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By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,Special to the Sun | July 27, 2003
I planted my vegetable seeds in early May, but many of them never grew. This has never happened before. What would keep them from growing? Several gardeners have told me they had the same problem this spring. My guess is that your seeds rotted in the soil when the weather was exceptionally rainy and the soil remained wet for a number of weeks this spring. Evenly moist soil favors healthy seed germination, however extremely wet conditions favor soil diseases that can kill seeds either prior to or during germination.
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By Ellen Nibali, Special to The Baltimore Sun | March 14, 2012
A new grass is invading our property and roadsides. It kind of reminds me of tiny bamboo. How can I control it? Stiltgrass (also called Vietnamese or Japanese stiltgrass) is a non-native weed that spreads rapidly in forests and wetlands as well as home landscapes. The root system of this annual is shallow and can be easily pulled by hand — before it goes to seed — and composted. Once plants go to seed, place them in bags for the landfill. The tiny seeds spread like lightning.
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NEWS
By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,Special to the Sun | April 20, 2003
We recently purchased a home that has a large stand of bamboo along the rear property line. Is this an invasive plant, and how can we get rid of it? With few exceptions, bamboos are considered invasive plants in Maryland. They spread more or less rapidly by enlarged underground roots called rhizomes and can be very difficult to manage. If you are not opposed to using chemicals for control, I would recommend killing the stand with a spray that contains the chemical glyphosate. Do not try to spray the full plant canopy.
NEWS
By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,Special to the Sun | July 27, 2003
I planted my vegetable seeds in early May, but many of them never grew. This has never happened before. What would keep them from growing? Several gardeners have told me they had the same problem this spring. My guess is that your seeds rotted in the soil when the weather was exceptionally rainy and the soil remained wet for a number of weeks this spring. Evenly moist soil favors healthy seed germination, however extremely wet conditions favor soil diseases that can kill seeds either prior to or during germination.
FEATURES
By MIKE KLINGAMAN | January 24, 1993
The first of the 1993 garden catalogs arrived the week before Christmas. It had hundreds of glamorous color pictures of flowers and vegetables. The photos were so festive, I could have used them to decorate the tree.TTC My question is: How come my plants don't measure up to those shown in the magazines?I've received hundreds of garden catalogs, and have yet to see one picture of a tomato with sun-scald, a zinnia with mildew, or a cucumber with leaf spot. Nor have I ever seen glossy photos of chrysanthemums crawling with aphids, or eggplants riddled with flea beetles.
FEATURES
January 5, 1997
My African violets are becoming distorted and gnarly. What's going on?Cyclamen mites are the likely culprit.The mites attack a variety of houseplants. Besides African violets and cyclamens, these include begonias and kalanchoes. Leaves on infected plants often become brittle and change from green to bronze, gray or tan. Buds will often fail to open, and when they do, flowers will be small and distorted.Isolate infested plants immediately and throw out any that are badly damaged. Spray salvageable plants with a miticide or insecticide that is labeled for use on cyclamen mites and houseplants.
FEATURES
By Ellen Nibali, Special to The Baltimore Sun | March 14, 2012
A new grass is invading our property and roadsides. It kind of reminds me of tiny bamboo. How can I control it? Stiltgrass (also called Vietnamese or Japanese stiltgrass) is a non-native weed that spreads rapidly in forests and wetlands as well as home landscapes. The root system of this annual is shallow and can be easily pulled by hand — before it goes to seed — and composted. Once plants go to seed, place them in bags for the landfill. The tiny seeds spread like lightning.
NEWS
By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 21, 2001
Q. We are going to plant several shade trees in our yard this fall. Is there any advantage to buying a balled and burlapped tree instead of a container tree? A. The one advantage of a balled and burlapped tree is that you can purchase larger trees. Balled and burlapped trees can be 6 inches or more in diameter, while container-grown trees are typically 3 inches or less. However, very few people plant trees larger than 3 inches in diameter. Container-grown trees are lighter and easier to handle.
NEWS
By Ary Bruno and Ary Bruno,SPECIAL TO SUN STAFF | March 11, 2001
I can't help it. Every time I get into a seed catalog like Johnny's Selected Seeds, with all its beautiful color pictures of dozens of different lettuces, my mouth just starts to water. My hands start to itch for those packets of seeds, to caress those crisp and fragile young leaves. Not just one or two varieties, but a whole armful of luscious different kinds is what I crave. Admittedly, some of this comes from having managed an organic farm for several years, where we did, indeed, have 20 or 30 varieties of lettuce and other baby salad greens stretched out in row after lovely row for acres.
NEWS
By Marianne Auerweck and Marianne Auerweck,Special to the Sun | March 10, 2002
The thought of growing plants from seeds started indoors may intimidate even the most enthusiastic gardener. Many have tried, only to end up with pale, weak and spindly seedlings that refuse to grow into productive plants. Or they wither and die, pinched off at the soil line before they develop their first set of true leaves. It is a disheartening experience, but one you can prevent with a modest investment in equipment and supplies. Knowing how to simulate Mother Nature's warmth and light opens up a whole new range of possibilities for creating a garden that will be the envy of the neighborhood.
