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FAQs / Ask the Expert | Hewitts Garden Centers
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Amaryllis– Actually, I have had my amaryllis (4) for many years. During the year i water them only occassionally. I’ve been cutting the green leaves back. Is that how you take care of them? I get flowers every year. Sometimes not as big as the ones in the stores. Also, Should i separate the bulbs in the pots? I missed the amazing amaryllis. Thanks.

It sounds as though you are doing well with your amaryllis. I’d suggest that you not cut off green leaves since they are gathering sunlight and converting it into food that gets stored in the bulb. They are like solar collectors and should be left to grow until they start to turn yellow on their own. Amaryllis love to be potbound and can spend a few years in the same pot. If you have some that have doubled, you could unpot it and gently break the bulbs apart. I’d wait until the dormant period (late summer) to do this rather than when they are actively growing. Peter Bowden

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I have a woodchuck under my deck. I have tried a Havahart trap with no success. I put out carrots, lettuce and tomatoes. Can you recommend a type of woodchuck lure that would help lead my little fella into the trap? Thanks!

The problem with catching woodchucksthis time of year is that there is so much food out in the world for them that it is hard to tempt them into that trap. If it has been eating something in your garden then that would be the first to try as bait. They tend to prefer food that can be found close to the ground since that is where they forage. Tomatoes and various melons will tempt them and I’ve heard that they have a preference for broccoli. Make sure that the bait is kept fresh so you might want to try different vegetables or even flowers every day. If all else fails the I’d also try peanut butter. Keep at it and you’ll find something that will tempt it into your trap.

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Hi Someone told me that he does not mix fertilizer such as miracle grow or any other to fertilize his perennial gardens, all he does is in the early spring before the snow melts he sprinkles 5-10-5 all over the areas of the beds.. Is this safe??? Is there another alternative if not to mixing all those buckets of miracle grow.. Thanks

Thanks for your question. I reserve the use of miracle gro for my annuals and for container plantings. Miracle gro is fast acting but goes away quickly. You need to use it every couple of weeks. I agree with your friend about using a granular food although I don’t use 5-10-5 since it is a quickly released food (although it lasts longer than M-Gro) and, being a chemical fertilizer, it can burn the leaves or even the roots if applied too heavily. I prefer gentler, longer lasting foods like Espoma’s Flower-Tone. I also like to get the food into the soil near the plants rather than broadcasting to food all over the surface. On the surface, the food ends up benefiting any weeds as much or more than your garden plants. Phosphorus especially has a hard time percolating into the soil so it needs to be blended into the soil to benefit the plants and to prevent runoff into streams and other waterways. Here’s a link to a video where I demonstrate how I feed my gardens in spring. http://ourgarden.freedomblogging.com/2010/04/23/feeding-our-grass-plants-and-trees/481/ Thanks, Peter Bowden

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Every year my clematis come back and bloom but then start to turn brown and the leaves fall off. Usually from the bottom up. The top of the plants stay the longest. What can I do? Thanks.

What you describe is ‘clematis wilt’, a fungal disease. The disease spores winter over on the old vines but doesn’t affect the root system. Make sure you remove all the old vine from the trellis and put it in the garbage (not your compost bin or brush pile) to get it out of your yard. Start spraying every 10 days with Bonide’s Sulfur Plant Fungicide. Sulfur spray is a preventative fungicide so you need to use it before you see the symptoms. Other than when you’re spraying on the sulfur spray, you should never spray your clematis (or any garden plant for that matter) with water since wet leaves are the perfect place for fungal disease to take hold. If the disease shows up in spite of your efforts with the sulfur spray, cut the clematis right to the ground. This will force it to regrow from the roots which are immune to the disease. Continue to use the sulfur spray as a preventative as the clematis reestablishes itself. Large flowering clematis are more likely to catch the wilt than smaller flowered varieties.

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This is my second question. First, Hello Peter! I didn’t realize that it was YOU who would be responding to my question. I read your column weekly and I’m hooked on all your advise, thanks, you’re a wonder! Now…we have moved into my Grandmother’s home and I’m thrilled to work in her gardens that have been long forgotten. Her Whisteria vine has grown massive, at least 50 feet up the trees and the trunks are enormous! It flowers way up in the tree tops, beautiful lavender/bluish flowers (thought it was lilac) but I’d like to cut it down and start over so I can train it properly and save the trees from being strangled. Will it flower if I cut it down or will I have to wait 15 years? I also found it’s seeds all over the lawn, can I plant them? How long before it flowers? 15 years? As I read online? What should I do? Thanks Peter, for the help! Sue

Wow, that is one out of control wisteria. I’d suggest cutting it back right away to about 4′. This will force it to regrow from the roots so you can save the trees and retrain the wisteria to a more managable size. This is severe pruning and the wisteria won’t flower this year and it may take 3 or 4 years to rebloom. Since the root system is well established it won’t take 15 years to rebloom. I have no direct experience growing wisteria from seed but here’s a tutorial: http://www.ehow.com/how_2214274_grow-wisteria-seeds.html This will be a long, slow process and it will likely be 15 years before you see a flower from a wisteria started from seed. Peter Bowden

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ello peter, i have a hill in the back of the yard that is hard to mow every year . i would like to put some type of plant garden with little maintanace if any that will grow every year any help you could give me? im not much of a gardner so all the info you give me will be helpfull. if you have any pic ideas please send thank you ed

You could grow a ground cover like myrtle on the hill but that will require killing the grass off with Roundup spray before you plant the myrtle. Then you’ll need to keep the weeds at bay while the myrtle grows in. Whatever you plant there will be a project while it gets established which may take a few years. It may be less labor to continue mowing the area.

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My husband and I have an old wire fence and would like to grow vines on it to help with the privacy from our neighbors. Can you tell me what is the fastest growing, sturdy and privacy vine to grow on it? Thank you

A trumpet vine will do the trick. They grow fast but make sure the fence is strong enough to support it. Trumpet vine will provide quick privace and the flowers will attract hummingbirds and butterflies. Yes, we sell trumpet vines.

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I’ve purchased Miracle Gro potting soil for years to pot up my vegetable and herb seedlings. My bags last for a long time, at times, and all I do is roll the tops over to keep the bags shut so they don’t dry out. They’ve been fine. Recently we bought a bag at WalMart, I used some for a few seedlings and closed it back up with a clamp. Two weeks later I opened it up to transplant a few more and the entire top of the soil was molded over heavily. Have you ever seen that?

Well, how about purchasing your soil at Hewitt’s since this is where you go to get answers?  There are two types of Miracle-Gro soils…potting soil which is sterilized and garden soil which just a bag of topsoil with a fancy name and not sterilized.  The garden soil may indeed  have mold spores present and could grow mold as could any bag of topsoil.  Also a bag of sterile potting soil is only sterile until the bag is opened.  Don’t buy a ripped or damaged bag of potting soil (especially if it is being stored outside) since it is no longer sterile.  You pay more for sterile potting soil…make sure you get what you are paying for.

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How do you get rid of Japanesse beetles

There are lot of sprays that will kill Japanese Beetles Sevin, and Eight are sprays that you can use that remain on the leaves and kill the beetles when they eat it.  They are washed off by rain so  need to be reapplied occasionally.  There are also contact killers  that will kill them on contact at the time you spray. Here are some links to products used for killing Japanese Beetle.

 

http://www.bonide.com/products/product.php?category_id=195

http://www.bonide.com/products/category.php?category_id=3&page=1&per=all

http://www.bonide.com/products/product.php?category_id=442

http://www.bonide.com/products/product.php?category_id=196

http://www.bonide.com/products/product.php?category_id=026

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I’m infested with chipmunks there are a lot of holes and plies of dirt. How do I get them to relocate? If possible, I would like not to have them exterminated but I am becoming concerned about the damage they can possibly do to my walk or worse yet – get in between my walls. Or is there someone I could call for service?

Bonide MoleMax granules are effective against all burrowing rodents including chipmunks.  This is a great time to apply it before they settle in for the winter.  You need to apply it every spring and fall to keep them away.

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Whats a good floor plant for an office space

It depends on how much light the area gets but low light plants are usually the best.  Here’s a link to a great list of low light plants for indoors.

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I have a problem with chipmunks and squirrels eating the seeds of sunflowers before they get a chance to sprout and grow. Any suggestions for deterring the critters from getting the seeds before they have a chance to sprout? Thanks, Sue

Sue, I think everybody who has ever planted sunflowers seeds has had the problem of chipmunks, squirrels and crows eating the seeds before they sprout. There are repellents you could spray on the area to discourage the critters but there’s another approach that I prefer. After the seeds are planted, cover the row or area with germinating fabric (aka floating row cover). This light fabric will protect the seed and trap heat and allow water to pass through so the seeds will sprout as quickly as possible. Once the plants are growing, the critters lose interest and you can remove the fabric. If you have some cheesecloth or burlap that could be used as well. The next problem will be when the new seeds form on the sunflower’s flowers at the end of summer. All our critter friends will come right back and eat those seeds before they ripen. Once again your fabric comes to the rescue. Wrap those sunflower heads with the floating row cover or other light cloth and that will keep the chippies and birds from getting at them. You might need a ladder if you grow the larger sunflower types. Germinating fabric/floating row cover fabric is available at Hewitt’s under the name ‘Grass Fast”. You can reuse it from year to year and is also very handy when you want to protect plants from late spring or early fall frosts.

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What is the solution for spider mites on Alberta Spruce and other Evergreens?

The answer that came first tomind was a spray of horticultural oil but I checked the label (always read the label) and find that it can damage the needles when sprayed on evergreens. I’d recommend a spray of Spinosad which is relatively new to the arsenal of insect killers. Here’s a link to more on Spinosad…very interesting stuff! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinosad At Hewitt’s we sell it in a product called ‘Captain Jack’s Dead Bug’. It is a very safe biologically produced spray that gardeners (especially organic gardeners) should know about.

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How do I get rid of gnats in my office plants?

The soil gnats in your houseplants are feeding on a fungus that is growing in the soil. The fungus is feeding on rotting plant material in the soil. The rotting material in the soil is, no doubt, dead rotting roots. The reason you have dead rotting roots in the soil of your office plants is because (like most folks) you’re over estimating the amount of water your plants need. Since you mention that they are ‘office plants’ I’ll assume that there are saucers under them to keep the water from ruining the carpet and floors. It is also a good bet that they get extra water on friday to ‘get them through the weekend’. The plants would rather there were no saucers so excess water can drain away. You should never leave any of your office plants standing in a saucer of water for more than a few minutes. There’s no need to give them extra water if you are going to leave them for the weekend or even a week. . . Step one is to stop watering your plants so much. Plants need far less water than most folks realize. You need to know that plants exchange gasses (breathe) with their root system as well as their leaves. When the soil is totally saturated (standing in a saucer full of water), the plant is drowning much like we would. You will drown about 1/3 to 1/2 of the root system of most houseplants simply by leaving them standing in a saucer of water overnight. Once those roots drown, they are dead forever (and now the fungus has a reason to take hold). A better tactic for watering houseplants is to wait until they are so dry that they are beginning to wilt and then soak them. If water then fills the saucer, wait 10 minutes and then remove any water that remains in the saucer so you won’t drown the plant. A plants roots can get very dry without dying and, when rehydrated, will pop back to life. In other words, you can drown a plant in less than 24 hours but to kill it with dryness will take a couple of weeks to a couple of months depending on the plant. Think of it this way: You could survive a lot longer without a drink of water than you could underwater without any air to breathe. Since you already have the gnats, you’ll need to drench the soil with insecticidal soap (which you can get at Hewitts of course) and repeat after a week or so. That, coupled with your new plan for not overwatering should do the trick. If they persist you’ll need to kill the fungus with a drench of fungicide like Captan. I would hold off on that though to see if your insecticidal soap/new watering habit works. In extreme cases, the plant may need to be repotted after removing all the old soil from the root system. Since this is shocking to the plant, it is a tactic of last resort.

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Every year I buy mums and every year they die on me. I love the way they look, but I don’t have the touch to keep them. I spend too much money and then I’m mad at myself. Is there something else that is hardy and can go in the ground for fall and look nice?

Thanks for your question Linda. First let’s tackle the question why your mums aren’t making it through the winter. First, make sure you are buying ‘Winter Hardy Mums’ There are lots of mums out there these days and the ones you might pick up at the grocery store may not be varieties that are hardy this far north. Go to a real garden center like Hewitts and get your mums there. Even hardy mums want to get into the ground as soon as possible after purchase. Many folks like to leave their mums in the pots for display and then pop then in the ground at the last second before the ground freezes in the fall. This doesn’t give the mum much time to get some roots into its new location and makes it much harder for them to winter over well. Once the flowers have finished, they should be cut off (leave the leaves) to prevent the mum from wasting energy producing seed. If you remove the flowers, that energy will be used to grow roots instead. To get your mums to be low and bushy the following growing season you’ll need to pinch it a couple of times to get it to branch out and look more like it did when you bought it. There is a fact sheet you can pick up at Hewitts that describes this procedure in detail. As far as a substitute for mums I’d suggest hardy asters. Unlike the mum which comes from China, asters are native to North American and there are varieties that grow wild in this area. Fancier cultivated asters have larger blooms that the wild varieties but are just as hardy. You can find a selection of asters at Hewitts along with the mums. It is a personal preference but I prefer asters and have some in my flowerbeds. Give asters a try, I think you’ll enjoy them too.

