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Tag Archives: QA

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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Garden Q&A: Mulch volcanoes are not what nature intended

I’ve been getting teased about making mulch volcanoes. They look good to me. What’s the big deal? Mulch volcanoes, with the mulch being the volcano and the tree being a vertical column of lava, are not what nature intended. Nature mulches with leaves or needles, when she mulches at all. …

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Garden Q&A: Can lesser celandine be mulched away?

Can I mulch away lesser celandine? It’s throughout my neighbor’s lawn and now making its way into my beds. Their gardening service suggested this. Thick mulch may discourage celandine from emerging, but we find no research that shows this method is effective. Lesser celandine is a non-native invasive plant. It …

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Garden Q&A: Don’t let this perennial grass get a foothold in your lawn

What’s going on here? It’s like my lawn has chicken pox. Small patches turn light brown in winter, like zoysia grass does, and really look spotty against the normal green grass. But it’s not dead, because it turns green in the spring and blends in. More and more of my …

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Garden Q&A: What you should know about the yellow-stalked puffball

I found this growing out of leaf litter on the Appalachian Trail. At first glance I thought it was a spring wildflower, but obviously it’s not! I’ve spent a lot of time looking for it online but no luck. What is this? That’s a beautiful fungus you found, with red …

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Garden Q&A: How to get rid of groundhogs in your yard

A groundhog has dug under our shed — again. We have removed many over the years with a non-lethal trap but another one always shows up. Any better ideas? Groundhogs are especially fond of digging under concrete slabs. Perhaps it substitutes for the large rocks they burrow under in wilder …

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Garden Q&A: Stop to smell the sweetbox plants

The other day I caught a sudden whiff of jasmine outside, but didn’t see any flowers to explain its source. Could it have been a plant? Fragrance on a wintry day can stop you in your tracks. You may have encountered the aptly-named sweetbox. Its white blooms, opening in February, …

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