Monarch butterfly on milkweed

Milkweed seed stratification and vernalization

Question: I ordered milkweed seeds to plant in my yard from a monarch protection group. The directions say the seeds need cold stratification. I looked online and a couple of monarch websites mentioned stratification/vernalization for milkweed seed. Would you explain what these words mean and what I should do to get my seeds to grow? N.M.

Man pruning apple tree

Pruning fruit trees

Question: Last year I bought a home with several apple and pear trees which have been neglected for years. I have no experience with pruning fruit trees but I know these badly need renovation. I would like to learn how to take care of them. Any suggestions you can provide would be greatly appreciated. S.R.

Potting soil and trowel

Pasteurizing potting soil

Question: I attended your recent class at the Southwest Library. You mentioned pasteurizing homemade potting soil. I’ve decided to make plan my own potting soil mix for seed starting this spring. Please give me directions on how to pasteurize my soil mix. Also, would you share your recipe again for sustainable potting soil mix that doesn’t use peat moss? M.M.

Sugar maple tree

Choosing large trees for your yard

Emerald ash borer has and will kill thousands of ash trees in Kenosha. Trees increase property value, provide energy savings, improve human wellbeing, encourage tourism and decrease crime rate. For these reasons and more it is crucial to replant. Over the next few weeks we will look at large sized (over 30 feet) trees.

Vermicompost Bin


Question: My garden and compost pile are at a community garden and not in my back yard. This time of year it breaks my heart to throw away vegetable peelings and coffee grounds instead of putting them in the compost. (I can’t easily get to the compost pile this time of year.) Do you have any suggestions? M.S.

Whiteflies, Fungus gnats

Houseplant pests

Question: I read your column in December about aphids and other insects on houseplants. It didn’t mention anything about gnats in the dirt and on the leaves which are the problem in my houseplants. I read online about whiteflies. Do you think my plants are infested with whiteflies or is it a different insect? What can I do to can get rid of them? F.H.

Kenosha County UW-Extension Logo

Wisconsin Landscape Registry

December 31, 2015 – Kenosha News Wisconsin residents wanting to receive notice of pesticides that will be applied to lawns, trees and shrubs in their neighborhood by professional lawn care and landscape companies must join the Wisconsin Landscape Registry before February 1, 2016. The registry is maintained by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and […]