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What plants will work best in an elementary classroom? One whole side of my room has windows, facing east. Also, school rooms have extreme variation of temperatures during the school year. Thanks

Thanks for your question Bonnie, Your east facing classroom will get a half day of sun at the best. This means that you’ll need to limit your choices to low light plants. Couple that with the wide swings in temperature that classrooms have and you’ll need to only consider durable low light houseplants. African Violets for instance have been crossed off the list. I have some suggestions for a few that should have no trouble with your conditions. Heart-Leaf Philodendron. It is a vining plant most often seen grown in a hanging basket. Your light conditions will suit it. Pothos, A variegated vine that somewhat resembles the well-known heart shaped philodendron except that the leaves are variegated for a splotchy yellow/green look. Asparagus Fern. The foliage does indeed resemble the wispy, feathery foliage of the asparagus we grow in our garden. Also mostly grown in a hanging basket. Peace Lily. Peace lily is will known as the champ of low light conditions. In your setting, low humidity might be an issue so it will enjoy regular misting. Spathipphyllum (another name for the Peace Lily) is one of the most popular house plants due to it’s ability to thrive just about anywhere as long as it is a low light setting. In fact you’ll need to make sure that it is not in direct sunlight in your classroom. Aloe Vera. The healing plant Aloe Vera should also do well. Make sure it gets as much of that morning sun as possible. The gel inside the leaves is great for treating burns and other skin rashes and cuts. These are just a few that come to mind but you should do a search on the internet for ‘low light plants’ to see if there are others that appeal to you. One note though, in your setting you’ll need to make sure that you keep the plants very much on the dry side especially in the winter. Plants only need enough water to replenish what is lost to evaporation. For low light plants the need is very small. During the winter, the days are so short and the room will be so cool at night and on weekends that it will be especially important to keep them on the dry side. It will be tempting to give them “little extra water for the weekend”. Try to avoid this. Plant can tolerate dryness much better than wet conditions. The plant might get wilty from dryness but, once watered< the dry roots and wilty leaves can bounce back much more quickly than if they have been drowned. Think of it this way You could survive much longer without any water to drink than you could underwater without any air to breathe. Peter Bowden

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I purchased our hibiscus from you this summer. It is still blooming. I have been bringing in and out of garage for a few weeks. Should we now put in basement and do we prune back? water?How much light?

“I purchased our hibiscus from you this summer. It is still blooming. I have been bringing in and out of garage for a few weeks. Should we now put in basement and do we prune back? water?How much light?” Yes, it is time for your tropical hibiscus to come inside for the winter. Rather than sending it to the basement for the winter, it would be better to find it as bright a window as you can find for it even if it is in a very cool room. I’d prune it back about 25%. No matter how bright the window, your hibiscus is going to get way less light that it does outside in summer. Water it very sparingly and don’t feed it at all. It will lose leaves and won’t flower much if at all. It will go into a semi dormant stage and will require little care other than very light watering. Sometime in March, it will push out some new growth in response to the lengthening days. You can respond to that with a little extra watering and very light feeding (1/4 strength food like Jack’s Classic or Miracle-Gro) every 4th or 5th watering. As it grows new leaves you can gradually increase the water but never so much that the soil stays moist for more than a few days. In late May, it should be warm enough to put it back outside. At first it will want to go in a shady area as it gets used to increased sunlight. Let it spend a week in a shady area then a week in a brighter area and so on until it is back in the sunny spot where it wants to spend the summer.

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My rhoderdandron does not have any blooms in the summer, why not and what is it lacking?

Rhododendrons only flower once per season. There are a few things that could be preventing yours from flowering. If it is recently planted (within the last 5 years) it may not be well-established enough to flower yet. Plants like rhododendron won’t flower until they have energy to spare…flowering takes a massive amount of energy. To help it get established more quickly I recommend mixing bone meal (phosphorus) into the planting hole. The phosphorus in bone meal stimulates root growth and flower production…both things we want from a new rhododendron. Spring feeding is a must for better flowering (or any flowering in your case). Instead of using an evergreen food like Holly-Tone try Flower-Tone instead. Flower-Tone is a granular food that also will provide phosphorus to help stimulate flowering. To get the Flower-Tone to the roots where it’s needed you should pound holes about 10″ deep in a circle out away from the trunk of the rhodo and full those hole halfway with Flower-Tone. You can use a hammer and pipe to pound the feeding holes. Don’t feed now but in the spring as soon as the ground thaws. Rhododendron make the buts for next year this year so, if there are no buds on your Rhodo now then there will be no flowers in spring. If a Rhodo is planted where there is a lot of drying winter wind (say on the west or north side of the house) they will need a windbreak made of stakes and burlap or, better yet, move then to the east side of the house out of the prevailing winter wind.

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I wanted to plant Myrtle ground cover on a hilly area in the front of my yard, but will the road salt kill it in the winter or prohibit growth for the following year?

A bit of salt won’t harm myrtle but if it is right next to the road and the plowed snow piles up on it all winter, it will likely not make it. Here’s a site that lists salt tolerant many od which we’ll have later in spring. Make sure that the plant you choose is hardy in zone 5 or lower for our area. http://www.bloomindesigns.com/category/wholesale_2public.salt_tolerant/

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Are there any perennials that can be planted in plant boxes?

Any perennials can be planted in window boxes and pots.  The problem is that they won’t survive winter unless the planter boxes or pots are sunk into the ground in fall.  Otherwise the pot or box will repeatedly freeze and thaw and refreeze and rethaw.  All this thawing and refreezing will kill perennials or hardy shrubs and trees planted in containers.  Once they go dormant in the fall and the ground freezes, they need to stay frozen in a state of dormancy until spring.  Besides, perennials only flower for a couple of weeks so aren’t the best option for containers.  Annuals flower continuously all summer long making them a much better choice for window boxes and planters.

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My trumpet vines are invading my lawn. How can I stop it.

Trumpet Vines are a beautiful plant but can be a real problem.  About the only think you can do is to spray the sprouts that pop up in the lawn with a weed killer like Weed Beater Ultra or Bonide Chickweed and Clover Killer.  Avoid Round-up or Kleen-up as they will kill the lawn as well as the errant trumpet vine.  This will knock back the shoots but never eliminate the problem.  Since they are originating as suckers from the original plant, more will always appear.  Regularly mowing the shoots that appear also helps control them but this will be an ongoing battle.

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Garter snake question. I have a covered pile of rocks (1 to 2″) in the back yard, left over from a previous project. We decided to keep them so we could use them for under the slab of a garage we’re putting up in that spot. The problem is that snakes have taken up residence in there. I’m OK with that, but when the machines come in, it won’t be good for the snakes. Anybody have any ideas so that I can both get my garage AND save the snakes? The yard isn’t that big, so yes, it has to go there in that spot. I hope you have some ideas.

You don’t say when the garage is going to be built but I’d suggest moving the rocks elsewhere now so the snakes have to find somewhere else to go so they won’t be injured by a sudden (to them) construction project.  If your construction starts when it is cold, the snakes will be holed up hibernating and won’t escape.  You want to induce them to move before cold weather arrives.

We do sell a snake repellent but I’ve never used it so I can speak to its effectiveness.

 

Also, good for you for caring about the snakes.  They do eat lots of mice and other disease carrying rodents.

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How do I get rid of a woodchuck living under deck/ do you sell Shake Away?

We do sell Shake-Away repellent and it might work.  The best approach is trapping with a Hav-a-hart trap.  Bait the trap with some broccoli…woodchucks love broccoli.

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How do I deter groundhogs from eating my vegetable garden???

A 4′ fence with the bottom 1′ flared outward from the garden at soil level is best.  Otherwise you can try Hot Pepper Wax spray on the plants.  Bonide Mole Max repellent will repel woodchucks but can’t be used in the vegetable garden.  However, applying it into the soil surrounding the vegetable garden can stop the from burrowing in for several weeks.

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Peppers are not flowering

Peppers not flowering is usually due to a couple of things or both.  Peppers need sun….6-7 hours minimum and more is even better.  Also, they need a plant food that provides plenty of Phosphorus (the middle number).  If they are fed with a general purpose food (20-20-20 for instance) or a food high in Nitrogen (the first number), they will produce lots of leaves but not flowers.  Start feeding every other week with a soluble plant food like Jack’s Blossom Booster (10-30-20) and, with enough sun, they should start producing flowers.  Also, when watering, water just the soil below the plant, never spray the plant with water.  Peppers like to get pretty dry in between watering so don’t overdo it.

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Is there anything organic that can be used to deter woodchucks?

Mole-Max will repel them but can’t be used in the vegetable garden.  It can be effective as a barrier around the vegetable garden.  It can be used everywhere else though…the lawn, flowerbeds etc.  Repels-All is a spray or granule that can be applied to all areas and will repel all rodents including woodchucks.

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Some of my Hostas have not broken the surface yet. Should I put preen down now or wait till I can see the plants?

I’d wait a bit until it is warmer.  Preen stops seeds from germinating and it is way too cold for that now.  Late April will be fine.

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I have a large Fatsia Japonica which has become potbound can I transplant it into the garden now or when if not?

Fatsia Japonica isn’t hardy here in USDA zone 5 so, if you plant it outside now, you’ll need to dig it out and pot it up to be brought inside before frost in the fall or lose it.  Perhaps repot it into a larger pot now to spend the summer outside that way.  You could sink that larger pot into the soil for the summer and that would make it easier to bring inside at the end of the growing season.  It is warm enough now (5/20/16) for it to go outside without any danger.

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My roses have chafers. The leaves are all affected from the bottom to the top of the plants. Do I need to cut the plants down? If I only trim the leaves affected the plant will be bare except for the blooms, which have not been affected. Thank you for your help.

No need to cut them all the way down.  You can spray with THIS to kill the beetles.  Trim off the worst of the damaged leaves and feed it with a good rose food like Espoma Rose-Tone according to the directions.  As new growth occurs, you can gradually remove the rest of the damaged foliage.  They will bounce back quickly from this.

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I have a peace Lilly/anthurium plant I’ve had since 2007, it was a gift when my grandfather passed away. It was doing great till about sept it started dying. I think it was the period of heat/humidity. I tried moving the plant to an area with more light (not direct sun), still was dying. I noticed a white mold? On the top of soil, I replaced the top part of soil which didn’t help. I finally cleaned the whole pot and replanted plant in new soil. It still is not coming back to life, I hope there is something I can do to save it. I have a couple of photos I can email you of what it looks like now.

It sounds like you had a mineral buildup on and in the soil which can be mistaken for mold.  Repotting was a good idea.  Check to make sure that, when you repotted, you didn’t bury the stems any deeper than they were previously…the soil level needs to be exactly were it was before repotting.  It is also possible that it is getting overwatered…the soil wants to get fairly dry between watering.  If it has a saucer under it, there should never be water left standing in the saucer.  When you water, any water that drains into the saucer should be removed after no more than a few minutes.  You can send pictures to peterb@hewitts.com if you wish

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Peter – I am interested in installing some sort of water feature on my deck. I have a space that i had prepared to support a 6×7 hot tub, but have since decided that i will probably not use the tub enough to justify the expense. Hence, i am interested in filling the space with plants and a fountain or waterfall-type feature to make that area pretty. any suggestions? are there free-standing pools manufactured so i dont have to cut a hole in the deck?? I am open to suggestions. Thank you for your comments. melissa

Melissa, I have only dabbled in water gardening. I once made an in ground pond in a dug holw with a flexible rubbe liner. The other was a free standing water feature made from two whisky 3 whiskey barrel halves. One sat on the ground and one was inverted on the ground behind the first. The third barrel sat on top of the inverted barrel. The top barrel had a plastic liner with a spout molded into ti that directed the water into the lower barrel that also had a plastic liner. The pump lifted the water to the upper barrel where it cascaded down the spout back to the lower barrel. Something like this could be done on your deck for an easy water feature. We also carry new plastic whiskey barrel halves that will be less expensive that the wood version with liner that I used. For anything larger than that you’ll need to build a strong-walled enclosure for the pond. Water is heavy and will need a super strong enclosure and the deck needs to be well supported. A pond above ground will also freeze solid over winter and expand. This will kill any fish in the pond and may force the enclosure apart. Our Clifton Park store stocks some pumps and liners but you might also contact a local pond store to see what else is available…Eddies Aquarium come to mind for instance.

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We just had a patio installed in our yard. This has sparked the motivation to put in pretty plants to spruce up our very bland yard. Any suggestions on what types of shrubs or flowers would thrive in this area? We do have pine trees, and a high pH level in our yard.

