Answers to Gardening Questions

Evidently you guys didn’t have too much to say about gardening this week.? Of course you never do.? But for the amusement of those who did ask questions I’ll oblige.

Next week I’ll get back to stories about the boy like how he chased the cat around the house asking her if she wanted bacon.

A few weeks ago Jake asked: if I had suggestions on keeping rabbits out of her yard.

Yes, yes I do, but you may not like it.? Rabbits are deterred by natural predators.? They are also animals with a heightened sense of smell.? That being said you could “place” a scent in your yard that simulates that of a natural predator.? In Kansas we used to send people over to the hunting department at Galyans across the street to purchase a product called Concentrated Fox Urine.? Why one would sell such a product is beyond me, but it makes a nice rabbit and deer deterrent.? However, if you are the frugal gardener and have males in your house you have your own “scent” built in.? Send your son or husband out into the yard to “mark their territory.”? It works.? Gross, but works.

Rhonda asked: This new house has 7 flowerbeds. SEVEN. How in the world am I going to keep up with it? This is not exactly my strong area. OK, here?s my gardening question. My grass is trying to creep into my flowerbeds. In fact, there?s some areas that could be mowed already. How do I kill the grass without killing the flowers?

The answer to the first part of the question is child labor a yard service.? If I had the money I would hire one myself, but I don’t so I do it myself and am currently drowning in a yard full of weeds.

The second part of the question is not so easy.? I believe there is a product out there called Grass Be Gone.? However, I don’t condone the use of this product since it is not organic.? Nor do I condone the use of Round-Up, Casaron, or Weed-B-Gone.? I do suggest a citrus/clove mix that is organic and effective in killing annual weeds.? But it is a broad spectrum weed killer and will destroy the good plants too.? To get rid of grass the best thing is to pull it by hand (sorry) and then keep it under control.? Use edging to keep the grass out.? If you can find a product called Ryerson Steel Edging that is the best, but it is expensive and sooooo hard to find.? So hard that I can’t even find a good photo on the internet.? But it does exist.? Brick edging, concrete or even a non-ugly plastic will work too.? We manually edge with (currently) a shovel or our trimmer.? It’s manual and a pain, but I hate grass.

Rhonda also asked: is it too late in the year to plant anything?

Go to your local nurser (not a mega home improvements store or grocery) and look for vegetable starts.? You may still find gallon tomatoes, herbs or a few other things.? Herbs are probably your best bet and easiest to start with.? Especially if you’ve never edible gardened before.? Just stay away from Mint and Catmint (catnip).

Lauri asked: how can I add color to my front beds?

Again with the local nursery.? If it is a shadier area plants like impatiens or wax begonias are a good bet.? I am assuming it is since you mentioned Hostas.? If it sunny petunias, geraniums, million bells, marigolds or salvia will work.? For this year I would start with annuals (mentioned above) and next year find a few perennials.? Perennials bloom for a shorter time in the year, but are lower in maintenance (ie, you don’t have to replant them every year).? My entire garden is shrubs and perennials, except one area where I plant a few annuals.? I also do my window boxes and a few hanging baskets.

Liv asked about greenhouses

I would love a greenhouse personally.? It is worth it where I live.? I’m not as familiar with South East climates so I don’t know how helpful I can be.? I would stay away from a glass house.? This is the greenhouse I want.? They have automatic venting, come with tables, the company installs them and moves them if you move.? They have an upgrade policy and they are economical.? But they are in Tacoma so that won’t help you.? I found them at our Western WA State Fair.? State fairs are good place to find deals like this.? This particular company offers a discount if you order during fair time.? Greenhouses are a lot of work (cleaning and such), but can be very rewarding.

Thanks for the questions.? I enjoyed it.? Now if you’ll pardon me I have to prepare myself for some chalk drawing.? I wasn’t planning on participating this week, but competition got the better of me and I came up with something fun to draw.? If you would like to vote for (me) any artist (me) you can vote (for me) here after 1:00 p.m. until midnight Pacific time.

2 Comment

  1. Shoot, the question about the rabbits caused me to think. We don’t have rabbits, but we have squirrels & chipmunks. Mostly chipmunks that have destroyed our yard. So if you’re still up for answering questions…I do have one a little after-the-fact. How can you deter chipmunks without actually killing them? If we didn’t live so close to a busy road, I’d send my cats outside. Because the whole “circle of life” thing doesn’t bother me so much as outright killing the rodents. One of the dogs got a chipmunk one day, but they’re also not outside enough to put a serious hurt on our chipmunk community.

  2. Heh, we’re not willing to put fox urine out because we’re trying to sell the house, but I’ll have to pass on the “marking of the territory” idea to Eric. I think I’ll be getting a dirty look! I’m also going to be using your other answers to advantage: I need to plant color in both the front and back yards in order to make the house more sellable.

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