tomato plant

Heirloom vs. Hybrid

Question: This year I want to grow tomatoes from seed instead of buying whatever transplants I can find. Some of my gardening friends told me the best tasting tomatoes are heirloom varieties like Brandywine.  What are heirlooms? How are they different from other tomatoes? Do heirlooms taste better? B.N. Answer: Heirloom or open-pollinated plants are […]


Basil Downy Mildew

  Question: I love basil and have grown it for years without problems. This year I don’t know what happened. Some leaves started looking a little yellowish. Shortly after black spots appeared on the leaves. Some of the basil plants are older and a couple are quite young but all are infected. What is happening? […]


Harvest Potatoes / Powdery Mildew on Squash

Question: When are potatoes ready for harvest? D.P.

Answer: New or early potatoes can be dug seven to eight weeks after planting. The potatoes will be one to two inches in size. Potatoes are mature and full-sized when vines die, usually in late August or September. Dig and lift the potatoes out of the soil with a spading fork, taking care not to pierce the tubers.

But on raspberry

Spotted Wing Drosophila

  Question: I’m finding tiny white worms in my red raspberries. I’ve never had this problem before. Do you know what is going on? Is there anything I can do? My family loves raspberries. S.T. Answer: The worms may be larvae of Spotted Wing Drosophila (SWD), which is new insect pest of Wisconsin fruit crops. […]

soil test bag

Test Your Garden Soil

Question: Should I have my soil tested and how? C.A. Answer: Soil in established gardens should be tested every three to five years, or before you start a new garden. Soil testing is easy to do. Use a trowel or shovel to dig a scoop of soil out of several places in the garden or […]