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Miscellaneous Topics:
QUESTION: How do fireplace ashes affect lawn growth? Do they fertilize or change the pH in a favorable way? Or are they harmful? Charlie
QUESTION: I bought some yellow onions and brought them home a few weeks ago. I just noticed that they have sprouted. Can I still eat them or can I plant them and re-grow onions? Megan
QUESTION: I found these in our flower garden. They were half exposed so I pulled them up on top of the ground. The day I did this there were just five oval bulb-like things. Next day, the bottom one grew a whitish stem about 3 inches long with a strange top to it. I don't know what to make of these things. Are they some kind of mushroom/fungi? Vinny
QUESTION: I noticed some weeds that look like little pines (see attached picture) on my lawn. How can I prevent them from invading the grass? Thanks Jane
QUESTION: I am highly allergic to pollen and every fall my allergies go crazy. I always thought I was allergic to Golden Rod, but my neighbor says I'm probably allergic to ragweed. Are they different?
QUESTION: My maple tree has straight rows of 1/4" holes in it. Do I have some sort of insect that's causing damage? Colleen
QUESTION: The season is just getting started and I feel like I am already way behind with my gardening. Every day more weeds appear and my shrubs are looking wild! I think it's going to be out of control soon, and I don't know anything about pruning...I need help! - Mary
QUESTION: I was hoping you could help me. I generally buy a few plants each year from our local garden club plant sale, but it was cancelled this year because of COVID-19. Since I don't want to leave the house to plant shop (but I do want to get out in my garden), I was wondering if I could send you a list and have you pick up the plants and deliver them. That would make my day. Thank you very much. Joanne
QUESTION: Mother's Day is almost here! GIVE THE GIFT THAT KEEPS HER GROWING, the "Best of - Ask The Landscape Professional" Book!
QUESTION: I'm getting ready to rototill my vegetable garden for spring planting, but I recently heard I might be making a mistake. What's the story? Jeff
QUESTION: I have a question about using pine needles from our pine trees as mulch for our flower beds. We've been doing for few years, but not sure if doing correctly. We're in Ledyard. We've just been placing piles around plants. Can we apply again now in mid-summer? Or is it best to wait till fall? Thank you! Wendy
QUESTION: My backyard is mostly moss due to the shade from my very wooded property. Some of the moss has strong roots, but a lot of it is barely rooted. Large patches become loose and get flipped over. Is there something I can do to improve the moss growth? Can I transplant some of the good moss to the bad areas? Thanks for this great service! Tim in Clinton CT
QUESTION: The Lichen on some of our trees has grown unsightly...and looks harmful to the tree(s). We had been told years ago that the Lichen was of needless concern but now it is also on neighboring rock wall, etc. Is this unhealthy for family residents and trees? Should we try to remove? Would appreciate your expert opinion? Thank you. Janice
QUESTION: I have this mushroom or fungus-type growth that looks like coral growing in the mulch under my hollies and rhododendrons. Is it harmful to my plants? If so, is there any way to eradicate it short of digging out all the mulch? Denise
QUESTION: What are Pre-emergents? Thank you. Juliana
QUESTION: I've discovered I have three praying mantis egg sacs on one small butterfly bush in my yard. With the understanding that hundreds of babies might hatch from each of those, I'm wondering if I could clip a twig from the bush and relocate an egg sac in another of my flower beds. I'd appreciate your thoughts on this. Thank you. Teresa
QUESTION: Best of 2018: It's time to vote for Sprigs & Twigs!
QUESTION: I'm feeling inspired this year and want to start composting. Can you tell me more about composting and what I can and can't use? Willow
QUESTION: I really enjoy your weekly column. My question started in the spring of last year. I tilled an area that had been crabgrass and weeds. I tilled it pretty deep and prepared it with homemade compost and top soil. As it appears now, it is once again filled with weeds and grasses of all kinds. The flowers I planted look sorely out of place. Why did this happen? How can I keep a garden and not "weed central"? Thanks, Margaret
QUESTION: Thank you for your enthusiastic support and great questions that have been coming in for the "Ask the Landscape Professional" series that has been running every week for 5 years!
QUESTION: My husband and I have just moved into an active adult community in Niantic. On my daily walk, I notice that many tree roots are running above ground. The trees seem to be healthy, but I wonder what makes these roots come to the surface instead of being deep in the ground? Thank you. Linda
QUESTION: My Brother-in-Law uses rubber mulch in his gardens, but it concerns me. What are your thoughts? Thank you. Mary Ellen
QUESTION: This week I wanted to depart from my usual question and answer format to share with you some special news. This past week Sprigs & Twigs launched our "Early Childhood Landscape Learning Initiative" in partnership with First Leaps Together pre-school in Ledyard where we installed a sensory garden designed especially for children.