This question doesn’t quite give me enough information to make specific plant suggestions. My best suggestion would be to observe the area noting soil type, orientation (NSEW) and how many hours of direct sun does the area get each day. Draw a little overhead view of them, noting which direction is north etc. Bring your map to Hewitts and then look around the nursery for plants you like and the nurseryperson will be able to make informed suggestions for you.

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I am attempting to get rid of lichen that is growing on a corrugated fiberglass overhang (extends about 10′ off the edge of the roof). There is a tree nearby with branches that extend over the overhang that also has lichen growing on it. What is the appropriate herbicide/fungicide to get rid of the lichen?

Thanks for your question Roberta. The product you are looking for is a spray of potassium based soap. You can find it at Hewitt’s under the name of Safers Moss & Algae Killer. Although lichen isn’t mentioned in the name of the product, it will do the job. It comes in a easy-to-use hose end sprayer so you won’t have to do any mixing. Here’s a web address that you can use to find out all about it: . . . http://www.saferbrand.com/store/garden-care/5324

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I wish to transplant a ferm called Osmunda Cinnamonea. It is currently smushed in a corner of the house in the shade. Whiteflower Farm (from whom I bought it) says it takes full sun to part sun. The American Horticultural Society book for the NE says it takes full shade to part sun. Which is it? If it can take full to part sun, I have many spots where it can be showcased. Does it transplant well? Thanks – Kris

Kris, I’ll come down on the side of the American Horticultural Society on this one…shade to part sun. The sun to avoid with Cinnamon Fern (or any fern) is the hot, infrared afternoon sun. I can see this large fern easily handling a half day of morning sun since early light is much cooler and ultraviolet than afternoon sun. The sunnier the location, the more water it will need. It is likely taht the fern will get larger more quickly in a shadier location. It should do fine with the transplanting but wait until it is dormant before you attempt to move it. As early in spring as you can dig the soil after it thaws would be the best time to transplant it. Give it some room since as you’re probably aware this is a large fern that cab reach 4′ in height at maturity. Thanks for your question Peter Bowden

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How do I winterize my tropicana plants (they are in two big containers). Please help!!

Kathleen, Thanks for your question. Your tropicanna plants are a very colorful type of Canna. Cannas can be grown in containers or planted in the ground. They are NOT however, winter hardy. That means that they will need to be dug up and stored inside over winter. This is actually quite simple. Enjoy your canna as long as you can. Just water it but don’t feed it anymore. This will let it slow down with the season. Once the first frost kills the foliage, lift the tubers from the pot and cut off the dead leaves right down to the tuber. Brush off any excess soil with a wisk broom…don’t spray it with water to clean them…just brush them off lightly. Leave them out on some newspaper to let them dry out so the cut has a chance to scab over. Then place the tubers into a paper bag (don’t use plastic bags..you want the bulbs to ‘breathe’). Now you need to find a nice cool place to put the bulbs for the winter. They want to be cool but they don’t want to freeze. The coolest part on an unheated basement would work. When winter starts to wind down, you can get your cannas going for the next season. In early April, plant the tubers into some smaller pots at the same depth you found them at when you dug them out. You can use smaller pots to get them started to save on space. Once they’re potted, water them in thoroughly to let them know it’s time to grow again. Just keep them very lightly moist so they don’t drown and rot. Place them in the sunniest window you have. No need to feed them yet. In mid-May you can transplant them back into the larger pot and start light feedings with a good soluble food like Jack’s Classic. Late in May move them to a bright but shaded area so they can get used to a little sun. Gradually move them to sunnier and sunnier places until they are acclimated and you’re good to go for another season…have fun!

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How do you get rid of sumac once & for all? I got a rash from it this summer & it was worse than any poison ivy I’ve ever had. Thanks. Carol

Thanks for your question Carol, I’m sorry to hear of your run-in with poison sumac. Just to set the record straight…the sumac are most familiar with is staghorn sumac. This is the sumac we see all along the roadside…it is turning bright red now as we enter autumn. Poison Sumac is actually very uncommon but does grow in this area…usually in damp areas especially near streams, rivers and ponds although it can show up[ just about anywhere. Like the harmless staghorn sumac, poison sumac is a small, woody tree. Here’s a site that illustrates the difference. http://www.poison-sumac.org/ To kill sumac of any kind, I’d suggest a product from Bonide called Stump out Stump and Vine Killer. With great care and wearing gloves, cut the sumac and then use the brush applicator that is attached to the cap to liberally coat the fresh cut with the product. That should do it. As always follow the direction on the label and don’t get it on any desirable plants…this stuff will kill them (roots and all) as well.

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I have a mandevilla plant in a pot on my deck. My friend tells me to just put it in my basement for the winter and it will rebloom next year. Is this true? How do I take care of it during the winter.

Thanks for you question Mary, Mandevilla is a tropical plant as you know. It will probably survive (at least the stems should) if youput it in the basement over winter. The leaveswill all fall off of course. Certainly it would be happier if you can find room near a bright window for it to spend the winter. It will still lose lots of leaves but not all. It won’t need much water either and no plant food. Sometime in Late February or early March you’ll notice that it has started to put out some new shoots in response to the gradually lengthening days. You could then start giving it some plant foo at 1/4 strength to get it going again. By early June it should have lots of new growth and be ready to go outside for the summer. Bring it to a shady location for a week or so so it can get used to the increase in light and gradually move it to brighter and brighter places until it is acclimated. I just noticed that you said it is in a pot on your deck. If that is the case then it has probably already frozen and is already dead. If that is the case then it is not going to come back no matter what you do. Peter Bowden

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Hello there my roomates mother had a outdoor fern hanging basket that we took in for the winter months. Its starting to look a little sad. Or droopy. One leave is also turning brown. I give it water in begining I was doing it every other day and now do it every day. It is by a windwow which I open the blinds for it to get sun. I want to try to keep it alive all winter what can I do. Thanks for your help.

Yikes!!! stop watering so much! The biggest problem houseplants have is with their caregiver’s overwatering. Remember, lower light plants like ferns use very little water. In most cases they’ll only need to be watered anywhere from once a week to once a month. Always check the soil by poking your finger into the soil a couple of inches before you water. If you even think it feels moist wait a few more days and check again. Never leave plants standing in water for more than a few minutes or they will drown. Drowned roots are dead forever and the leaves of the plant will whither in a few days to a few weeks after the roots have been drowned. It is actually better to let the plant get a little limp or wilty before you water to avoid overwatering. Your fern does enjoy high humidity so get a mister bottle and feel free to mist as often as you wish. That will be much better than water every day. Thanks for your question, Peter Bowden

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Hi Peter, I recently bought a tiny evergreen plant from the Saratoga Hewitt’s store. It looks like a ground cover as it has many ‘rootlings’ reaching for the soil. What is it? Care info? Lost 1/2 of it after watering. Did I drown it? Was fantastic. Thanks a bunch! Robin

I’ll have to guess that you bought one of the ‘Frosty Ferns” that we had for sale in December. It is also known as ‘selaginella kraussiana variegatus’ and has more in common with ferns than evergreens. Your “Frosty Fern” will like medium light with no direct sunlight and loves high humidity and soil that is lightly moist all the time. This means that you’ll need to water frequently but lightly. If you have you pot in a saucer make sure that you never let the plants stand in water for more than a few minutes….soggy soil is not the same as lightly moist…if you have done this then you may indeed have drowned your fern. High humidity is difficult in the winter since our homes tend to be dry; especially if you have forced air heat. Misting your fern a couple of times a day can help with the humidity so a spray bottle should be kept handy. Peter B.

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is there any kind of pelletized weed killer to put on a stone driveway

There is no granule or pelletized product for this, only liquids. Kleen-up and Round-up are both sprays that will kill anything that it gets sprayed on be it weeds, grass or your prized rose so great care must be taken and never spray on a rainy day. Any seeds that blow into the area will sprout and grow. Then there’s Bonide’s Total Vegetation that kills everything and stays in the soil preventing any plant growth for up to a year. This product gets put on with a watering can as a soil drench. The directions for this must be read and followed to the letter since, if it leeches beyond the area of application it can kill trees and other large plants if it comes in contact with their roots. Use this product with great caution.

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What can I do to keep my neighbor’s chickens from digging up my flower beds without putting up fencing?

There is no good answer except a fence although it would seem that that should be your neighbor’s responsibility, not yours.

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Hi, I’d like to know which evergreen vines I can plant that will produce a fairly good screen affect, grow rapidly and produce berries for my lovely backyard birds. I’d like to have evergreen varieties so I’ll have the leaves all winter. Zone 5 please. I will also mix some annual vines as well. Any suggestions? Much appreciated! Thanks, Sue

I’m not aware of any evergreen vines that produce berries for birds. In fact there are few evergreen vines that can survive our winters. I think the best you can hope for is growing cardinal vines to attract hummingbirds. There is also Moonflower vine, a member of themorrning glory family that blooms at night and can attrach nocturnal moths like the giabt Luna Moth. Sorry I cn’t help but there nothing for zone 5 that will fulfill your need.

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i have about 4 tomato plants. that have leaves at the botom that are turning ayellowish color. what does that mean?

It isn’t uncommon for the first leaves on a tomato to turn yellow and fall off as the upper plants takes over and starts to shade the base of the plant. If the new growth looks OK without spotting and such then all is probably well. The best way to avoid fungal diseases on your tomatoes is to keeps them as dry and warm as possible. This means watering only when necessary and especially keeping the water off the leaves as much as possible. NEVER SPRAY YOUR PLANTS WITH WATER! It is bad enough that the rain wets the leaves but you shouldn’t add to the problem by spray watering. Get a watering wand so you can direct the water into the soil at the base of the plant without getting the leaves and flowers wet

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Peter, HELP! We have red spider mites everywhere! We have a stone patio with walls and pillars the length of the back of the house (faces SE direction). The tiny red mites have spread to the siding of the house and over the patio furniture, and are even crawling on the patio door frame. They try to come into the living area if we leave the patio door open with the screen for fresh air and breeze. What do you recommend we use to get rid of these annoying insescts?

The good news is that this will be a temporary situation. It sounds to me like you have clover mites invading the area probably coming from the lawn. They enjoy all the dampness and it sounds like you have a population explosion this year. You can get Bonide Eight in the disposable hose end sprayer to spray the stone patio but make sure to test it on a small area of paint before spraying large painted surfaces to make sure it won’t damage the paint. If they get inside you’ll want to vacuum them up since they can stain is squashed. They will subside within a week or so even if you don’t spray. This may happen every few years or so. Here’s a link to more information. http://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/clovermites312.shtml

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Do you sell top soil loose or in bags? I need about 45 cubic feet of soil for my garden.

We sell bagged topsoil.  Each bag is about 1/2 cubic ft. so you’d need 90 bags.

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Thistles have taken over an area in my yard, they get HUGE, how can I get rid of them?

Bonide Weed Beater Ultra can killer thistle.  Wait until nigh time temperatures are 50 degrees or above (usually mid-May to mid-June).  Spray the leave of the thistles so they are thoroughly wet…the weed killer is absorbed through the leaves.  Apply when rain is not expected for at leas 48 hours..the longer the weed killer is in contact with the leaves the better it will work.  Kill them before they produce seeds.

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Are Purple rain flowers annuals?

There a several flowers called Purple Rain  The salvia know by that name is hardy to USDA zone 3 so it is plentry hardy here in zone 5.  Here’s more on that plant.

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do you carry true peppermint

If by “true peppermint” you mean mentha piperita, then yes.  It is in the 4″ Gilberties herb selection and the tag says “Mint White Peppermint”.  This was found at the Glenville Hewitt’s .  The stores get the same selection but some might have sold out sooner and not have gotten refilled yet.  It might be a good idea to call the Hewitt’s nearest you to check before you make the drive.  You can go here and click on the map for the store locations and phone #s.

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I just purchased a “Knock Out” rose bush at your Queensbury store and when I got it home discovered that it is for zones 5-11. We are in zone 4. My question is do you think it will winter over alright if I mulch and cover it well? I would appreciate any advise you can give. Thank you.

The USDA hardiness zone map currently show most of Queensbury as Zone 5a.  Click on the link and see if you can find you exact location.  FYI, the hardiness zones were redrawn  few years ago and everyone was moved to warmer zone designations based on more recent climate data.  In either case, the Knockout will benefit from some winter protection since you are on the edge of their hardiness range.

 

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I am trying to eradicate Japanese Bamboo from my yard. I covered the area with tarps, pool cover, etc., for 5 years. Everything died but the bamboo, in fact, it crept out from underneath the tarps and has actually spread. Any suggestions? Do I need to dig up my whole yard?

You can try covering the area and a bit outside the surrounding area with clear plastic sealed to the ground with boards or rocks around the edges.  It will get so hot under there (greenhouse effect) that it will overheat the plants basically steaming them to death.  This method works best when it is very hot and sunny outside already.  It is important that the plastic be sealed to the ground all the way around to trap all the heat.

 

If this fails (it usually doesn’t if it is hot and sunny enough) then you’ll have to resort to a soil sterilizing chemical like Bonide total.  This is a soil drench and will kill any plant it comes in contact with the roots of.  It needs to be used with EXTREME caution since it can leach into the soil and kill desirable plants, shrubs and tree nearby.

