Questions And Answers On Gardeners Edge

Kylee asks…

Why would a gardener plant Marigolds around the edge of their vegetable garden?

Home Gardener answers:

According to the site listed below: “Some gardeners plant marigolds in their vegetable gardens to repel harmful insects. Studies have concluded they are not effective in reducing insect damage on vegetable crops. French types may be useful for root-knot nematode control in soil.”

Rachel asks…

I would like some help choosing a small tree?

which I could plant on the edge of my lawn in memory of my dog. I would appreciate some suggestions for a small tree which wouldn’t grow higher than about 8/10ft. and would grow well in salt air as I live in the south-west by the sea. The soil isn’t that wonderful, but my garden is fairly sheltered……..Any suggestions all you gardeners out there? :-)

Home Gardener answers:

A nice dwarf flowering tree is avondale redbud. It blooms in early spring a pinkish purple color before it puts on leaves. It can take full or partial sun. I would mend the soil with cow manure however. More choices:
dwarf crape myrtle
japanese maple
tree-form wax leaf privet (ligustrum texanum)
japanese snowbell
deciduous magnolia

Richard asks…

Gardeners??? Is there a hedge that does well in shade?

Just moved into a new house. It has a good sized backyard, but we don’t know what to do with it. There are several mature trees (about 13, not evergreen (I don’t know what they are yet, there are no leaves as it’s still winter)) back there. There are also tons of large rocks (I live in Connecticut, and this is common everywhere here) iceburging out there. I feel like a hedge would make the space more usable. Right now it just feels like a wooded lot between my house and the neighbor’s. It doesn’t feel like MY BACKYARD. Does anybody know of any type of hedge (or something that would work kind of like that (besides a fence)) that would do well in full or nearly full shade? I want to define my property line.

Or would I have better luck doing beds along the edge of my property, filled with plants that do well in the shade?

Any gardeners out there? I’m in hardiness zone 6-7 (06340).
Also, if you have any other recommendations for how to use that space. We love plants and the outdoors. It would be awesome if we could hang out out there.

Also, what can we do with the non-garden area? There are the random trees out there. Is there some kind of ground-cover that would do well with all of those trees that we could walk on that wouldn’t attract too many ticks (since we want to spend time out there).

Any advice is welcome. This is our first home, and therefore our first garden (aside from small container gardens).

Home Gardener answers:

A shaded out door garden room to relax in at an end of a stress full day, what a dream haven! You can have it all as well as developing a property line and enjoy the results every year with little maintenance.
Enjoy Flowering shrubs like the mountain Laural; Perennials like ferns, hosta, english bells; Annuals like begonias and impatience; bulbs like day lilies and lily of the valley; ground covers like thyme carpet , carpet phlox; and vines like old henery clematis. Go to this website for some more ideas-

Bob asks…

How to keep water from running towards the house?

We have a house with a grassy backyard that grows right up to the edge of the house. We keep grass well maintained- short. Sprinkler water & rain water run towards the house and get the walls very wet and is leaving a green water stain on the wall (stucco). Is this something to be concerned about? Will it cause termite problems? mold? What can be done? Get rid of the grass? Put down concrete? Re- level the entire yard to slope away from the house? Who do I contact to evaluate the situation? Landscaper or gardener?

Home Gardener answers:

Try to avoid sprinkler spraying towards the house, this is easy to do, just change some sprinkler heads that shoots away from the house,and also try to install catch drains, it is not difficult to do, I did this years ago same situation like yours…. Make sure to test the drainage pipe water goes to the side yard and out towards the front of the house, you should hire a concrete/cement contractor to drill a hole on the cement curb, that’s where the extra water runs out. I had my gardener installed a drainage system, they installed perforated pipe, it failed because I have clay soil, it is the best you do it yourself.

Susan asks…

why are my plants turning yellow and burning at the edges?

I’m a novice vegetable gardener. some of my plants are turning kinda yellow and some of the leaves look burnt on the edges. I think I’m over watering. What do you think?

Home Gardener answers:

Hold back on the watering. Do not use tap water as it contains chlorine and fluorides which have large molecules and build up in the edges and tips of the leaves causing them to burn and turn yellow. Use rain water or bottled water. If you use tap water let it sit in an open container for a few days

Helena asks…

Can someone please tell me why my Gladioli have reverted to a purple colour?

I am an avid gardener, and had some beautiful tall fat gladioli in various colours, peach, cream with pink tinge on the edge, blood red, yellow. They were those colours for about 4 years. Suddenly this year they have all come out early by about 2 months, and are all a flourescent purple magenta colour.
Whilst they are very pretty. I would have prefered they had stayed the colours that I chose.
Thanks ED SNOW, I live in Devon. I do remember my daughter giving me some gladioli last year that she bought a bulk lot of, perhaps some of them are those. However,I do know I planted some gorgeous bright pink, flame coloured ones by my front gate and no others. I shall just have to wait and see, normally the Gladi’s are out in July here.

Home Gardener answers:

Far too early for Gladiolus, even with global warming – which region do you live in? The Gladiolus you have described sounds like Gladiolus byzantium, a species variety that has just finished flowering in my garden, mauve/purple flowered, it flowers weeks before the hybrid varieties. As corms do not revert, (cross pollinated seed can change original colours, bulbs remain as you planted them), I suggest you keep an eye open for your `original` Gladiolus, as mine have only just broken the surface here (SE England). Gladiolus byzantium `travels`, and appears wherever it fancies, I suspect you have `recieved`some `travellers`, or planted some with your original corms.

Wayne asks…

Why is my blueberry bush’s leaves turning brown on the edges?

I’v had planted this lovely Goldberry blueberry bush a couple of months ago and it’s been growing slowly on the other hand, it’s been growing new baby green branches however, the edges of the new and old leaves are turning brown. It’s planted in the ground, and I have been watering it when needed. Because I’m a new gardener, I don’t have a clue to why this is happening.

Could someone please help me figure out why this is happening?

Home Gardener answers:

It could be drought, or it could be that your soil is too alkaline. Test your soil pH with a soil pH meter. Mix in sphagnum, peat or pine needles to make your soil more acidic. Blueberries like a low pH of about 4-5.

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