Garden Design and Maintenance

How do I request help with garden planning?

Question: I’ve heard that home gardeners can request to work with a Master Gardener Volunteer for help with garden planning. How do we request this service if it is still available? Answer: Pamela Hargest, Horticulture Professional We have a Garden Mentorship Program that you may be interested in. This program is intended to match trained […]

Read more

Can you begin garden clean up and start gardening in early March?

Question: I am getting eager to start cleaning up my four raised beds and gardens and start gardening. What can one reasonably get started on this time of year? Is there any harm in cutting back dead leaves and stems that will not support new growth in the spring? Should we clear away dead leaves […]

Read more

How do you remove Hawkweed and plant a native ground cover?

Question: For the past few seasons, I have observed hawkweed taking over my yard. I would like to stop it and plant a native ground cover, but I have no idea what to plant or how to go about removing the hawkweed. My yard gets fairly full sun. What would you advise? Answer: Abi Griffith, […]

Read more

Is it safe to make raised beds out of old galvanized metal roofing?

Question: I am thinking of making some raised beds out of some old (60+ at least!) galvanized metal roofing we took off our cape in the 80’s.  Should I worry about lead or cadmium leaching into my organic garden soil? Answer: Lynne M. Holland, Horticulture and Social Media Professional Since the panels you plan to […]

Read more

Should large invasive trees be removed and replaced with native species?

Question: I’ve been slowly working over the last few years to remove a rather large amount of invasive plant species dotting my property and replacing them with alternative species. I’ve got several different kinds, but the three most pervasive are Asian Bush Honeysuckle, Norway Maples, and Multiflora Rose. They’ve taken over everything, and have all […]

Read more

When is the correct time to prune rhododendrons?

Question: I have a large healthy and very overgrown rhododendron in front of the house. I will be pruning about 1/3 of the plant.  I am seeing some sites that advise pruning in late winter when the plant is dormant and other sites that advise pruning right after blooming in the spring. What do you […]

Read more

What are recommendations for using arborist chips in a vegetable garden?

Question: Please provide recommendations for using arborist chips in a vegetable garden for plants and seeds. Answer: Abi Griffith, Horticulture Community Education Assistant Wood chips are really great for mulching in perennial beds, around raspberries or high bush blueberries, on permanent walkways or between raised beds to help with weed suppression and water retention. They […]

Read more

Is it legal to transplant peonies from Maryland to Maine?

Question: Is it legal to transplant peonies from Maryland to property that I am purchasing in Maine?  I don’t want to leave behind my heirloom peonies, but I don’t want to cause environmental harm or break any laws. Answer: Lynne M. Holland, Horticulture and Social Media Professional First of all welcome to Maine!  I think […]

Read more

What can you plant on top of and around the septic system?

Question: This fall we had to replace our septic system. We’re left with a dramatically different backyard and a gardening challenge. What can I plant on top of and around this system? The sun exposure is at times in direct sun for several hours. Answer: Lynne M. Holland, Horticulture and Social Media Professional What can […]

Read more