 

 

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to speed germination, will liquid miracle-gro be of any help?

No, it is time, warmth and moisture that determine the speed of germination.

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my white clematis vine (I bought at Hewitts) end of last yr. bloomed in early June, has lots of green vine and no sign of any more blooms. I tested my soil, high in ph and low in PP&N. What can I do or add to soil to make it continue to bloom all summer? Thank you.

Clematis aren’t continuous bloomers.  Sometimes you can get a second round of flowers by cutting it back slightly (removing spent flowers that are forming seed pods).  Yould should also feed your clematis with Flower-Tone plants food as soon as the ground thaws in spring and again about 8 weeks later.  This will give it extra energy for stronger blooming potential.  Th pH will gradually come down as long as you don’t add lime to the area.

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How can I get rid of grubs for good. I put out beer for them which they love, but this does not get rid of them permently. Thanks, Christine

Beer is used to attract slugs so, if that’s your question then there is a better slug killer that is save to use around animals and food crops There’s no way to get rid of slugs (or grubs) forever but you can control them quickly. HERE’S A LINK TO A BLOG POST ALL ABOUT THAT. 

 

If you were asking about lawn grubs the HERE’S a blog post all about that.

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smudge pots for mosquitios what do they look like

HERE’S what mine look like.  Basically like a Tiki Torch but lower.

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Short of pulling out a lot of crabgrass invading my pachysandra, is their a product to apply that will not kill the ground over?

Anything you spray to kill the crabgrass will also kill the pachy.  The best you can do is apply Preen or Corn Gluten to prevent more seeds from sprouting once you have it all weeded.

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A co-worker recently gave me a sunflower plant as a gift and I keep it in my office. I have had it 1 week today. Last week it was doing well and I come in today and the leaves are all blotchy and spotted. I water it every 3 days. Any ideas of what it could be? The flowers are still blooming. Thank you.

It sounds like it is probably drowning.  Rather than watering it on a schedule, feel the soil and, if it feeld moist, wait a couple of days and feel it again.  When it feels dry a couple of inches down, give it a little water but don’t soak it.  Plants drown much more quickly than they die from dryness.  Honestly, a sunflower needs full sun all day to survive and thrive.  Inside the best you can do is enjoy it…it is more like a cut flower.  Offices need low light plants and sunflowers aren’t.

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When is the best time of the year to divide hostas?Anthing special to do when replanting?Thanks so much for your help.

The best time is in fall or early spring while the plants are dormant or going dormant.  HERE’S a link all about dividing hosta.  This was from last year…now I’d suggest adding Bio-Tone instead of Bone Meal…it’s like supercharged bone meal.

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Why is my vine plant dieing

Probably drowning…let the soil dry more between watering.

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I have a Christmas cactus and I need to take some cuttings to share with some friends. It really is too big for my hanging pot{12 inch}. Can I use commercial cactus soil for rooting? Thank you.

Christmas cactus are an epiphytes (grow in trees) so, while they are a type of cactus, they don’t grow in a sand, desert type soil.  Regular potting soil or even orchid soil would be more appropriate.  Simply break odd some sections, let them air dry for an hour  and slip them into the soil.  Lightly moisten the soil.  Don’t keep the soil wet all the time.  Wet it well then let it get dry between wettings. Christmas Cacti root very easily.

 

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After using a flea dogger in your home, do I have to have my furniture cleaned before using it again?

No, no need to have all the furniture shampooed.  Make sue to clean all tables, countertops and other surfaces that may come in contact with food.

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we have fungus gnats in our office. We just had a pest control company here and told us there is really nothing you can do about them except get rid of all your office plants or re-pot them with new soil. We have a fungicide spray, which I guess if used on a regular basis might work

Fungus gnats do feed of fungal growth in the soil of plants.  Their presence usually is a clue that you’re keeping you plants too moist.  Let your plant get very dry between watering and NEVER let water stand in the saucers below the pots for more than a few minutes.  You want to water heavily then let the plants get nearly bone dry before watering them again.  Let them start to wilt before you soak them again.  Drowning is the #1 cause of houseplant death.  As the days get shorter and the windows are closed for the winter, plants inside will need a tiny fraction of the water they’ll use during the long days of summer.  Back off on the watering and stop feeding.

 

You should go to Hewitts and get some systemic insecticide for houseplants.  It will kill any insects in the soil then grow up into the plants and kill any insects that are attacking the plants.

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How to care for fresh cut roses.

Strip off any bruised petals and most of the leaves from the bottom of the stem.   make a fresh cut at the bottom of the stem and place into water right away.  Re-cut and change the water every couple of days.

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how do i take care of norfolk pine tree in house in pot?

Make sure it is in a pot with drainage holes to let the water out.  Never let the pot stand in water.  Any water that doesn’t soak into the soil after 5 minutes should be drained away to prevent drowning.  Norfolk Island Pines like a very bright location so place it in the sunniest window you have.  Don’t feed during November through February.  Begin light feedings in early March about once every 3 weeks.  It can go outside for the summer and can be fed normally one a month.

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I have a LOT of bamboo around my business property. How can I get rid of it for good?

I’ll assume that it is Japanese Knotweed and not actually bamboo.  This is a difficult plant to get rid of.  it will require cutting and spraying with Round-Up.  HERE’S a link that describes the process.  Constant vigilance and re-treating will be necessary since it is so difficult to control.

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Please help. I have this mass of tiny black bugs near my pool where there is gravel. I tried washing them away and it sounds crazy but its like their waterproof. They are still alive and on top of the water. It looks like someone sprayed black paint???what can I do?

Hard t say without seeing it but it sounds like soil gnats that feed on mold that grows in the soil below the gravel.  A good contact killer sprayed on the gravel will kill the adults.  They will subside on their own however as the soil dries out.

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Listened to Peter today talking about hummingbirds. I got rid of the pesky ants can he tell me how to rid the feeder of bees bothering the hummingbirds?

You need to purchase a hummingbird feeder with bee guards around the feeding ports to keep the bees from getting at the nectar.

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Hi is there a digital version of the job application or would I need to stop by the store

You should stop by the store you’re actually interested in working at…meet the manager and make a good impression…much easier in person.

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how to get rid of Japanese knot weed

Be prepared for a long battle.  HERE’S a link to one method of control.  HERE’S another link on how to use tarps to wipe it out.    Best of luck.

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The weather (cold or hot, wet or dry) has never bothered my sturdy ground cover before – I don’t know name but like the ones at Disney where they trim to look like Disney characters – now, it’s all dry underneath and shedding? Is something wrong? I treated it with some osmocote but has only made it grow well in past?!

I have no idea what plant you might have but we just hard a very cold (coldest February since 1934) ant it was rough on a lot of plants.  Then we hit the dry spell that just now id ending (I hope).  Feed as you usually do and you could even use some Mir-Acid (I’m assuming it is an evergreen plant) diluted as per the direction and wash that over the plant as a foliar feed.  Do that twice a week or so apart but stop in hot weather.  That should help them recover.

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i have blondie moss max ready to spray that attaches to a garden hose. can i dilute it and use with my pump sprayer and if so what is the mix of water/mossmax

I have no idea what the dilution rate would be.  How about just filling up the tank sprayer with the hose end moss max applicator.  That way you know it is all diluted as it should be.

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Hi, I live in Saratoga Springs, and I am looking for a fast-growing ground cover for a shady hillside. Any suggestions? Thank you.

Baltic Ivy, English Ivy, Myrtle (aka periwinkle) and Lamium.  Also Pachysandra although it isn’t as quick to spread as the others.

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How do I kill cattails?

This isn’t something I have any direct experience with so I will refer you to this link:

http://ohioline.osu.edu/a-fact/0011.html

 

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Do you sell horticulture oil??Do you sell golden eunimus shrub ??

Yes, we sell gold euonymus plants and also horticultural oil insect control.

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Any recommended yard sprays to eliminate fleas?

While now a spray but a granule Bonide Ant, Flea and Tick Killer will do the job.  In a spray, we have Sevin which will kill ticks as well as other garden pests.  Always be sure to read and follow the directions on the product’s label.

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Where can I buy containers with hooks so I can attach them to my railings in front of my house?

We stock railing brackets that can hold pots and window boxes.  We also sell pots that have a groove in the bottom to fit over a 2X4 or 2X6.

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I recently have discovered some type of thing growing in my flower garden. It has a tube type thing deep orange near top that graduates to a cream color. At the end in ground it has a white egg. The flies are covering the top in droves and it almost smells fishy. Any suggestions how to get rid of it or what it is???

It is a stinkhorn fungus taking advantage of the wet and hot weather to “flower”.  You can get rid of it by putting on some disposable gloves and scooping it unto a garbage bag and throwing it out.  It may make another appearance in future years when conditions are exactly right for it again.   It is harmless other than the stench.

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We have healthy flowers and plants, using Miacle Gro per their directions, yet we never have HUGE plants like we see at Saratoga Race Track, and other public areas. Are those fed each time they are watered, or some other reasons?

Miracle Gro is OK but Jacks’ Blossom Booster is better for more flowers.  Use it every 2 weeks.   No matter what you use, you’ll never be able to duplicate the look they get at the track.  Those planters are started very early and grown along all winter and spring in greenhouses and then brought out in summer a month or so before the track opens.  They are lavished with care and regular feeding throughout the growing season as well.  Without large greenhouses, you’ll never match their displays…just something else that is special about Saratoga.

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Will mums return next year

They will if they are hardy mums like those we sell this time of year.  More here:  http://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/chinese-chrysanthemums-or-all-american-asters/6457/

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I am looking to have approx. a 100 yds of fill delivered to my camp in lake George. Is this something you do? Billy

We do not deliver bulk soil.  I’d suggest Saratoga Sod for this…more information on that HERE.

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Plants and vegetation die after I applied scotts texas deluxe balck mulch in late summer any one experience something similar?

Mulch, any mulch, can kill plants if the mulch is piled up against the stemes and trunks of plants…even large ones.  Here’s a quote from the info sheet on that product (which Hewitt’s does not sell by the way).

 

“Where to Use:

Use Scotts Texas Select Classic Black Mulch around trees, shrubs, flowers or vegetables

    • Leave several inches of space between the mulch and tree trunks, house foundations or other wood structures
  • Where Not to Use:
    • Do not apply around underdeveloped plants, before flower and vegetable seeds have germinated, directly against tree trunks or within several inches of house foundations or other wood structures

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Do you sell organic lavender seeds or plants in you Latham or Glenville locations? Also looking for clear, plastic ornament balls, that can be stuffed? I hope to make terrariums inside them.

The only seed company that has arrived is Burpee…check with your local Hewitts in about 3 weeks to see if there is lavender among the organic selection.

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Will applying Niban-fg to orchids and amaryllis cause a problem? trying to get rid of silverfish

I would not apply Niban to the soil of the plants….it is very acidic and will likely kill them.  Diatomaceous earth would be a better option.   HERE’S a link to more on DE.

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I am looking for a native flowing vine to plant along a chain link fence to cover the fence but will do minimum damage to the fence.Any suggestions.I enjoyed your presentation at the flower & garden show today.peter m

There aren’t too many flowering vines to choose from Virgin’s Bower Clematis is one but only flowers late in the season.  While not native, there are other ornamental Clematis varieties that would flower during summer with stunning flowers.

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Peter are the tubers on the sweet potato ornamental vine edible

They are but the flavor isn’t so great from what I gather…never tried them myself

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Hi my wife recently purchased some Camellia japonic plants in florida can you give me any advice on planting them. Will they survive the NY weather in the winter or will I have to move them inside?

Camillia japonica is only hardy to USDA zone 7 so it will never want to a freeze or even frost.  We are zone 5 here in the Capital Region.  You’ll have to grow them in containers and move them inside to a sunny, warm place in the house.  Since they are large plants, this will take up a good bit of space.   HERE’S a link to an article that talks about growing them in containers.  I was they were winter hardy here but, if they were, you’d see them everywhere.

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I have an evergreen bush in a bed with perennials. how do I fertilize this bed?

Feed the perennials with Flower-tone and the evergreen with Holly-tone.  HERE’S a link all about spring feeding in which I feed a Jap. Maple among the perennials.

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I need to repot a Gerbera daisy plant. What kind of potting soil?

I like Espoma Potting soil but any good potting soil will do.  Make sure it is potting soil not garden soil.  Potting soil is sterilized so there will be no weed seeds, garden soil is not.

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trying to find where I can buy periwinkle ground cover for side of lawn where thereis eroding. Can you tell me where I can buy periwinkle from whom you wouldrecommend?

Later in April or early May, we will have periwinkle.  It comes in “1/2 flats” of about 20 small clumps that you’ll plant about 1′ apart.

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My New Guinea Impatients were doing great in two pots that I bought from the farmers market as hanging baskets and put them as is in pots which did not have a hole. Yesterday I saw them all wilted. Cd this be due to the fact that the pots I immersed the hanging basket into did not have a hole to drain the excess water.? Also do you think it will come back if I take out the pot from the pot that does not have a hole in it. Right now the plant looks badly wilted.

