Ask the Expert

Is it too late to top the tall lance leaved goldenrod?

Question: Is it too late to top the tall lance leaved goldenrod? Answer: Lynne M. Holland, Horticulture and Social Media Professional If you are pruning your goldenrod for a fuller showing later this fall you can do it during June so you are almost past the optimal time to do it.  Also consider the amount […]

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When is the best time to plant seeds for a fall crop of snow peas?

Question: When is the best time to plant seeds for a fall crop of snow peas?  Answer: Liz Stanley, Horticulture Community Education Assistant Here’s an article about growing peas in Maine Home Garden News. All peas are cool season crops and are best planted in Maine in the early spring (as soon as the ground is workable) for […]

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Can I prune Anise Hyssop to encourage growth?

Question: Anise hyssop. Last years plant outside got very tall (approx. 5ft) and had long lasting flowers, however it was very spindly/sparse. It didn’t spread as I’d hoped this spring. Can I prune this now like an herb to encourage bushier growth (like mint or basil) or does this not work for this plant?  Answer: […]

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Will ants and aphids harm milkweed?

Question: We have both common and swamp milkweed in the backyard. This year we have noticed ants and aphids in the plants. We understand about their symbiotic relationship but wondered if they would damage the plant or the monarch caterpillars. If so, what is the best way to get ride of them? Answer: Pamela Hargest, […]

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What is a good native shrub for a small, narrow property line?

Question: I’m looking to put in a small hedge in along my property line. The site receives part-sun, and is on the dryer side. It’s a relatively narrow area, so I don’t want anything really large or fast growing. Do you have any suggestions for native plants for this spot? Answer: Lynne M. Holland, Horticulture […]

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How do I care for apple trees on a property I just purchased?

Question: I purchase a house and the previous owner had planted 17 apple trees. They are producing apples and I had some questions to ask. 1. Is it okay for me to eat these apples? 2. I am planning on making pesticide by mixing baking soda, vegetable oil, dish soap and water to spray the […]

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Why have the magnolia, pine and dogwood trees died on my property?

Question: I planted a butterfly magnolia tree a couple years ago.  Last year it had one flower at the beginning of the season.  This year it doesn’t have anything and I noticed it has three splits in its trunk. I put fertilizer around it this year but just a day ago. It seems nothing grows […]

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Are grape leaves safe to eat in soil that may have lead in it?

Question: I’m growing grapes in what I believe is leaded soil.  I haven’t yet tested, but nearby soil is leaded. I’m aware that the fruits are safe to eat if they are kept free of dirt, but I’m wondering if the leaves are safe to eat as well. Answer: Viña Lindley, Food Systems & Home […]

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