NEWS
By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,Special to the Sun | April 20, 2003
We recently purchased a home that has a large stand of bamboo along the rear property line. Is this an invasive plant, and how can we get rid of it? With few exceptions, bamboos are considered invasive plants in Maryland. They spread more or less rapidly by enlarged underground roots called rhizomes and can be very difficult to manage. If you are not opposed to using chemicals for control, I would recommend killing the stand with a spray that contains the chemical glyphosate. Do not try to spray the full plant canopy.
NEWS
By Marianne Auerweck and Marianne Auerweck,Special to the Sun | March 10, 2002
The thought of growing plants from seeds started indoors may intimidate even the most enthusiastic gardener. Many have tried, only to end up with pale, weak and spindly seedlings that refuse to grow into productive plants. Or they wither and die, pinched off at the soil line before they develop their first set of true leaves. It is a disheartening experience, but one you can prevent with a modest investment in equipment and supplies. Knowing how to simulate Mother Nature's warmth and light opens up a whole new range of possibilities for creating a garden that will be the envy of the neighborhood.
NEWS
By Dennis Bishop and Dennis Bishop,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | October 21, 2001
Q. We are going to plant several shade trees in our yard this fall. Is there any advantage to buying a balled and burlapped tree instead of a container tree? A. The one advantage of a balled and burlapped tree is that you can purchase larger trees. Balled and burlapped trees can be 6 inches or more in diameter, while container-grown trees are typically 3 inches or less. However, very few people plant trees larger than 3 inches in diameter. Container-grown trees are lighter and easier to handle.
NEWS
By Ary Bruno and Ary Bruno,SPECIAL TO SUN STAFF | March 11, 2001
I can't help it. Every time I get into a seed catalog like Johnny's Selected Seeds, with all its beautiful color pictures of dozens of different lettuces, my mouth just starts to water. My hands start to itch for those packets of seeds, to caress those crisp and fragile young leaves. Not just one or two varieties, but a whole armful of luscious different kinds is what I crave. Admittedly, some of this comes from having managed an organic farm for several years, where we did, indeed, have 20 or 30 varieties of lettuce and other baby salad greens stretched out in row after lovely row for acres.
NEWS
February 20, 2000
Q. I'm confused about what kind of lights to use indoors to grow flower and vegetable transplants. Do I need special growing lights? A. No, all you need are inexpensive cool white fluorescent tubes. Most of the light they produce is in the blue segment of the spectrum, but that's fine for growing foliage. Keep them lighted for at least 14 hours each day and position them only 1 to 2 inches above the tops of your plants. Q.I was amazed to see my daffodils pop out of the ground in early December.
FEATURES
November 29, 1998
Q. I have some 4-year-old grass seed that I was planning to throw down now on some bare areas. Do you think it will germinate and grow?A. Grass seed loses up to 50 percent viability for each year it is stored at room temperature. Cold-temperature storage helps to limit the loss of viability. Chances are, only a very small percentage of your seed would germinate even under the best conditions. Your second problem is that seeding a bare area in November or December is "iffy" in central Maryland.
FEATURES
By Nancy Brachey and Nancy Brachey,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | March 22, 1998
Well, here we are on the edge of winter, faced with the urge to plunge into the garden and start ripping open seed packages.Spring seems so about to happen, who can resist temptation?While some seeds such as spinach can be planted outdoors safely now, most of the popular flower and vegetable seedlings require warm soil and air to germinate and grow.And, despite the sorta-tropical nature of winter this year, the possibility of frost will hang around until early April.That's why we sow some seeds indoors in March -- to get an early start on tomato and pepper plants, even marigolds and petunias.
NEWS
May 17, 1992
Wildflower popularity is going wild. Bright yellow lance-leaved coreopsis and black-eyed Susans, as well as white oxeye daisies and purple rocket larkspurs are popping up in beds and meadows everywhere -- in back yards, along sidewalks and driveways, and even as decorative trim along the front of houses -- adding spectacular color and beauty to home landscapes across the country.The key to growing wildflowers successfully is understanding the conditions they require in their native habitats.
FEATURES
By Nancy Brachey and Nancy Brachey,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | March 22, 1998
Well, here we are on the edge of winter, faced with the urge to plunge into the garden and start ripping open seed packages.Spring seems so about to happen, who can resist temptation?While some seeds such as spinach can be planted outdoors safely now, most of the popular flower and vegetable seedlings require warm soil and air to germinate and grow.And, despite the sorta-tropical nature of winter this year, the possibility of frost will hang around until early April.That's why we sow some seeds indoors in March -- to get an early start on tomato and pepper plants, even marigolds and petunias.
FEATURES
January 5, 1997
My African violets are becoming distorted and gnarly. What's going on?Cyclamen mites are the likely culprit.The mites attack a variety of houseplants. Besides African violets and cyclamens, these include begonias and kalanchoes. Leaves on infected plants often become brittle and change from green to bronze, gray or tan. Buds will often fail to open, and when they do, flowers will be small and distorted.Isolate infested plants immediately and throw out any that are badly damaged. Spray salvageable plants with a miticide or insecticide that is labeled for use on cyclamen mites and houseplants.
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