Drowning is a possibility…they may come back if you get them out of those pots.  Another possibility is that you piled up soil around the stems when you repotted them.  They’ll also suffer from the act of transplanting as well since the roots are getting disturbed.  It is likely a combination of all three factors.

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where can i see what outside planters you carry on line

Sorry, you will have to visit the garden center to see them.

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I have a new stone wal l that is totally filled in behind it, like a retaining wall. I need some ideas of what to plant on top. Laurie Baker. baker.dent@gmail.com

Depending on the light available you could use sedum, creeping phlox, rug junipers, carpet roses, hardy periwinkle vine, or English ivy, even clematis.  Drop by the garden center and look at ground covers and vining perennials and shrubs.

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I left my Phalaenopsis in the hot car for 4 hours. The petals are flopping and sad. Any suggestions ?

Not good…keep an eye on it for new growth but the recovery, if there is one, will take months.

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What is the best potting soil to buy that does not contain gnats and fungus. I purchased MiracleGro twice and had to throw all the plants out because they became infested with gnats. If there is no specific brand, what can I add to the soil to insure that I will not get gnats. I have all herb plants in a windowbox. Thanks!

Make sure that you are buying “Potting Soil” and not “Garden Soil”  Miracle-Gro sells both.  “Potting Soil” is sterile…heated to the point that insects, their eggs and seeds and fungi spores don’t survive.  It is also usually lightened with additive like Perlite and/or vermiculite to make it drain better for use in containers.  “Garden Soil” is just a bag of untreated dirt so there may be (and likely will be) mold spores weed seeds and even insect eggs.  “Garden Soil” is usually cheaper and many people don’t know the difference so they buy it instead of “Potting Soil”.  Spend the extra and get the real thing.  I prefer Espoma organic potting soil.  Make sure when you get real potting soil that it is dry with maybe a hint of moisture.  If it is soggy wet from being stored outside, the package has been compromised…pick another dry bag to buy.

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Our ornamental miscanthus giganteus grass was blown down flat onto the ground after a severe rain storm. Will it pop back up again? Is there anything that I can to to help it stand back up?

It should pop up as it dries out and warms up.  You could get a ring-support like those used to support peonies (often called “peony rings”) to help it out.

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Peter I have flying insects on one one my house plants, which has leaves like a umbrella. I have bought a insect spray with a soap in it, this is not working. Do you have any other suggestions, as I do not want them to spread to my other house plants.Thank you Diane

Insecticidal soap will kill them but you have to spray VERY thoroughly and you have to commit to 3 thorough sprayings a week apart.  The insecticidal soap spray will kill the adult insects but no the eggs that have left behind.  The second spraying is to kill the insects that hatched after you sprayed and, hopefully, before thy also lay eggs.  The third spraying is to insure that you haven’t missed any with the first two sprayings.  If the sprayings aren’t thorough enough or too long in between, you’ll never be rid of them.  When you spray, you nee to make sure the spray has coated the entire plant…every square inch.  Many times people miss the undersides of the of the leaves.

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I have moss growing between the pavers on my patio. Can you recommend something to kill the moss without me having to scrape the bricks? I am seventy with virtigo and failing knees….Scraping on my hands and knees is not an option.

You can spray it with white vinegar with a little dishwashing liquid to kill it. Be careful not to get the spray on any other plants though as it will burn them as well.  Don’t spray on a windy day so the spray doesn’t blow around.

 

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I want to repot a very large night blooming cereus to a larger container. I’m not sure what type of soil to add to soil to add that will benefit this plant. I’m looking for suggestions, thank you. Robert Weisheit email rweisheit@verizon.net

These night blooming cacti actually have a very small root system so don’t jump to a much larger pot.  The soil needs to drain and dry quickly so a Cactus soil would make sense.  You can add clean sand to regular potting soil at a ration of 1/3 sand to 2/3 soil.  The sand also has weight to help hold the top heavy cactus upright.

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My knock out roses are dropy from the hot weather do they need more watering then twice a week?

Give them a good soil soaking every few days and they should be fine.  Don’t spray water which wets the leaves and weaken the plant and promotes fungal diseases.  A slow trickle for a half hour at the base of the rose should do the job.

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I’m trying to arrange plants for landscaping around my home and I’m not very experienced.I have a southern exposure which gets good sun, eastern exposure with morning sun, and western exposure with late afternoon sun – so I think I would call them partial sun/shade. I want to put what I’ve known to be called “Roses of Sharon” plant/tree in the corners of the south east and south west corners, but I can’t find their real name. Can you help me with that? Also, if you have any suggestions for perennials for me in these types of exposure I’d love that! Also looking for some conifer bushes to create some green during the winter. I live up here in Saratoga county in Galway. I will be out to your store tomorrow to see what you have in stock. Thank you! Terri Klausner

Rose of Sharon is AKA Althea.  The east side is going to require shade loving plants, the south side will need full sun plants and the west side plants for “sun” or sun to part shade.  I like Weeping Alaskan Cedar for an evergreen but tastes vary.  Since you are headed out this weekend, I’d suggest that you go to the Wilton Hewitts and ask for Chris, Kevin or Ed.  If you can get some pictures on your phone or digital camera to show them, they can show you all your options.  They have a very nice selection of shade perennials at that store that the others don’t have…often a great option.

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Need 12″ diam, by 22″ high decorative object to cover my drilled well top. Do you have a bird bath or other device? brucemart@aol,com

The only thing we have large enough is a wire obelisk but you can see through them. They are usually used to grow a vine on.  None of our bird baths are large enough diameter to fit.

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Most of my tomato plants look good. But some are spindly. Most are Italian plumbtype that have fruit growing. I don’t think the plant will hold up the tomatoes. I have added tomato tone a few days ago. Do you you that’s OK?

The feeding is fine…good timing in fact.  Remember that tomatoes are vines so they are never able to support themselves,  This is why people use stakes and tomato cages to support them.

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Do you sell Hummingbird feeders

Yes, we have a nice selection.

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what is the name of a weed that grows6-10 ft tall and has pale pink blooms that turn to white fluff and blows in the wind like dandelions

It sounds like Joe Pye Weed…a native wildflower that was named after the Indian that showed early colonists how to harvest the roots in winter to eat…which kept them from starving.  HERE’S A LINK to more on this interesting plant.

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Hi,I’m looking to purchase Bulb Dust for my Gladiola and Croccosmia Bulbs for the winter. All my local garden nurseries do not carry it-I’ve tried. Can you Help PLEASE?Many thanks,Annamarie Kaczmareklottie.kaczmarek@gmail.com

Our Glenville and Wilton stores are showing sulfur dust in a 1 lb shaker can that you can use for dusting your bulbs.

You might want to call to verify before to make sure they still have it on the shelves before you make the drive.

 

Wilton 580-1205

Glenville 399-1703

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This past August 2016 I planted 2 English Lavender ‘hidcote’ plants. Now that the colder weather is coming, do I cut them back for the colder months or leave them as they are? They have been doing well thus far. I live in zone 5, the Ph of the soil was tested and is good; there has been good drainage as well. They have been receiving 6-8 hours of sunlight daily.

You could cut it back about 1/3 so you have some fragrant foliage to play with.  Once it gets very cold after Christmas or so, you could cover it with boughs from discarded Christmas trees to protect it from dry winter wind.  If is a snowy winter, you can cover it with snow to protects it.

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Can you reuse mixed fungicide

If it is a mineral fungicide like copper or sulfur it would be OK.  A chemical or biological fungicide would probably have lost effectiveness after being diluted and left.

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Why have two oh my African Violet’s stopped blooming while a third is in full bloom? All three are in the same window and receive the same care. Thank you.

Violets will bloom as long as they have the extra energy to do so.  The one violet will need some time to build up some energy to resume flowering…perhaps this is due to the shortening of the days as we head for winter..  Here’s a link to a page from the African Violet Society that should help you.  http://www.avsa.org/faq-blooming

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Hi, can I keep a potted Mum going inside for the Winter? I brought it in so it wouldn’t freeze already. If yes, how do I care for it? Thank you.

You can but it will need lots of sun and even supplemental light.  Cut it back about 2/3 and water lightly.  It will get leggy is it doesn’t get enough light.  Plant it outside in mid-late May.  It won’t flower again until late summer or early fall.

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Im wondering how much the a frame wood protectors are the tallest ones?????

The largest we have is 7′ tall by 2′ wide.  They are on sale right now (11/1) for $63.99 (Reg $74).  Supply is limited on this size so get them right away before they are gone.

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Does Hewitts sell Gnatrol wdg? Can it be used on indoor plants? Ehat do you recommend to get rid of Fungus gnats.

We do not sell Gnatrol wdg.  I’d suggest Bonide Bon-Neem II.  The pyrethrin and neem oil will knock out the gnats with 3 thorough sprayings (including drenching the surface of the soil) a week apart.  Soil fungus gnats are usually a clue that you are keeping the plants too damp…they don’t need much watering in winter.

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Aspidestra been healthy now has brown patches round top of leaves please advice

Most likely it is getting too much water and the soil is staying too damp for too long.  This can drown roots and browning leaf tips is a classic symptom.  During the short days of winter, houseplants need a tiny fraction of the water they need during the longer, sunnier days of summer.  let the soil get quite dry between waterings and then water sparingly.  never leave it standing in a saucer of water.  Here’s a link to a page that may be of help.

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Consequences if red spider lilies are moved in march

If they are dug up and moved while in the spring while they are leafed out, the shock will likely kill them.  At the very least, you would lose the flowers that appear in late summer/early fall.  They are best moved after the foliage finished storing energy in the bulb and turns yellow…general in late April.  More on them here:  http://www.bulbhunter.com/2010/09/23/red-spider-lily-buzz-lycoris-radiata/

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are Dracaena and Christmas cactus compatible in the same container.

Since the watering requirements for the dracaena are greater than the Christmas cactus would appreciate, they would not be the best companions.  A yucca would be a better companion for the Christmas cactus.

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My stargazer Lily came from a floral shop and it had balbs with alot of gree leaves. Within two weeks everything fell off. The flowers open and dropped. Thebleaves ar e all gone. Its just a naked stick in the ground. It gets sunlight but no directly and just enough water. Ate these plants seasonal? I dtay in south afrika. Thank you. Yolanda

Stargazer lilies flower just once per year during early to mid summer then they go dormant….which it sounds like it is doing now.  It will return in a year and provide another show for you…probably with 2-3 stems of flowers rather than just the one.

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Is bonide weed beater complete granules hazardous to dogs? When would I be able to allow my dogs in backyard after application?

Yes, it can be hazardous to dogs.  Make sure to keep the dogs off the area during and after the treated area for several days after.  One the area has been thoroughly watered with an inch of water and has dried, the active ingredient will be off the surface where it can be absorbed through the skin of the feet of the dogs and other animals.  HERE’S a link to the product’s label.  ALWAYS read and follow the directions and prcautions when using this or any other garden product.

 

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i have a chain linked fence in my yard and rabbits keep coming in. this morning my dogs chased the rabbits around the yard and one of the rabbits got stuck in the fence trying to get out. it finally freed itself. what is the best thing to get to deter the rabbits from coming into my yard?

The use of a good Rabbit Repellent will make you yard unattractive to them.  Start using it as soon as the snow melts in spring and they will lose interest in your yard.  Pay attention to applying it along the fence line so they never bother to enter.  The addition of a small mesh fencing along the bottom of your chain link fence will also help.

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Mỹ split leaf philodendrons leaves are blackening and some are soggy. how to fix

It is probably one of two things…it got too cold.  Anything below 60° F and they aren’t happy and can develop blackening leave.  More likely is that you are keep it too moist.  You can and should not water until the soil is dry right to the bottom of the pot.  Always check the soil with a moisture meter or by poking your finger as deep in the soil as you can.  If you even think it felt damp, wait a few days and check again.  Overwatering is the #1 cause of houseplant deaths.

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I live on a 2 acre pond and have a problem with geese coming from the pond onto my lawn and making a mess. I thought I could plant large ornamental grasses where the water meets my lawn to prevent the geese from walking onto my lawn. What type of ornamental grass would be best? I cannot annually prune the grass to the ground since the geese are active this time of year before new growth occurs. I wish to protect about 300′ so the solution needs to be reasonably priced.

Hardy grasses may work but it will not help this spring Miscanthus is a family of grasses that are generally available.  None of the grasses are particularly inexpensive though so blocking 300′ of shoreline will set you back a bit.  Here’s a list of grasses for USDA zone 5 you could choose from.   If you live in a warmer zone, there may be other options.

 

Perhaps pussy willows plants would be a more economical  alternative.  If you can poke some holes along the shoreline and get some pussy willow cutting and bury them a few inches right away, they will root easily and , in a few years you’ll have them as a barrier.

 

Naturally the presence of a dog will dissuade them and there are other methods as well.  HERE’s a link to more on the various methods of goose controls.

 

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How do you kill toxic Cane Frogs?

