Garden Plot

Moles, voles, squirrels and groundhogs ... be gone!

Evil squirrels (sorry, that's redundant) would laugh at cat hair the way they laugh at my actual cats.

Friday - 07/13/2012, 10:42am EDT
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Heat wave warnings and dog day dos and don'ts

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.

Friday - 07/06/2012, 02:33pm EDT
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Tips for heat wave grass care, fending off wasps and rabbits

WTOP's Garden Editor Mike McGrath has tips for what not to do when it's really hot.

Friday - 06/29/2012, 03:38am EDT

Garden Plot: Hot weather lawn care rules

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.

Friday - 06/22/2012, 11:12am EDT
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Lawn grubs of spring now beetles of summer

Beneficial nematodes are the safe and effective grub control of choice.

Thursday - 06/14/2012, 08:49pm EDT

Garden Plot: More tips on grass and garlic

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.

Friday - 06/08/2012, 01:14pm EDT

The time has come to make peace with Bermuda grass

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.

Friday - 06/01/2012, 11:01am EDT
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The best mulch and where to get pine staw

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?"

Friday - 05/25/2012, 10:13am EDT
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Keep ticks at bay and mature tomato plants healthy ... here's how

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?"

Friday - 05/18/2012, 11:10am EDT
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Garden Plot: The right roses and other Mother's Day tips

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."

Friday - 05/11/2012, 03:58pm EDT
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Garden Plot: Timing your tomatoes - and other tomato tips

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.

Friday - 05/04/2012, 10:37am EDT

Changing temperatures and tomato plants

Mike McGrath, WTOP garden editor

Monday - 04/30/2012, 11:12am EDT

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Dandelions, the redux and aphids

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?"

Friday - 04/27/2012, 11:04am EDT
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Dandelions, hydrangeas and tomatoes

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!"

Friday - 04/20/2012, 10:39am EDT
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Moles? Voles? Let's call the whole thing off...

Moles make raised tunnels, especially in lawns, but they don't eat plants. Voles make small holes in the ground and eat lots of plants. And really big holes that plants "disappear down" could be a sign of groundhogs. Identifying the pest is job number one.

Friday - 04/13/2012, 11:32am EDT
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The tubes that take out ticks!

Tick Tubes are one of my favorite tick-prevention devices. They're cardboard tubes filled with cotton balls soaked in a pesticide called permethrin that's especially deadly to ticks.

Friday - 04/06/2012, 10:33am EDT
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Garlic sprays and taming weeds with flames

The white flowers early in the season are very distinctive, so learn what the plant looks like and pull it slowly out of wet soil right away before those flowers can turn into the explosive seedpods.

Friday - 03/30/2012, 08:58am EDT

Sudden freeze may pose threat for early flowers

You're going to need your winter coat Tuesday morning. Areas to the north and west of D.C. are under a freeze watch. Temperatures could dip into the 20s.

Monday - 03/26/2012, 03:58pm EDT

When to seed, fertilize and weed your lawn

Right now is the time to spread corn gluten meal on your lawn to prevent dormant weed seeds like crabgrass from sprouting as you give the turf a nice gentle spring feeding, Mike. But don't delay.

Thursday - 03/22/2012, 06:40pm EDT

Pre-sprout your peas for good St. Patrick's day luck

Happy peas for St. Pat's! That's right, peas. St. Patrick's Day isn't just for wearing green, it's also the unofficial kickoff to growing some delicious green-green peas.

Friday - 03/16/2012, 01:26pm EDT
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