Ask the Expert

Should I plant a lawn in the fall?

Question: I have an odd question that may not fall under your wheelhouse. I live in Atkinson right by the Center. My old deck was taken down so… I. Have. Dirt. The digging hound is elated but is there a grass seed I can toss out with some hope for growth at this point? Answer: […]

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Which native species tree should I plant in my backyard?

Question: I am not sure if you cover this type of question, but here goes! 🙂 I would like to plant a tree in my backyard and I want to ensure that I plant something that is native and supportive to the wildlife in my town of Westbook — do you have any suggestions? Perhaps […]

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What kind of garden can be planted over a septic field?

Question: I am a Master Gardener in Virginia, but I’m helping a friend start to think about her garden for a new house she is building in Maine. Only the garage has been completed this year, with the main house to follow next year. Her driveway wraps around a center section, which is also her […]

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Is it safe to use spearmint growing where dogs are walked?

Question: I would like to use some spearmint growing in a neighbor’s landscape garden. Since the garden is next to the street where dogs are walked, a neighbor in my building (who is hyper cautious, I might add) advised against eating the mint because of concern that dogs may have peed on the plants at […]

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What can I do about a wild plantain infestation in my newly seeded lawn?

Question: I’m getting wild plantain infestation after amending and reseeding my 1,500-square-foot lawn this past spring. I’d like to topdress with compost and new grass seed at the end of this season. Can you recommend the “safest” selective herbicide to control this? Or would you recommend I start new with “safest” broad spectrum herbicide and […]

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Where can I find land to start a lavender farm?

Question: I live in Yarmouth, Maine and am looking for land to start a lavender farm. I am starting small, maybe one acre to see how it will go. My limitations would be: zone, 6a, 5b or5a, not very rich, sandy soil, well drained, around one hour drive from Yarmouth. Could you advise where I […]

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What is causing odd growths on the leaves of my apple tree?

Question: As I was inspecting/removing aphids from our young apple trees, I noticed an odd growth on a few of the leaves of one of the trees (a native bred Black Oxford from our local orchard and nursery). My inclination is to cut off any affected leaf to keep this odd growth from spreading, but […]

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Should I cut back my raspberry plants?

Question: With all of the rain in July, I have raspberry plants way over 6′ tall. Few berries this year. Should I cut them back? I don’t want to hurt production next year, but these seem out of control. If cutting is the answer, how much and when? Also, I just planted a new section […]

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Do my dry bean plants have a virus or other disease?

Question: I have three varieties of dry beans planted, and the leaves of one of them, Vermont cranberry, look like they have some sort of virus or other disease. Other varieties right next to them (black coco and silver cloud canellini) look fine. Can you give me an idea what it might be and whether […]

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