Remove Tree Wraps This Spring

Tree wraps are important for protecting young trees against winter damage, but they shouldn’t be left on all year. Be kind to your young trees and remove wraps each spring. When they’re applied in the fall, tree wraps shelter tender young bark from animals and sunscald. Sunscald injures bark when the winter sunshine reflects off of…
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Are Two Apple Trees Needed For Fruit?

Is it really necessary to plant two apple trees in order to get fruit? And are they supposed to be the same variety or different? Will crabapples work? How close do they have to be? Apples are well-adapted for home-yard growing. But to get fruit, certain pollination requirements must be met. Apple trees are self-sterile, which…
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When To Dig And Divide Rhubarb

There’s something comforting about rhubarb. Having a plant or two in the backyard means all is right with the world. And it’s a link to our pioneer ancestors for whom rhubarb was a must-have on their homesteads. I treasure our own red-stalked plants that were passed along through three generations, first planted by my grandmother 90 years…
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How To Repair Dog Spots On Lawn

Lawn damage caused by dog urine is especially visible in spring when we wait excitedly for lawns to turn from winter-brown to springtime-green. It puts a damper on spring when the picture-perfect green turf is marred by random yellow dead circles. What can be done about dog damage to lawns? Dog urine is high in nitrogen. Nitrogen…
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Protesting Unnatural Shrub Pruning

I never like to speak unkindly of any gardening endeavor, but when shrubs are sheared tightly into ugly cones and basketball shapes, enough is enough. Leafy (deciduous) shrubs can be pruned now in springtime, preferably before they leaf out fully. A little touch-up trimming can be done through the growing season. Evergreens are best pruned…
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