QUESTION: Hi Linda: I have a question for you, our church has started to let ivy grow on the building and now it is approaching the window area, is this going to do damage over time to the building, as the building is a brown stone (built in the 17 hundred''s). I would appreciate your thoughts on this matter. Thank you
QUESTION: My husband is getting ready to install a new planting area in front of our house and just came back from the store with a roll of landscape cloth. I seem to recall, you have written about that before, but I can't locate the article. Can you remind me? Joyce
QUESTION: We put in a witch hazel in 2012 for the February floral burst. It never drops its leaves so the blossoms are hidden. Short of continuing to snip off every leaf in January before bud break how can I encourage complete abscission layer formation and leaf drop in the fall? Gretchen
QUESTION: How do fireplace ashes affect lawn growth? Do they fertilize or change the pH in a favorable way? Or are they harmful? Charlie
QUESTION: This is a question whether the new super blue (3 to 6 Kelvin color rating) LED streetlamps cause significant damage to trees in the vicinity of the lighting. James
QUESTION: A few weeks ago you answered a question regarding trees that they could be pruned any time of year. Can hedges be also pruned anytime? We usually prune our hedges twice a year but last year we only did it once and now they are quite tall. Can I cut them back now, or do I have to wait until springtime? Mary
QUESTION: I recently discovered bulbs that I meant to plant in the ground last fall, but I never got around to it. Can I plant them in the spring? Denise
QUESTION: Recently, I bought an ice melt product which said it was "eco-friendly" and listed four ingredients ending in the word "chloride". No other chemicals were listed on the label. I was seeking to purchase a de-icing product which would not hurt my gardens or lawn and would not end up in the Long Island Sound via the storm drains on the street either. I'm not sure about the product I bought. Jenna Messier, NOFA - Organic Land Care Program Director
QUESTION: Merry Christmas and thank you for your enthusiastic support and the great questions that you have been sending in each week for the "Ask the Landscape Professional" series!
QUESTION: Dear Linda, I am attaching a photo of a small flower that I've noticed in my yard. It seems to spread itself around, and I don't know if this is some kind of invasive plant. If it is invasive, what are the steps that I should take to get rid of it? Currently, it just gets mowed down when I mow the grass. It is pretty, though! I'm a former condo gal, and don't really know much about maintaining a yard. Thanks for your assistance. I look forward to your answer. I enjoy reading your column each week. Susie
QUESTION: Lately, I have been seeing lots of seedless watermelons in the supermarket. I've been wondering, how do seedless watermelons reproduce if they don't have seeds? Thank you. Pauline
ANNOUNCEMENT: Sprigs & Twigs adds a Floral & Décor Division
QUESTION: I have clover all over my lawn, how can I get rid of it safely? Margaret
QUESTION: As you can see in the enclosed picture, I am finding small mounds of dirt on my lawn continuously. What kind of animal (rodent) could be causing them and what can I do to eliminate it? R.J. Niantic
QUESTION: A new study published in Environmental Health Perspectives concluded that green vegetation around your home not only improves your health, but causes you to live longer!
QUESTION: I'm getting ready to rototill my vegetable garden for spring planting, but I recently heard I might be making a mistake. What's the story? Jeff
QUESTION: I notice that nothing ever grows under my white pine tree. My neighbor said it is because the pine needles make the soil too acidic. Should I rake them up and throw them away? Anne
ANNOUNCEMENT: Vote for Sprigs and Twigs, Best of 2016
QUESTION: I bought some yellow onions and brought them home a few weeks ago. I just noticed that they have sprouted. Can I still eat them or can I plant them and re-grow onions? Megan
QUESTION: Now that winter is upon us and my house is closed up tight, I'm wondering if I could use houseplants to improve the air quality? Kathy
QUESTION: Should I be concerned when snow piles up on my garden beds? Robin
QUESTION: Is it true that I can use beer as a fertilizer for my plants? Karen
QUESTION: I recently heard about a ground water contamination problem in Charleston, RI. Can you shed some light of what is going on? Dave
QUESTION: Now that Christmas is over, the used Christmas trees are showing up along the roads to be picked up. I'm wondering what I can do with my old tree other than throw it away. Doug
QUESTION: Last week you wrote about taking care of pots before winter. Is there anything special I should be doing with my tools?
QUESTION: Whenever I go to the nursery or look at an online plant catalog, I'm confused about plant container sizes. For example, I see plants sold in "1 gallon" pots, but the pots certainly don't look like they would hold "1 gallon." I also see pots labeled with numbers like #1. Can you help straighten this out for me? - Sarah
QUESTION: I'm wondering if there is a possibility of cutting off the top of a weeping cherry tree and still have it live. I would like a smaller, tidier tree since it is now growing terribly close to the roadside electrical wires. Thanks for your advice. Jackie
QUESTION: I am getting ready for "weed season" and I am wondering about using a product like Roundup®
QUESTION: I faithfully read "Ask The Landscape Professional" every week and I want to thank you for taking the time to write it. I am excited and so happy to be working in my garden again with all of this new-found knowledge. Amy
ANNOUNCEMENT: This is the 100th "Ask The Landscape Professional" article and I wanted to use this opportunity to thank my many loyal readers for their support over the last two years
INFORMATION: Some of our favorite lawn care and gardening tools
HOME SHOW: Thanks to everyone who stopped by our Home Show Booth and made appointments with us, it was great to meet you, get your projects started and hear your ideas for future "Ask the Landscape Professional" articles.
QUESTION: What can you tell me about the Praying Mantis in our area?
QUESTION: I see that Sprigs & Twigs is sponsoring the Home Show at Connecticut College this coming weekend. Will I see you there?
QUESTION: Now that my weeds are growing again, can I safely use a product like Roundup®?

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