This isn’t a problem we have here since it is too cold here in NY for them to survive winter.  I’ll have to refer you to the Google results HERE.  it looks like a tough problem to solve.

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How do i get rid of moles in my yard? I have tried the trap that spears them, also Mole Max. I have a beautiful yard with no grubs but lots of earthworms. Help! The neighbors probably would not like it if I used dynamite. Lol

MoleMax is still your best bet.  You can drive them out in spring but young moles will find your yard late in the season after the MoleMax wears off and set up their territory…usually unnoticed until spring.  To prevent this, a late season application of MoleMax is a good idea.  More on that HERE.

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do you deliver?

Most o the stores have someone who can deliver for a fee.  Contact the store closest to you to determine the delivery fee.

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I purchased 3 roses there on 15-May-2017: 1 Veteran’s Honor #3, 1 D.A. Rose Windemere #3, 1 Summer Love #3 and a bag of Rose Tone. These were purchased for a new Rose Garden I had prepared. The shrubs were blooming on the day planted and were good for 1 week but then leaves got white spots and some yellowing. The stems are weak and limp. I kept them watered and they have good drainage. The Veteran’s Honor only had one bloom when purchased and no other buds have even begun to form. The roses are on East side of house with at least 6 hours of sun. My $100 rose garden is very sad looking. Any suggestions? Thank you.

6 hours of sun is barely enough for roses. In addition, it has been very cool and wet and roses love warm sun and heat…everyone’s roses are struggling this year so far.  Trim off any spent flowers to prevent the rose from wasting energy producing seeds..  This will stimulate the rose to try and grow new buds and flowers.  Make sure you’re not watering too much…the soil just needs to be moist and they can get fairly dry between waterings.  With all the rain we’ve been having, they shouldn’t be needing much additional watering.  Never spray the plants when you do find the need to water.  Direct the water to the soil below…wetting the leaves promotes fungal diseases which roses are prone to.  I’d cut off any of the leaves that have the white spots which is probably powdery mildew…one of the fungal diseases you can expect to see on roses during a wet year or if they are regularly sprayed with water from a hose.  Neem oil organic spray  is great at controlling fungal diseases and insects  so you might look into that.  Remember “dry leaves are happy leaves” which is true for all plants but especially roses.

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Hello!We just bought $400 worth of various plants/flowers from the Maple Ave location in Saratoga and now looking at the forecast for the week has us so worries about the cold weather ahead – on Wednesday it dips to 37 degrees!! Will tbe plants survive this and can I plant them or should we bring them all for this week even though they wouldn’t have the amount of light they would get outside… thank you in advance!My email address:

Any hardy shrubs trees and perennials can be planted without concern. Tender annuals and vegetables should wait to go in until temperatures rebound.  You can move your tender plants in for the night then out the next day to get some light once the day warms up a bit.  Generally we wait to plant tender annuals in your area until the second or third week in May depending on the forecast.

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I don’t know what kind of bug I have in my yard but when I’m pulling up weeds out come thousands of small flea type bugs but I’m not sure they’re fleas. I live in the upper desert.

We’re in New York so I’m not to familiar with insect pests of the high desert.  It may be that you have Sand Fleas  but, with out see one it is just an educated guess.  I’d suggest capturing some and brining them to a local garden center for a more accurate ID.

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How do I get rid of Bamboo? I’ve tried digging up the roots each year, but it still comes back.

You’ll need to continue to do what you are doing or you can soak the are with a total vegetation killer that will kill any plant that grow in that area and poison the soil for a year.  If you use the vegetation killer be careful since it will kill and other plants nearby and can even damage or kill trees that have roots growing through the treated area.  Always read and follow the directions on the label.

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I bought a clematis plant at a quality nursery. I went away for 4 days in the heat of July to return to dead leaves and later noticed there was no longer a connection between the bottom of the plant i.e.roors and the leaves on a very small trellis.Is my plant totally dead or should I keep watering the roots in hopes it some miraculously comes back alive. It was a mother’s day gift so am a little sad about it as I was watching it closely. Thanks for any advice. Marge

It depends on what happened to it.  If the stem was just broken off of chewed in half by a critter like a chipmunk then the root system is still alive and it will try and send up new shoots.  I’m not one to give upon plants so I’d give it a chance.   Just keep the soil moist but not sopping wet.  It will take a couple of weeks at least to show a sign of life so be patient.

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I bought an ornamental grass at hewitts. I think it was a type of “reed” grass but I can’t remember and I already planted it. I don’t have the little card. Can you tell me the actual name and is it poisonous to dogs?Please email me at jpmp97@aol.comThanksPeg

Can you send me a picture of the grass.  peterb@ hewitts.com

I looked up all the grasses we’ve sold this spring and none are listed as toxic to dogs.  When dogs have an upset stomach, they often eat grass to soothe it but the grass itself isn’t the cause of the upset stomach.  There are a couple of reasons dogs will eat grass.  http://www.petmd.com/dog/wellness/evr_dg_eating_grass

 

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do you have creeping phlox and what colors?

We had a great selection a month ago..  White, pink, dark pink and a blueish variety.  At this point inventory is very spotty and some stores have sold out and there will be no more arriving.  It would be best to call ahead to see if the location you’re visiting still has what you want in stock.

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I need a 6 inch Sonotube

Sorry, we do not sell sonotube

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What is a good product to repell horseflies?? I have an inground pool , and the horseflies are awful . Would you recommend something to help ???

Bonide Mosquito Beater will also repel flies so I’d give it a try.  Use the hose end sprayer so you can put out enough to really get the benefit.  If you google “Horse Fly trap” you see different versions of traps you can make easily like THIS ONE.

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Hi Peter, I have 2 questions. What can I use to kill the moss/lichen in the cracks of my driveway? Also, can I cut my burning bushes back to 1/2 their height? Way to big. When can I do that without damaging the bushes?Thank you

To kill moss and lichen in the cracks of your driveway, you can use a white vinegar and salt mixture spray. More on that HERE

It also kills any plant you spray it on so be careful with it.

 

Your burning bush can be cut down ½ anytime…they are virtually indestructible.

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i haf to move a mature dahlia to a new licatiom, now it is wilting. what can i do?

Cut it back 1/3, keep the soil moist but not soggy wet and provide it some shade while it recovers.

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I have a woodchuck (woody) that has already ate my dill, I can’t babysit the garden 24/7. Any pointers on how I can deter woody from the garden. Saschreiner@nycap.rr.com

You’ll need to fence the garden wit the bottom foot of the wire fencing flared outward on the ground so the woodchucks and rabbits can’t dig under or call a wildlife trapper to trap and remove the woodchuck.

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Hi PeterWhat annuals would you recommend to attract hummingbirds?

Any red or orange colored flowers will attract the…even colorful cloth will.  Here’s an article that describes some of the annuals hummingbirds benefit from.

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I have many house plants. Some time ago noticed small gnats (like fruit flies) around the plants. I tried the sand thing, putting at least 1/2 inch of sand over the top of the dirtand bought a larvacide spray, tried the apple cider vinegar and dish soap. I do remove all decayed leaves. HELP, I don’t want to lose my plants. What can I do?

It sounds like fungus gnats which mostly feed on fungus growing in the soil although they may also feed on the rotting roots of plants.  They are generally an indication that your are keeping the plants too moist.  As the days get shorter, you’ll want to water much less since the plants are slowing down.  I suggest some Bonide Bon-Neem 2, and organic insect spray that will kill them quickly.  You could also use it as a soil drench to kill them.  Let then dry out more between watering though, to prevent their return.

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I acquired a 35 year old Crown of Thorns after my grandmother passed away. I needs to be repotted and proprogated.I have looked online and get the idea but it states to put the cut pieces in a medium mixture but does not tell me what the mixture is made of.Can you help?

Crown of Thorns will root easily into a good Cactus soil (sandy).  Fresh growth tips will root better.  Make sure you let the cuttings scab over before putting them into the soil. to avoid rotting.  HERE’S A LINK to a post about rooting cuttings.  It is rooting other plants but the procedure is the same for Crown of Thorns except you’ll be using a Cactus Potting Soil.

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What is the better chemical for a large (36″) stump removal, Potassium Nitrate or Magnesium Sulfate? I understand the hole drilling process etc. and do not plan on burning the stump -just letting it rot and chopping it out. Thanking you in advance,Ken

The stump dissolving product we sell (Bonide Stump Out) contains sodium metabisulfite.  Even using stump dissolving chemicals, the wait for the stump to actually dissolve will be a long one…several years.  The quickest way is to hire someone to remove it with a stump grinder.  Here’s a link you might find useful:  https://www.gemplers.com/tech/faq-stump.htm

 

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We have a lovely Japanese area in our garden with some beautiful moss growing over the rocks around the small pond and water feature. unfortunately over the last few days we have noticed some bare patches on the rocks where the moss appears to have been ripped of and discarded in clumps below the rocks. our garden is enclosed so no way for a dog or cat etc to get in. What could be attacking the moss?? We would be grateful for any ideas. My email is Elaine.m.benning@outlook.com. Many thanks

There are lots of possibilities.  My main suspects would be birds like crows flipping the moss over looking for insects or worms.  It could also be skunks although your fence may keep them out) or squirrels.  There are repellents for the rodents but make sure that the one you choose is safe near water especially if there are fish.  Perhaps enclosing the area with bird netting for the winter would help.

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Hi Peter,I’ve had the small almost round stink bugs in years past.This year I have a bigger bug that like to get on my warm screeens,Do you have any idea what they are?Sue

There are many ( about 250) bugs that are called “stink bugs”.  Here’s a link that might help you figure out which you are now seeing:

 

http://www.saferbrand.com/advice/insect-library/crawling-insects/about-stink-bugs

 

 

 

 

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Hi Peter,I’m a first time writer and would like to know where are all the Golden Finches, chickadees, etc. gone? This is the first year since I’ve been feeding birds they are not around. I heard they were gone because of the hurricanes in August, but this is November 5th and still no birds. Can you please tell me where they are and if they will be back for the winter? I miss them feeding on Niger seeds as well as all the song birds flying around my back yard.Thank you,Ildze Ekmanis ()

Goldfinches have lost their bright spring plumage so they are less obvious now.  They also DO migrate a bit south for the winter from here in upstate NY.  I haven’t noticed less bird at my location but the weather has bee warmer than normal and there is no snow cover so there is lots of natural forage for them this fall.  Keep the feeders clean and filled and I’m sure there will be plenty of birds when the temperatures and snow come down.

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Greetings, Please, I need help with an indoor Ficus Tree that had been used to a warm environment. It had belonged to my uncle. He had it for 8-9 years. I transported it from South Jersey to my apartment here in Schenectady, NY on Feb 19th. I do believe it has gone into shock because during the 4 hour drive, the limbs got cold and the wet soil possibly was too cold or frozen and leaves have begun curling. It looks like it desperately needs repotting. But it is about 6 Ft Tall now with 3 limbs. So would need help transferring to a larger pot and getting correct or more compatible soil mix. I am hoping that with time and special care that it would be able to get to a healthier state and survive. I would like to know if I can get help with repotting and care information at Hewitts or whether you know of someplace else that would help with this situation. Or maybe there is a service fee to have it repotted. My mom would plan to come to help me repot it if there is no service offered like that. But we could still use some assistance with instruction on the best way to care for it. If no help available, will just have to do the best I can or dump if it doesn’t last.Please help me with some answers.Thank You, Rebecca.

This doesn’t sound good. If this was transported in an open or even unheated truck at that time it may have very well frozen which will kill it.  Even if it didn’t freeze, the shock of going from a heated environment to a near frozen environment for a few hours and then back into a heated environment may be terminal.  Repotting it isn’t going to help it and will add even more shock to the already bad situation.   Be patient and expect it to lose all the leaves.  Don’t feed it and just keep it lightly moist and warm and wait.  If it has somehow managed to survive, it will start growing some new leaves in a month or two.  If it does give it a light feeding (1/4 strength) wait until summer to repot it to a slightly larger pot.  We do offer repotting at the garden center when you buy a pot from us but wait until summer for that.  What it needs now is time, warmth and a bright location.

 

 

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What options do I have to control bittersweet that is entering my yard via roots and also invasive and growing on tree branches. (back fence as well as side fence)

You’ll need to cut the vines at the base and paint the woody stump with a stump and vine killer like THIS ONE.  It will try and grow even after you do this so you’ll need to continue this process until it is finally and totally dead.

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we have a very swampy area in our back yard. have tried drainage, etc nothing works. we have been told to try Lady Ferns or cultivar. Is this correct? The area never completely dries up. Does Hewitts stock lady ferns?

We usually have Lady Ferns and yes, they can grow in damp locations. Some of the stores have them and some not.  More should be arriving this week though with other shade perennials.  You could give our Clifton Park store a call 518 371 0126.  They had a few on Saturday but may have sold out by now.  More will be coming in though.

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How do you redeem points that are earned on the garden club card? What are pointsworth?

