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Janet Carson

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Recent Stories by Janet Carson

IN THE GARDEN

posted: 07/08/2017 1:50 a.m. Discuss

Q I bought some red, yellow and orange bell peppers, but everything so far has turned out green. Do I need to leave them on longer before picking them or what?

IN THE GARDEN

posted: 07/01/2017 1:47 a.m. Discuss

Q A couple of years ago we built an arbor and I put trumpet vines on each side. They grew and grew and got way too invasive, so I've cut it all down and will be digging up the roots. What kind of flowering vine would be good to plant? I've thought about clematis but am thinking I need something that will vine up the trellis and then re-bloom on the old wood. I don't want to have to cut it all off every year.

IN THE GARDEN

posted: 06/24/2017 1:49 a.m. Discuss

Q Please give me some do's and don'ts regarding exposed roots of a tree. I love the canopy of this maple I planted from a seed from upstate Virginia a dozen or so years ago. May I safely establish a steel edging border and fill it with bark mulch? Would it be safe to sever exposed roots a dozen feet or less from the tree? What would the minimum distance be for cuts? The farthest exposed roots must be 20 feet from the tree.

IN THE GARDEN

posted: 06/17/2017 1:49 a.m. Discuss

Q We spread wild-flowers in the back of our house a few years ago. We had one year that was good but until this year very few. The three that came back are sparse. We need to cut the backyard but would like to do it at the best time to spread the seeds. Can you help? [The reader sent a photo.]

IN THE GARDEN

posted: 06/10/2017 1:46 a.m. Discuss

Q My oak tree has some type of insect or disease on it. There are spore-looking spots on the backs of the leaves. The spots are circular flakes on the back of the leaf, but there are also spots, and tiny holes, on the corresponding location on the front. The flakes fall off and have littered the deck beneath the trees. Can you identify them?

In the Garden

posted: 06/03/2017 1:50 a.m. Discuss

Q We have a banana tree that is about 2 years old. Last year it had a bloom on it but didn't do anything. This year it looks like it is growing bananas. If they actually develop into bananas are they safe to eat?

IN THE GARDEN

posted: 05/27/2017 1:52 a.m. Discuss

Q You dodged a specific question that a writer posed recently in the letter beginning "Emergency!" The issue is about iris beds and whether Roundup will kill the bulbs. Although you mention daffodils in your column, please correct your silence concerning irises. It's a question I've been hoping you'd answer for some time.

IN THE GARDEN

posted: 05/20/2017 1:52 a.m. Discuss

Q Due to my holly bushes being full of bees, I didn't get my liriope under the bushes trimmed early and then forgot about them. Is it too late to trim it now?

IN THE GARDEN

posted: 05/13/2017 1:51 a.m. Discuss

Q Emer-gency! I no longer have a fascination for or the physical ability to do weeding. Can Roundup be used on daffodils and irises? Though I spray in November with Roundup before the daffodils are up, now vetch and rye/winter grasses are taking over.

IN THE GARDEN

posted: 05/06/2017 1:52 a.m. Discuss

Q My 3-year-old gardenia bush has turned black. Most of the leaves are black with a velvety feel. The black can be scraped off, and the leaf looks normal underneath. Is this winter damage or blight? Is there anything I should do about it?

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