Q. Can I plant my Easter lily in my garden?

A. This lily (Lilium longiflorum) doesn’t have to be thrown away. Once frost has passed, plant your Easter lily in a sunny spot that has good drainage. Mulch well because like Clematis, they like to have their feet in the shade and their heads in the sun.  Easter lilies are forced to bloom at Easter, but the lily’s natural bloom time is August or September and that’s when it will bloom in your garden.

Q. I pruned my grapes a week ago and they have had water running out of them ever since. What should I do?

A. Nothing. Grapes are a plant that will bleed when pruned late in the season, and they do it for a long time. It won’t hurt your plant, but it is alarming. To avoid this happening next year, prune about the end of February.

Q. The bottom of my privet hedge looks thin and spindly. My neighbor said I was pruning wrong and should prune it into a triangle shape. That doesn’t seem right, why would that help?

A. A triangle seems a little severe, but the theory is correct. Keeping the bottom of the shrub a little wider than the top allows the bottom part to receive more sunlight, which allows it to stay leafy and green.

Q. I l tried to grow broccoli last year but no heads formed. Any idea what I did wrong?

A. It might have been one of several things. You might have planted too late and hot weather prevented heads from forming or improper watering, which can also cause that problem. Broccoli needs about an inch of water a week.

Q. Brown splotches are spoiling the leaves of my spinach and chard. Sometimes there are thin lines. Is this scorch already?

A.  It sounds like a leaf miner. This small fly lays eggs on the leaf early in the season. The larvae tunnel in between the leaf tissues causing a brown, puffy splotch and thin, irregular shaped trails that run through the leaf.  If you hold the leaf up to the light you might see the tiny larvae. Pick off the infected leaves and throw them away. Don’t throw them on the ground. The larvae will continue to pupate and will emerge as an adult insect, to begin the cycle again.  Once the signs are visible, it’s too late for any control other than picking off the leaf.

Q. I’ve heard that morning glory is one of the worst weeds you can have, but I love the big blue flowers. Do I need to stop growing it?

A. No, you can continue to grow and enjoy the big blue flowered morning glories we are all fond of. While in the same family as the dreaded weed, it is an  annual, while the weed is a perennial with a taproot that can be 10 feet deep.  If you find the weed, eradicate it before it goes to seed and becomes a huge problem.


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