three years I have had scale on my hollyhocks. They just start to bloom, and the scale appears and they die. Is there something I can use to get rid of the scale? After they start to die, I clean up everything and burn. — Irene Tarr, Paoli, Ind. I wonder if you… Continue reading.
The National Garden Bureau has declared 2015 to be the Year of the Sweet Pepper! Sweet bell peppers are cultivars of Capsicum annuum. Sweet peppers are called sweet because they lack the gene that produces capsaicin — the chemical that gives hot peppers their heat. While the 3-4 lobed, blocky, bell-shaped peppers are most common,… Continue reading.
I need information on how to manage hops from the ground up and when and how to do what. Any information you can provide will be greatly appreciated, such as when to dig rhizomes, prune, storage, etc. — E. Colleen Duncan, via email Hops for production require good management through pruning, training and fertilizing and… Continue reading.
My landlords gave me a start of this plant (pictured). They didn’t explain what it is. I have looked in the seed catalogs and don’t see anything like it. Are the little bulbs edible? — Peggy Bair, Summitville, Ind. Excellent photos! This distinctive perennial onion is known as Egyptian, tree or top-set onion, so-named for… Continue reading.
Deicing salts can save your neck this winter, but they can spell disaster for landscape plants. Whether the salt is sprayed on the plants from passing traffic near the road or is shoveled onto plants near the sidewalk, the salt can cause damage. Salts can adversely affect plants in several ways. Salts deposited on the… Continue reading.
I have small evergreen trees planted in my yard. They are the small, slow growing type. They are around 8 years old. Every fall, yellow jackets start swarming around them and crawling in and out of the inside of the trees. They don’t seem to hurt the trees, but it looks as if the yellow… Continue reading.
My wife and I read your column every month in the Electric Consumer. Our problem is that we would like to plant a couple of deciduous trees for shade on the south side of our house. The problem is that we have a sewer line from the house to the collection box about 75 feet… Continue reading.
I have a small garden with nothing but tomato plants and cucumbers. I put pine bark mulch on it to control the weeds. I was wondering if I should till the pine in or rake it out? — RON WOOLARD, TERRE HAUTE, IND. Pine bark is relatively slow to decompose and may make tilling more… Continue reading.
We have several fire bushes whose leaves never turn that spectacular red in the fall. They just remain green till they fall off. We have fed them spring and fall, and yet there are several other fire bushes, treated the same, whose leaves do change color. Any suggestions? — JOYCE LAKEY, TERRE HAUTE, IND. Fall color… Continue reading.