Frequently Asked Questions

Question:
How do you over-winter geraniums as potted plants?
Answer:

Carefully dig up each plant before the first fall frost and place in a large container.  Water each plant thoroughly, then place the geraniums in a bright, sunny window or under artificial lighting.  Geraniums prefer cool indoor...

Question:
How do I take geranium cuttings?
Answer:

Using a sharp knife, take 3- to 4-inch stem cuttings from the terminal ends of the shoots.  Pinch off the lower leaves, then dip the base of each cutting in a rooting hormone.  Stick the cuttings into a rooting medium of vermiculite or...

Question:
I planted several pine trees this spring. How long should I continue to water the trees?
Answer:

The roots of trees continue to grow until the ground freezes.  If the weather is dry, continue to water the newly planted trees until the soil freezes in winter.  
 

Question:
There are small, black beetles feeding on my raspberries. What can I do?
Answer:

The small, black beetles are likely sap beetles.  They are also known as picnic beetles or picnic bugs.  Sap beetles commonly feed on over-ripe or damaged fruits and vegetables in the garden.  

Sanitation is the best...

Question:
How do I stop yellowjackets from feeding on my raspberries?
Answer:

Yellowjackets are social wasps that build paper nests in the ground, a log, building wall, attic, or other sites.  The workers from the colony travel up to a few hundred yards from the nest while looking for food.  In early summer, the...

Question:
There are small, white worms in my raspberries. What are they and how can they be controlled?
Answer:

The small, white worms are likely the larvae of the spotted wing drosophila.  Spotted wing drosophila adults are small, yellowish brown flies.  Males have distinctive dark spots on their wings, hence the name spotted wing drosophila....

Question:
What is a good storage site for spring-flowering bulbs?
Answer:

Tulip, daffodil, hyacinth, and other spring-flowering bulbs usually begin arriving in garden centers and other retail businesses in late August.  Spring-flowering bulbs purchased in late summer should be stored in a cool, dry place (such as...

Question:
How do you store grapes?
Answer:

Sound grapes can be stored in perforated plastic bags in the refrigerator for up to two months. Optimum storage conditions are a temperature of 31 to 32 degrees Fahrenheit and a relative humidity of 85 percent. 

Question:
Is late summer/early fall a good time to plant trees?
Answer:

Mid-August through September is an excellent time to plant pine, spruce, and other evergreens.  (Evergreens planted in late October or November may not have adequate time to become established before the onset of winter and could be subject...

Question:
Which vegetables can be planted in late summer?
Answer:

Several vegetables can be planted in late summer for a fall crop.  For a fall crop, plant beets, carrots, Swiss chard, kohlrabi, and kale in early to mid-August, plant leaf lettuce and spinach in late August to early September, and plant...

Question:
There are white, raised spots on my potatoes. Why?
Answer:

The white, raised spots on your potatoes are probably swollen lenticels due to wet soil conditions.  Potato tubers are enlarged underground stems.  Lenticels are small openings in the tuber surface that allow for gas exchange. ...

Question:
My peonies appear to be covered with a white, powdery substance. What is it?
Answer:

The white, powdery material on the peony foliage is powdery mildew.  Powdery mildew is a fungal disease.  Powdery mildew occurs on a large number of plants (peonies, lilacs, viburnums, roses, garden phlox, bee balm, turfgrass, and many...

Question:
When should I divide my perennials?
Answer:

The best time to divide perennials varies with the different plant species.  Early spring (just as new growth begins to appear) is the best time to divide aster, chrysanthemum, hosta, bee balm, sedum, yarrow, obedient plant, and ornamental...

Question:
How do I germinate butterfly weed seeds?
Answer:

Harvest the seed pods of butterfly weed when the pods begin to split.  Seeds can be sown directly outdoors in late fall or started indoors.  

When sowing seeds outdoors, work up the soil in a protected location in early to mid-...

Question:
What is the best way to store left-over flower and vegetable seeds?
Answer:

If stored properly, the seeds of many vegetables and flowers will remain viable (alive) for 2 to 3 years.  Ideal storage conditions are cool and dry.  It’s generally best to keep the seeds in their original packets.  Fold over the...

Question:
How should I prepare my garden tools for winter?
Answer:

Proper care of garden tools and equipment prolongs their lifetime, prevents costly repairs, and improves their performance.  In fall, remove caked-on soil from shovels, spades, hoes, and rakes with a wire brush or stiff putty knife. ...

Question:
Which perennials bloom in late summer/early fall?
Answer:

Late summer/early fall blooming perennials include New England aster (Aster novae-angliae), New York aster (Aster novi-belgii), boltonia (Boltonia asteroides), garden mum (Chrysanthemum x morifolium),...

Question:
What is the proper way to store pumpkins?
Answer:

After harvesting the pumpkins, cure them at a temperature of 80 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit and 80 percent relative humidity for 10 days.  Curing helps to harden their skins and heal any cuts and scratches.  

After curing, store...

Question:
Which lawn care practices enhance the absorption of broadleaf herbicides?
Answer:

To insure adequate leaf surface and herbicide absorption, don’t mow the lawn 2 to 3 days before treatment.  After treatment, allow 3 to 4 days to pass before mowing.  This allows sufficient time for the broadleaf weeds to absorb the...

Question:
How do I establish a new lawn from seed?
Answer:

The first step in planting a new lawn is the establishment of the rough grade.  Remove construction debris, then fill in low spots and level off high areas.  The ground should slope away from the foundation of the house, drive, and...

Question:
What type of grass seed mix should I purchase?
Answer:

When purchasing grass seed, select a high quality seed mix that is best adapted to the site.  Kentucky bluegrass is the best choice for sunny areas that receive at least 6 hours of direct sun each day.  Choose a seed mix that contains...

Question:
How do I harvest, dry, and store shallots?
Answer:

Harvest mature bulbs in late summer when the tops have turned yellow and begun to dry.  Cure the shallots in a warm, dry location for 1 to 2 weeks.  After the shallots have been cured, cut off the dry foliage, place the bulbs in a mesh...

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