You sign up at one of the stores and they will give you your club card…it’s free to join.  Present it before each purchase and you’ll get a “point” for each dollar spent.  Once your reach 300 points, you get $15.00 worth of free merchandise of your choice (basically $15.00 in store credit).  Any unused points continue to accumulate for future store credit.  You can present your card at any Hewitt’s to gain points and redeem them at any Hewitt’s, not just the store that issued the card.

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Do you sell lucky bamboo plants?

Our Store on Rt. 9 in Clifton Park, our store on Rt. 20 Guilderland and our store on Fuera Bush Rd. have all just ordered it and it will arrive at those locations next Wednesday (4/26/18)

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can you please tell me how to use the hewitt’s garden club card program?

Visit any Hewitt’s location and sign up for the card…it is free.  Present that card before each purchase you make at any Hewitt’s location.  For each dollar spent, you get a point.  Once you reach 300 points, you’ll get $15.00 in merchandise free (basically a $15.00 credit).  Continue to spend and earn credits by presenting your card before each purchase.  Points can be earned and credit spent at any Hewitt’s location, not just the one where you signed up for the club card.

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Hello Peter,I am looking for a non toxic way to successfully kill weeds and grass that comes up between the cement blocks around my pool. In the past, I used Roundup but I don’t want to use anything toxic like that anymore. Could you tell me what will work?Thanks!

We sell an organic vegetation kiling spray called “BurnOut II” which uses citric acid and clove oil to kill plants.  You could also do an internet search for “white vinegar plant killer” for some home made recipes that many people are finding effective.

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I have tried everything that I have read about to get rid/eliminate the those nasty VOLES ! What is the sure way, I am at the end of me rope. The damage is terrible.. Please help. What is the answer ?? Thank you, Ray

The same product, (MoleMax) that will repel moles  from your yard will also repel voles, chipmunks and other burrowing rodents from your lawn and landscape plantings.

More on that here:  https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/mole-madness/7324/

 

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i have asiatic lilys and i dont know if they have bloomed already there are four pods or something on the top do i cut them off or are they the flower

Asiatic lilies should be budding up right now so I’d not cut them off.  After they flower and the petals fall off, then you can cut off the spent flowers but be sure to leave the leaves so the plant can grow and store energy for next year’s flowering cycle.

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Do I need to stake dwarf french beans?

No, they are a bush bean so they will not require support.  Pay attention to spacing though.  If they are crowded they will not produce as well and be difficult to harvest. Follow the spacing requirement provided on the seed packet.

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What do you carry in fertilizer for yucca plant .

Yuccas don’t need much food.  A good all purpose food like the Jack’s General Purpose Plant Food (20-20-20) we sell would be a good choice.  Mix it with water at half strength and feed it only once a month.  Stop feeding by the end of September and keep the yucca drier for the winter.  You resume start feeding once a month at half strength in April.

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I have a porch that gets full sun and really hot in the summer time ( 90 to 110 degrees). Can you recommend some outdoor hanging plants that won’t wilt or die off due to the extreme heat? I would like to see some colorful plants instead of my wind chimes.

That’s pretty extreme.  The best choice would be a hanging geranium.  This is a different variety from a regular geranium with a glossy leaf rather that the fuzzy leaves of the upright form.  The next best choice would be the various forms of hanging petunia varieties.  As durable as these plants can be, you’ll have to keep an eye on the moisture and water them frequently…and feed them with a good soluble plant food every two weeks.

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Hello Peter,Can you tell me a way to get rid of snakes in the yard. I found one in my shubs and one sunning itself on the concrete around my pool. My email address is Thanks!

Snakes in our area are not dangerous and help a great deal keeping the mice and other rodents under control…rodents which carry the ticks that carry Lyme disease. Still, they will certainly be a distraction if they are found lounging around the pool.  Hewitt’s does stock a snake repellent that you can use around the area to convince them to stay away.

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Not really a gardening question, but how does the rewards card work?Thanks!

You sign up at one of the stores and they will give you your club card…it’s free to join.  Present it before each purchase and you’ll get a “point” for each dollar spent.  Once your reach 300 points, you get $15.00 worth of free merchandise of your choice (basically $15.00 in store credit).  Any unused points continue to accumulate for future store credit.  You can present your card at any Hewitt’s to gain points and redeem them at any Hewitt’s, not just the store that issued the card.

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Good afternoon,We have acquired a number of indoor plants in our office and now seem to have these black gnat like bugs as a result. They are quite annoying to say the least. If you have any advice on how to eliminate them our office would be very grateful. Thank you in advance.

It sounds like fungus gnats which are common when plants are being over-watered.  Roots drown and start to rot which attracts fungus gnats.  Thankfully they are easy to control but you need to back way off on the watering or the plants will die from drowning.  HERE’S A LINK that describes how to control Fungus gnats.  We sell the neem oil mentioned in the article.

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I have a killer lily plant that fella fit stand and broke into pieces so I mediately repotted it and now it’s not coming back to life the leaves are just wilting down what do you suggest I should do thank you so much if you can answer my question back sincerely Mary Davis

I’m not sure what a “killer lily” is but a lily grows from a bulb and will flower and then the leaves will gradually yellow and turn brown after they have finished replenishing the bulb for the next season’s growth cycle.  There isn’t much you can do other than, assuming it is a hardy variety of lily, plant it in the ground outside in a sunny location.

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How can I cut & put hydrangea’s in water & keep them from curling up next day?

This is a pretty common problem with cut hydrangeas.  HERE’S A LINK that will show you how to get your flowers to last.

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I haven’t found any information on your website about the Hewitt’s card so can you tell me what are the advantages of having a Hewitt’s card? Is there information on the website that I missed. Thank you

Once you sign up for the club card, present it before each purchase and your get one point for each dollar spend.  Once you reach $300 in points, you’ll get $15.00 worth of merchandise free (basically $15.00 of store credit to spend).  Unused points over the $300 continue to accumulate along with future purchases to attain more free merchandise.   Point can be gained and used at any Hewitt’s location

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Hi Peter,My coneflowers were just starting to come up this spring. ..about 4-5″ high. My husband didn’t realize and cut them off with the lawn mower. Will they still come up either this year or next or are they gone for good?Thanks.

Coneflowers are pretty tough so I’d expect them to send up some new growth and start over. You might even be lucky enough to get some flowers although later than normal.

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Peter, my husband saw your segment today 6/22/18 on an organic mouse spray repellent but didn’t recall the name. Appreciate your posting. Thanks

I mentioned Mole-Max for driving any rodents out of the soil where they are burrowing.  It comes in a liguid spray or granules.  Water in after application as per the directions and any rodent will not tolerate that soil.  You can spray the plants and area above the soil with Repels-All repellent.  Rodents won’t be able to tolerate the smell the soil or the area above.

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Peter, Our yard and basement are being overtaken by chipmunks, HELP! They live all throughout our rock-wall and basement, eat our herbs and vegetables from the garden, and wake us up with their loud bird-like mating calls. What can we do to get rid of them? Is the only option a legitimate exterminator? Thanks, Autumn Ciepiela

I’d suggest Mole-Max for driving them out of the soil where they are burrowing.  It comes in a liguid spray or granules.  Water in after application as per the directions and any rodent will no tolerate that soil.  I’d also spray the plants and area above the soil with Repels-All repellent.  The chipmunks won’t be able to tolerate the smell the soil or the area above.  The ones in the basement will have to be trapped or killed with a mouse or rat trap.

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I have a very wet area of ground that I have amended the soil. What sort of plant would do well there? I want to plant either a Japanese snowball or flowering quince. My zone is 6, central part of the state of West Virginia

A snowball viburnum might tolerate we soil but a quince will not.  A dappled willow would work well in that spot.  More on them here:  http://www.missouribotanicalgarden.org/PlantFinder/PlantFinderDetails.aspx?kempercode=c811

Here’s a link to a list of all kinds of plants that tolerate damp soil:

https://extension.psu.edu/trees-shrubs-and-groundcovers-tolerant-of-wet-sites

 

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Hi, I purchased three arborvitae last August and one of them died over the winter. The two others are doing very well. I returned the plant with warranty/receipt to the Clifton Park store. The associate told me that since I paid $10 less than what the shrubs now cost I needed to pay the difference. I reviewed the paperwork at home and see nothing in writing about that policy — only that the plants WILL be replaced one time. It says nothing about customer being responsible for difference if the cost of a like shrub is increased.

We are very sorry about that. It should be an even replacement. The only time you would have to pay a difference is if you picked out something different or larger to replace the tree/shrub with or if we happen to not have the exact same plant available and you have to get credit to pick out something else. If you are replacing an identical item, you should not have had to pay the difference. We will be sure to contact the cashier that rang you out and resolve this issue. Regarding the additional $10.70 that you were charged, please let us know how you would like to be reimbursed. You can provide us with your mailing address and we can send a gift card to you with the money owed(please email to info@hewitts.com so that it is not public on our website). You can stop by the store and they will happily issued the money back to your card or you can call our main office and provide your credit card information and we can issue the refund(518-399-0453). Again, we apologize for the misunderstanding. Please let us know which way would be the most convenient for you to proceed. Thanks.

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We have a half acre of Vinca major around our home, we believed we got powdery mildew from wet steer manure, we treated with neems oil, and spots disappeared however now leaves are curling upwards and closing, eventually turning brown and dying. Any suggestions would be very much appreciated. Joe Borrie

If you spread fresh manure over your vinca, the concentrated nitrogen in it may have been too much for the root system. You may also have introduced any of several fungal disease that can attack vinca.  Here’s a couple of links to more on that:   https://www.gardenguides.com/100693-vinca-minor-diseases.html  https://www.chron.com/life/gardening/article/Why-are-some-of-my-vincas-dying-but-not-others-1783083.php   Vinca doesn’t like much food and likes to be dry so, if you have a sprinkler system that is watering it, adjust it so it doesn’t hit the vinca.

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Good morning: I have a huge philodendron houseplant. I mean HUGE. It has a lot of it’s roots growing out of the pot. Is it possible to get those roots in a pot, cut off the part that is still in it’s original pot, and not have my plant die? . Sincerely Hollie

Air layering would be a good way to get a new plant from your existing plant without harming it.  Here’s a link to a good description of the process:  https://homeguides.sfgate.com/propagate-splitleaf-philodendron-37400.html

You can google “air layering philodendron” and get more info.

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I have a houseful of nasty gnats that I am assuming came in with my plants from balcony to winter in my apt. I cannot get them under control. I am bedridden elderly widow + I have a 20 yr old Sr cat, so it cannot pose a health issue. I’ve the vinegar solution to no avail. Can you please help?

Fungus gnats are a problem this time of year. They are the result of keeping the soil too damp.  Here’s a link to a very good article about the problem with solutions (including non-chemical) mentioned at the bottom of the article:  http://extension.colostate.edu/topic-areas/insects/fungus-gnats-as-houseplant-and-indoor-pests-5-584/

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I have a trumpeter vine that will not flower. It has been in the ground for about 5yrs. I don’t see any signs of illness like a fungal infection.

The only things that will stop a trumpet vine from flowering are not enough sun (they would prefer at least 7 hours of direct sun and more is even better) or a lack of phosphorus.  Avoid high nitrogen foods (those with a high 1st number (like 30-10-10) and feed it with a plant food with high middle and last numbers.  I’d suggest Espoma Flower-Tone (3-4-5) in spring as soon as the ground warms up a bit.

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what do you recommend for dealing with an infestation of fungus gnats that seem to have appeared after potting some cuttings of an in door plant in soil from a new bag of MiracleGrow potting mix?

Let the soil dry out more between watering.  Rough up the surface of the soil with a pencil to help it dry out more readily.  You can kill the gnats with a contact killer like insecticidal soap.

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where can I find Dahlias. Many thanks;

We sell dahlia tubers starting in March so that’s the best time to get them to get the best selection.

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We are looking at buying 6-8 arborvitae trees. Do you also plant them? If yes, what is the cost?

We don’t do planting but we do have a great selection (as of 8-15-18)  We have Emerald Green Arbs in #3 (approx. 3 Gallon) pots for $19.99 (Reg. $59.99) and in #5 pots for $69.99 (Reg. $199.99).  We also have Green Giant Arbs in #5 pots for $39.99 (Reg. $89.99) and in #10 Pots for $49.99 (Reg. $199.99).  There are also 5′ Pyramidal Arborvitae $39.99 (Reg. $129.99).

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I ordered a black stem elephant ear plant, within 3 days the stem became weak, the leaf curled up and there was worms in the dirt at the time of repotting. Can I revive this plant?

Honestly I’d contact the seller and ask that your money be refunded.  There should not be insects in the soil.  It probably was rotting when it was shipped or rotted during shipment.

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Hello Peter,I recently saw the article about your Route 7 Location closing. Are you reopening somewhere else?

We do have 7 other locations right now.

http://www.hewitts.com/find-a-store/

We are looking for property in the general Latham area as well

 

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I have a tall ficus tree (living) and two long haired dogs. My floor vents blow up and the tree is covered with fine dog hair. How do I remove it?

