Garden Design and Maintenance

Is it safe to water vegetables in well water that contains arsenic?

Question: I have arsenic in my well water.  Is it safe to eat vegetables that were grown in that environment, watered with well water containing arsenic? Answer: Marjorie Peronto, Extension Educator I assume that you’ve had your water tested and know the concentration level of arsenic.  As you will see in these two fact sheets, it is considered […]

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Can you suggest a short shrub that will attract birds?

Question: I am interested in planting a shrub or two in my yard that will attract multiple kinds of birds. I would prefer the shrub to grow no taller than 8 feet in height. My yard has sunny and shady areas. Do you have any suggestions? Answer: Vina Lindley, Food Systems and Home Horticulture Professional […]

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What’s the best way to overwinter plants I’m propagating?

Question: I would like to know the proper way to overwinter plants I’m propagating. I have one pot with five Cardinal Flowers (to divide for a Spring plant sale), two pots with ornamental shrubs (from cuttings made last Spring), and three pots with apple rootstock (less than a pencil width that were pulled and potted […]

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Is it good to leave fallen leaves in the garden over winter?

Question: Is it good to leave fallen leaves in the garden over the winter? Is it beneficial? When can they be raked up in the spring? Answer: Viña Lindley, Food Systems & Home Horticulture Professional Absolutely, leaves make a great mulch since they’re free, readily available, and full of nutrients that release slowly over time.  […]

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Should asparagus plants be cut back in the fall?

Question: Should asparagus plants be cut back in the fall after they’ve turned yellow? I read that they should be cut just under the top of the soil, but wanted to confirm this information. Answer: Lynne M. Holland, Horticulture and Social Media Professional  Once the asparagus tops have yellowed their work is done for the […]

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Can you suggest an evergreen to plant beside my deck?

Question: I am looking for a small evergreen to go in front of the deck. There will be loam brought in. Answer: Lynne M. Holland, Horticulture and Social Media Professional  First of all, I am going to send along a recommendation to consult this chapter from our manual for some in-depth information on the things […]

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