WTOP's Garden Editor Mike McGrath is:
* Host of the nationally syndicated Public Radio show, You Bet Your Garden
* Contributing Editor and columnist for Greenprints magazine
* Former Editor-in-Chief of ORGANIC GARDENING magazine
* Author of books on Tomatoes, Compost, Seed saving and Kitchen Gardening
* Mike makes several appearances around town. They are listed in each week's column..
* Do you have a question for Mike? Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. (Please include your name, location and the topic in the subject line)
As I've been stressing for more than a decade, "mulch" does NOT mean "wood." In fact, wood is the second-worst mulch material you can use.
Lawn height shouldn't change with the seasons.
Now is planting time, but make sure the temperatures at night are in the high 40s.
I was recently contacted by a gentleman from Delaware who was sick of these alien pests invading his home in the fall, so he constructed a trap that intercepts them as they swarm outside.
Sprays do not work against ants because the vast majority of the pests, and the all-important queen, are in hidden nests that the sprays never reach.
The problem is that wood and bark mulches have been heavily marketed to homeowners ever since landfills stopped accepting wood waste.
Anh in Germantown writes: "Is Boy Scout mulch safe for my garden or home? I recently purchased a few bags of 'recycled hardwood mulch' from a boy scout whom I could not turn away. But I recall hearing on WTOP that such mulch is not safe. What are the negative effects of using this mulch?"
Toni in Purcellville has had it. She writes: "I got home today and killed about 30 of those stinky stink bugs (because you said to kill them if you see them). I am sick of them! There has got to be something to get rid of these pests.
Mike McGrath, WTOP's Garden Plot editor
Donna in Woodbridge just lobbed me the ultimate softball. She writes: "I want to do my own lawn care this year. What do you think about the 4-Step Annual Feeding Program sold by Scotts? Or should I just stick with corn gluten and no chemicals?"
Mike McGrath, WTOP's garden editor
WTOP listeners are checking in from our southern reaches to report the first blooms on their forsythia and redbuds (Thanks guys. Such reports are a big help to yours truly!), and that means the application time for any pre-emergent herbicide is here or fast approaching.
Lots of WTOP listeners have been emailing, asking where they can buy corn gluten meal to prevent crabgrass and give their lawn a perfect Spring feeding without killing frogs, toads, birds and the Bay.
When should corn gluten be applied to lawns? Does liquid kelp help?
Mike McGrath, WTOP's garden editor
Corn gluten is the perfect high nitrogen lawn food (right around 10 percent), and it contains natural compounds that inhibit the germination of weed seeds.
WTOP's Garden Editor Mike McGrath reviews the meanings of different flowers. Guys, for true love, forget red roses.
Although frigidly cold weather without any snow cover (like we experienced at the beginning of this wretched winter) can stress lawns new and old, there's really no way we humans can mimic the insulating protection of snow.
As we cope with all this frozen misery, remember that our plants love a heavy cover of snow -- so feel free to move as much snow as possible onto garden beds and such.
Those trees are real bullies, with roots that steal every bit of food and water they can find, leaving little to nothing for other plants.
Hi: 90 °F | Lo: 66 °F