I’d suggest a vacuum cleaner with a dusting brush attachment on it…like this one:  https://www.amazon.com/Replacement-Dusting-Brush-Fits-Vacuums/dp/B0016PS0JQ/ref=asc_df_B0016PS0JQ/?tag=hyprod-20&linkCode=df0&hvadid=198099693529&hvpos=1o2&hvnetw=g&hvrand=17654240981213806525&hvpone=&hvptwo=&hvqmt=&hvdev=c&hvdvcmdl=&hvlocint=&hvlocphy=9004739&hvtargid=aud-467077737785:pla-350612872225&psc=1

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How can I get rid of, or kill ferns that is in my yard? I have been pulling & pulling, and it keeps growing?

Round-up will kill ferns but will also kill grass so it shouldn’t be used if the ferns are growing in a lawn or among other desirable plants (Round-up kills all plants).  Read and follow the instructions on the package before using Round-Up.

If the ferns are growing in the lawn then a good lawn weed killer like Bonide Weed Beater Ultra will the choice.  It will kill the ferns and other lawn weeds without harming the grass as long as it is applied according to the instructions on the package.

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Hello, I was looking for jobs in the area and was wondering how old you have to be to work at Hewitts?

You can work at Hewitts at 15 but you’ll need working papers if you are between 15-18 years old and your hour will be limited.

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Have you ever sold desert roses? If so, are you selling them this season?Thank you,Kay

We have had them in the past and hope to have more in stock in the next couple of weeks,

 

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My flamingo Lilly has bumps in the center is this normal?Thank youNew tropical plant parent

I’m not sure what you mean by “bumps in the center”.  The center of what?  The  flowers of Anthurium have a textured surface that is normal.  If you can get a clear picture of what your are referencing, send it to peterb@hewitts.com and maybe I can tell from that.

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Here in central Florida we some type of seed pod that clings to the side of houses. They are brown/gray in color and about 1/4 ” long. At the end they feather out. The pod is extremely difficult to remove. The attachment to the homes, especially stucco will not power wash off. It is necessary to scrape the pod off and then power wash the wall. Any idea what these are. billcaldwell@hotmail.com Thanks

I’m not real familiar with Florida pests but it may be something like artillery fungus that we have here in the north.  More on that here:  http://personal.psu.edu/faculty/d/d/ddd2/

I’d suggest taking some good pictures of it and show them to someone at a local garden center…they will know what it is.

 

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I live in Indian Lake NY. (Zip code 12842). What flowers and shrubs can I plant to feed butterflys, bees and hummingbirds?

Any plat with flowers will attract bees.  Hummingbirds like plants that produce a bit of nectar.  Here’s a link to an article that lists lots of options.  just be sure the flowering plants you choose are hardy in USDA hardiness zone 4 where you live.

https://birdwatchinghq.com/hummingbird-flowers/

 

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What can we use to keep chipmunks from digging under and coming up into our shed to eat and ruin our lawn furniture which they like to chew up?

Bonide Mole-Max repels all burrowing rodents so that can be applied to the ground where they are digging in More on Mole-Max HERE

https://www.bonide.com/trusted-brands/molemax/

Inside the shed you can use Bonide Rat Magic repellent to keep the rodents away for furniture and power equipment…more on that HERE

https://www.bonide.com/products/repellents/view/8636/rat-magic-scent-packs

 

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I was talking to a friend who said that Hewitt’s carries a non-chemical safe repellent for rodents, etc. It’s called Repellazol or something like that. Also something for fleas and ticks called Flea Beater(?).Please advise. I am very interested. Thank you for your time,Margy

We do carry a non-chemical rodent repellent called Repels-All more on that HERE.

https://www.bonide.com/trusted-brands/repels-all/

You can learn more about Flea-Beater (for ticks too) HERE  Flea-Beater is not organic.

https://www.bonide.com/products/home-pest-control/view/040/flea-beater-flea-and-tick-control-rts

 

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I bought a blue star fern thinking it had different looking areas on the leaves, but when I really got to looking at them and felt them discovered these areas were papery and felt dead; also greyish looking a felt like this greyish stuff should be rubbed off. I don’t know why the garden center let me buy it without telling me it was diseased. I know very little about plants, so I plead ignorance.

It sounds like it may have been getting overwatered which will cause leave to dry out.  I’d trim off nay of the leaves showing damage and water less.  Make sure it is getting very bright light but not a lot of direct sun.  Here’s a link that does a good job describing the needs of your blue star fern.

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Hello! I have a ~55 degree slope in the front of my yard and I need to plant something there to prevent soil erosion. Last year when I moved into the house I started to rip out the overgrown/weed/prickerbush filled pachysandra that was there. I got about a third of the hill done and had to stop for the winter. The area I ripped out is now suffering horribly from soil erosion because I haven’t had a chance to plant new pachysandra or another spreading plant. So my question is: Should I continue ripping out the rest of the overgrown pachysandra/weed/pricker bush mess and start fresh with some soil erosion blankets and new pachysandra or should I not rip it out, and try to eliminate the weeds/prickerbushs/mess and let the pachysandra continue to grow. My eventual goal is to have a tidy low growing plant spread throughout the slope to prevent soil erosion. The only reason I mention pachysandra is because the neighbors have pachysandra that connects along this area of my yard, so I feel it will be a never ending battle if I don’t plant the same thing on my side of the slope. If you could please email me the response to Thank you!!

That’s a tough situation. Unless you eliminate everything  that is growing on the bank now, it will be a constant battle.  There are rug junipers that can be “neat and tidy” but take time to spread and fill in and even then, weeds will need to be eliminated.  This may be a case where using round up is in order to just kill everything without churning up the soil.  Then a layer of long lasting landscape fabric with rug  junipers  planted through holes in the fabric.  Cedar mulch would be the best bet for covering the fabric since it is fibrous and can resist washing downslope better than chunky mulches.

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Looking for a perennial that does well in wet poor draining soil. Hoping to plant something to help soak up some of the water other than cattails I don’t want that swampy look in the yard. Maybe even a mix of flowers and shrubs would look nice. Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated we will be shopping at the east green bush store.

Here’s a link to a list of wet-tolerant perennials.

https://extension.illinois.edu/beyond/directory_perennials_wet.cfm

Here’s a link to shrubs and trees that tolerate wet conditions.

https://extension.psu.edu/trees-shrubs-and-groundcovers-tolerant-of-wet-sites

These plants will grow in those conditions but I wouldn’t expect any of them to actually dry the area out much.

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what I would like to know is if you sell hanging indoor houseplants. I am looking for a spider and purple wandering Jew. Preferably small starter plants.Thank you

These are plants that we generally have for sale but it would be best to call the Hewitt’s location you plan on visiting to be sure they are in stock. Here’s a link to the store locations and phone numbers.  http://www.hewitts.com/find-a-store/

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We cut the leaves off the tulips last year too soon (while they were still green) so this year we have green leaves but no FLOWERS. question–should I replace the tulip bulbs oR will they bloom next year if I LEAVE THE LEAVES ALONE?

Your best chances of getting flowers from these tulips is to leave the leaves grow as long as they are green and to feed them once a week with Jack’s Blossom Booster while the leaves are growing.  Now is when the bulb is gaining strength for next year’s flowers.

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We have an ongoing problem with what I think may be voles. We have a low stone retaining strip of concrete blocks at the bottom of our hill abutting the sidewalk and along there, we often find one or two small, round holes (two or three inches in diameter). We have used smoke bombs, moth balls, to no avail. Any suggestions as to what might work to rid ourselves of these nuisances? Email address is mar5dav@yahoo.com. Thanks in advance.

This is a problem I also deal with. I have large retaining walls and paved areas and rodents like voles, moles, chipmunks and mice can cause expensive damage by burrowing under these areas which can result in collapsed wall and uneven pavers.  My solution is Bonide Mole-Max repellent.  It works against all burrowing rodents, not just moles.  In fact I don’t have a problem with moles but with chipmunks and voles.  I’ve already spread and watered-in 2 bags of Mole-Max on the beds above the retaining walls and poured liquid Mole-Max into the cracks between my pavers to keep them out from under there as well.  If I see a hole, I’ll pour some Mole-Max granules down the holes as well.  It works great.  More on Mole-Max HERE:  https://www.bonide.com/products/garden-naturals/view/691/molemax-mole-and-vole-repellent

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What is the best weedkiller to combat Japanese Knotweed? I have been told to use Tumbleweed.Alan Taylor.

I’m not familiar with Tumbleweed so I can’t comment on that. Roundup and the stronger version we sell called Kleenup both can knock knotweed back but it usually takes and ongoing assault to get knotweed under control…rarely is a single application enough. Brace yourself for a long battle. Here’s a link you might find helpful: https://www.thespruce.com/eradication-of-japanese-knotweed-plants-2131201

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I read that castor oil works on getting rid of chipmunks, but you need to use the smelly, old fashion kind.Does Hewitt’s sell this kind? If not, where do I buy it?Thank you

I’m not sure where you’re getting your information but the extract of castor beans are used to repel rodents that burrow in the soil. We sell it as a product called Mole-Max. It comes in a granular form as well as a liquid spray. It repels a wide range of burrowing rodents including chipmunks. You’ll notice a slight odor but it isn’t that noticeable. Here’s a link to the product description: https://www.bonide.com/trusted-brands/molemax/

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Grass is invading our plant beds (where we have planted pachysandra) – is there anything that we can apply to eliminate the grass that will not damage the pachysandra?People have recommended Ortho Grass Be Gone or Bonide Grass Beater. I know they use different ingredients – is one preferrable? Thanks. paul@gmail.com

Since we don’t sell Grass-B-Gone nor can I find the product label online, I can’t comment on that product.   I’d suggest you use the Bonide product.  Make sure to read and follow the directions on the product label.  https://www.bonide.com/assets/Products/Labels/l7458.pdf

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I have creeping thymus and would like to propagate it to use in the front yard. How do I go about that?Bernice

I’m not quite sure what you mean but Creeping thyme and be planted in the lawn and is hardy enough to return after winter. You propagate creeping thyme by dividing the clump and replanting.

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While reading your flyer it says that now is the time to put down grub control…my question is, when do you put down the mole repellant??

Here’s a link about timing the July application of grub control: 

https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/lawn-grub-control-apply-in-july-when-the-beetles-fly/7370/

 Here’s a link about using the organic grub control Milky Spore; which is applied later in the season:

 https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/killing-lawn-grubs-organically-starts-now/7382/

 Finally a link to a post all about Mole control: 

 https://blog.timesunion.com/gardening/holy-mole-y/7433/

 Short answer:  “Remember moles are solitary creatures and the young moles are kicked out of the burrow in late summer and they have to find someplace to set up a burrow before winter. If you apply MoleMax in early fall the young moles won’t set up house in your yard and you won’t have mole damage the following spring.”  So, mid-September or so.

 

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Put my house plants outside for summer what do I use on them before I bring them in, in the fall so I don`t get them little gnats

I’d start spraying them every 2 weeks with Neem Oil starting in mid-August.  About a week or so before they come inside, give them a dose (according to the directions on the package) of systemic granules.  More on that HERE.

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I need enough mulch to cover a 40×40ft area at 4in thick. Do you sell it and how much would it be?

It sounds like you need 19.75 cu. yards of mulch. We sell 2 cu. ft. bags of mulch so that would be 267 bags.  How much it costs depends on what mulch you choose.  Our cheapest mulch is natural cedar mulch at 2.99 per bag.

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why is the Wilton store phone always rings busy

It is often very busy in spring.  They are also having phone reception problems today…should be fixed soon.

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what is causing some of my clematis leaves to have black spots from

It sounds like clematis leaf spot….not an uncommon problem, especially in a rainy year like this one. I’d suggest removing the spotted leaves.  Also, never spray water your clematis…wetting the leaves encourages all kinds of fungal disorders.  If removing the leaves doesn’t solve the problem, then applying a fungicide might be in order.  Here’s a link that describes the various diseases that can attack clematis: https://extension.psu.edu/clematis-diseases

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How do we get rid of voles in our garden?

You can keep them out with Mole-Max which repels all rodents, not just moles.

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I have mounds of dirt on my lawn and I think it’s voles. What do I use to get rid of them.

The best way to get rid of the voles will be with an organic repellent. Here’s a link to the product we sell for this purpose:  https://www.bonide.com/products/garden-naturals/view/691/molemax-mole-and-vole-repellent

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I grow basil every summer and for the first time have come upon the following: my stalks are developing a white fungus/powdery substance. What is this? Can it be arrested? Can the basil be safely consumed? Thank you.George W

It sounds like a powdery mildew outbreak. It trim away as much as the affected parts of the plant as possible and then spray with a fungicide.  Like this one: https://www.bonide.com/products/disease-control/view/777/revitalize-bio-fungicide-conc

 

Follow the directions on the label. That should stop the spread the disease.  I wouldn’t consume the infected leaves.  New growth should be OK.  To avoid this on basil and other plants, never spray water…wet just the soil.   Wet leaves are an invitation to fungal diseases.  The high humidity and rain are bad enough…no point in adding to the problem

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