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)
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?"
Bobby in Fairfax writes, "Mother's Day is right around the corner, and my wife saw a beautiful rose bush growing outside a home in Annapolis we'd like to be able to present as a Mother's Day gift. The flowers were multiple colors: red, pink and white. Please help me with the name and where I can find this particular rose."
If you live in the District or in one of the region's more southern suburbs, tomato planting time can pretty much be here if you want as your ten-day forecast shows the nighttime temperatures staying reliably in the 60s and high-50s.
Mike McGrath, WTOP garden editor
Oscar in Bethesda writes: "I have a plant outside that is currently covered with small black insects. Will they damage the plant? Could you please let me know what they are and how I should deal with them?"
Jan in Annapolis writes: "I have more dandelions in my lawn than anyone else in the neighborhood. They're using treatments that I'm sure aren't good for the Bay, and I'm tempted to do the same. Help!"
Hi: 59 °F | Lo: 43 °F