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Tag Archives: garden

Garden Q&A: This Fourth of July, think about choosing a native plant

I’d like a native plant as a focal point to give my front porch privacy. Preference is a flowering deciduous bush that takes shade and is low-maintenance. No higher than six feet tall. Is it silly to fool with a native plant? With the Fourth of July coming up, all …

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Garden Q&A: How to grow mint plants

I want to plant mint, but I read that it multiplies quickly, becomes invasive and takes over. I want to take the right control measures, since I have a garden with other crops (lettuce, basil, greens) that I don’t want compromised by mint. How do I grow something that can …

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Garden Q&A: Not all mountain laurel species are deer resistant

I’ve always loved the unique flowers of mountain laurel. They are supposed to be deer resistant, but my mom says deer ate her expensive fancy one. Any suggestions before I try one? We have quite a few deer. While our native mountain laurel — the plain species — is deer …

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Garden Q&A: Get rid of those patches of honeysuckle

We’ve had a lot of Lyme disease in my neighborhood. Should I clear the understory in the woods behind my house? The main shrub there has flowers that remind me of honeysuckle. Does wildlife need this? I’d like to save native plants, but need to save us first! This is …

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Garden Q&A: How to control a leafminer attack

Overnight, leafminers attacked my spinach and beets. I pulled my spinach and cut the leafminer-infested leaves off my beets. Are there other ways to organically control or prevent leafminers? Cutworms have been cutting off and carting away my seedlings, too! Would plant covers protect plants before they’re attacked? When you …

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Garden Q&A: How to keep lace bugs from turning your plants yellow

My azaleas and Japanese andromeda get yellow spots. Last year some leaves turned yellow, almost white. There were so many spots! Now it’s starting again. How can I stop this disease? Your andromeda and azaleas have lace bugs, an insect that inserts its feeding tube into the leaf and sucks …

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Want the next hot houseplant? Better get to the garden center fast.

Spring is my houseplant-buying season. Buying houseplants is my way of striking back after being made the brunt of a particularly mean, ugly joke by Chicago weather. Quick confession: Spring is also my houseplant-buying season because I routinely kill houseplants in the winter (and at other times, but mostly in …

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Garden Q&A: Bradford pears should now be considered an invasive trash tree

Please explain the “curse” of the Bradford pears. Isn’t that the original species of the white blooming trees everyone thinks are wonderful every spring? We should stop planting them anymore. From wonder tree to weed in 20 years must be some kind of record. Developed as a sterile hybrid, the …

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Garden Q&A: Try these native groundcovers that will keep the deer away

What native groundcovers can you recommend for shade? I’ve removed all the English ivy and need something before erosion starts. I like evergreen ones, and I also have deer problems. Many of the following are deer resistant, if not completely deer proof. Allegheny pachysandra, for example, is a four season …

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Garden Q&A: The first star magnolia to bloom in spring

More and more I’ve noticed a small tree with fairly big white flowers that I’m guessing could be a replacement for Bradford pears. Do you know what it is? We think you’re seeing a star magnolia, the first magnolia to bloom in spring. Star magnolia blossoms are unusual, with narrow …

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