by B. Rosie Lerner Will you be eating sweet potatoes or yams at your Thanksgiving dinner? While many folks use the terms interchangeably, they are distinct. Botanically speaking, the sweet potato is known as Ipomoea batatas and belongs to the morning glory family (Convolvulaceae). True yams belong to one of several species of Dioscoreain (Dioscoreace),… Continue reading.
November has arrived, and winter temperatures will be here soon. That means it’s time to put away your summer outdoor power equipment — such as lawn mowers and string trimmers — and take out the equipment you will need this winter — such as snow throwers and generators. The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute offers the… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner It seems that pumpkins often mature much earlier than we would like, and this year may be one of those times. Although the season got off to a slow start, the second half of summer was extremely warm and may have brought the pumpkins on in a hurry. And unfortunately, the… Continue reading.
‘Endless Summer’ never even arrived I know you’ve addressed the ever-frustrating and puzzling hydrangeas that refuse to bloom, but I’m reaching out as a final attempt to solve the mystery of my disappointing non-bloomers. I’ve done everything I can think of, including fertilizing, researching optimum soil and light conditions, careful pruning of only old blooms… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Hydrangeas are popular, but understandably confusing! There are about 25 species, though only five are primarily grown in the U.S. There are literally thousands of cultivars. Some species are classified as either mophead (all large, sterile florets) or lacecap (fertile, center florets surrounded by larger, sterile florets), depending on cultivar. The… Continue reading.
‘Hooray for the red, white and blue” is a favorite July hue and cry — with emphasis on “hue.” But if all this “red state”/“blue state” talk this political season has gotten you leaning too far one way or the other in the yard, then how about going with the good ol’ U.S. of A…. Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Most gardeners have heard the advice “leaves of three, let it be” — referring to the pest plant poison ivy. While not quite as catchy, the saying really should be “leaflets of three, let it be.” Poison ivy leaves are compound rather than simple — a single leaf is divided into… Continue reading.
Our beautiful yellow “butterfly” magnolia tree is losing bark at the base area of tree. I was desperate and sprayed it, but the damage appears to be spreading up the tree. Can you please tell us what is damaging this tree? — Edward Laughlin, Holland, Ind. It is difficult to determine the initial cause of… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Growing your own garden transplants from seed may take some extra work, but it does have its advantages. You’ll have a much wider choice of species and cultivars since most garden centers have limited space and tend to carry primarily the plants that sell quickly. Rather than having to buy a… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner To celebrate Indiana’s bicentennial this year, the Garden Club of Indiana and the Indiana Bicentennial Commission are hoping gardeners will join the Blue & Gold garden tribute to Indiana’s state flag. It’s an easy way for all Indiana residents to commemorate the bicentennial. If you don’t have a traditional garden bed,… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner Like many other hobbyists, gardening enthusiasts have their own jargon. Some of these terms can be confusing, especially to the gardening newcomer. Here’s a brief list of terms that all gardeners should be familiar with. Annual -— Plant that completes its life cycle from seed germination to seed production in one… Continue reading.
By B. Rosie Lerner The poinsettia, the most popular holiday plant, is best known as the plant with bright red flowers on a green background. But the showiest part of the poinsettia is the group of colorful specialized leaves called floral bracts that surround the small, yellowish-green structures that are the true flowers. Red is… Continue reading.
by B. Rosie Lerner Horrors unfold before me about this time each year. But they are not on a big screen from some Hollywood holiday blockbuster; they are watching well-meaning shoppers steer their carts full of holiday gift plants through gusty winds and miserably cold temperatures and place these frigid plant victims into icy automobiles…. Continue reading.