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 email@example.com. (Please include your name, location and the topic in the subject line)
This is the worst time of year to prune anything. Doing so will stimulate new growth and interfere with the plants successfully going dormant for the winter.
The next time a dog is tugging on its leash, headed for a solid-looking pine to "water," WTOP's Garden Editor Mike McGrath says that small territorial claim could kill the tree.
Tips for taking care of a neglected lawn and dealing with bamboo.
Without a doubt the No. 1 chore for those of you with cool season lawns is a big fall feeding. Cool season lawns like fescue, rye and bluegrass need their biggest feeding of the season right now to help them recover from that brutal summer we all endured.
Jim in Alexandria has an all-too common problem. He writes, "I have several Boxwoods along the walkway at the front of my house, and neighborhood dogs love to urinate on them (and it doesn't appear that their owners care.) This is slowly killing the Boxwoods. Almost half of the leaves are brown and dying. Any recommendations on how to keep the dogs away?"
Now that the nasty bugs are getting bored with violating our late season tomatoes, the stinkers are looking for ways to get into our houses to hibernate for the winter. But as we told you last year, Jody Williams, an amateur inventor from New Jersey, created a simple way to intercept them.
This is the time to take a bad yard and turn it into the yard you want.
Find out how to save by buying now for next spring.
When is the best time to apply corn gluten for fall weed prevention?
Hastings in Woodbridge writes: "My squash and cucumber plants have developed a white mold on the leaves. It's so bad that my squash plants have all died. What causes this and is there anything I can do to save my cucumber plants?"
What's the silky material showing up on azaleas and roses? And tips to help tomato growers.
Evil squirrels (sorry, that's redundant) would laugh at cat hair the way they laugh at my actual cats.
Hang in there, cats and kittens, this heat wave should break by Monday. In the meantime, and during future heat waves, remember the following tips.
WTOP's Garden Editor Mike McGrath has tips for what not to do when it's really hot.
The first heat wave of the season was pretty brutal. And it won't be the last, so let's review hot weather turfgrass rules.
Beneficial nematodes are the safe and effective grub control of choice.
Unless you plant the starter plugs densely, zoysia typically takes a couple seasons to fully establish, while Bermuda starts (or seed) planted in the Spring will fully cover the intended area edge to edge by the end of summer.
As the weather warms up, the Bermuda in your lawn (which isn't killed by herbicides like Roundup which only kills frogs and toads) gets stronger, while cool-season turfs like fescue and bluegrass get weaker. Like it or not, your lawn will probably be all Bermuda by late August.
Jim in D.C. writes: "I know you're a fan of using an inch of compost to mulch tomato plants, ,ut how about zukes, cukes, peppers and eggplant? What's the best mulch for them?"
Alan in Fairfax writes: "I read your suggestion on adding the crushed shells of a dozen eggs to each hole when planting tomatoes to prevent blossom end rot later in the season, but my plants are already in the ground. Is there another good source of calcium I can use?"
Hi: 39 °F | Lo: 23 °F