Seed Starting Indoors

Question: I plan to grow many of my vegetables from seed this year. I’d like to make my own potting soil. What do you suggest as a recipe for a seed starting mix? Should I buy specialty grow lights? S.R. Answer: Potting soils for seed starting must have good drainage to help prevent rotting and […]

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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 […]

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Holiday cheer is no reason to forget to reduce, reuse and recycle.

After you open gifts and drink your share of eggnog, think about what to do with all those discarded boxes, recently-replaced electronics and left-over food scraps. According to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) the holiday season of Thanksgiving to New Year Day creates nearly 25% more household waste than other times of the […]

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pine branch

Sweet Cherry Pollination

Question: I have a Bing cherry tree in my yard that is several years old. Some years the tree has bloomed and some years it hasn’t. Even years when the tree bloomed it didn’t have cherries. I’ve heard some fruit trees need another tree for pollination. Is this true in sweet cherries and what do you recommend? F.M.

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Miniature Roses

Question: I brought my miniature rose indoors and it is blooming. A friend told me I shouldn’t let it bloom and it should be dormant. What should I do? P.P.

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pine branch

Whiteflies on Houseplants

Question: Before the weather got cold I moved several potted plants from the patio to the indoors for the winter. I’ve not had problems when I’ve brought plants inside in the past but this year several of the plants have bugs. The bugs are very tiny and light colored. Whenever I touch or bump one of the plants, lots of bugs fly up from the plant. Do you have any suggestions on what I can do? K.C.

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rose bush

Protecting Roses for Winter

Question: I didn’t get a chance to cover my roses before the polar vortex descended. Is it too late? I have a combination of regular roses and shrub roses. C.T.

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Diplodia Shoot Blight and Canker

Question: I have three Scot pines in a row that hide my back patio from the street. The past few years I’ve noticed more and more dead needles on the branches and on the ground. Some of the branches are brown all the way out to the tips. Do you know what is wrong and […]

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