Mulching shrubs

Question: I read your June 2nd article about weed barriers in your vegetable garden. Can I do the same thing in an area that I have hydrangeas growing? Would I use the newspaper layer and the same options for on top of the newspaper? I love my hydrangeas but am constantly weeding around them all summer long, even though I hand pull I get new weeds all the time!

Bee and flowers

Managing pests

Question: How can I manage unwanted bugs in my garden without harming beneficial pollinators? – M. K.


Keeping weeds under control

Question: I’m a relatively new vegetable gardener. Last summer the weeds were so bad I thought about giving up. Do you have any suggestions on how to keep down the weeds in my garden? B.F.


Planting Daffodils

Question: I planted daffodils at least twelve years ago. They bloomed beautifully for two years. Since then, nothing but greens. To my amazement, they have bloomed this spring! Why is that? L.P.


Lawn Dethatching & Fertilization

Question: Do you believe spring power raking/thatching is good for the lawn. I had it done last year in the spring and had problems with weeds afterwards. What about fertilizers? Are some brands better than others? C.M.

Sugar maple tree

Planting bare root trees and shrubs

Question: I ordered some trees and shrubs through the tree program run by the Planning & Development division of the county, and I believe they will be bare root stock. Can you offer any tips on how to plant bare root trees and shrubs? N. W.

soil test bag

Adding Wood Ash to Gardens

Question: Hello, I have a question for you. I have a good amount of ash from a wood burner fireplace; would wood ash be good for my garden? I have a small section that is to be tilled up this spring and was thinking of putting some on top before I do so. Thanks. J.T.

Kenosha County UW-Extension Logo


Question: At a recent program on emerald ash borer, the speaker made the claim that adult emerald ash borers emerge when the black locust trees bloom. I found this quite interesting and was wondering if there are other unique occurrences similar to this. K.K.

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.