Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
Hickory Tussock caterpillars , Lophocampa caryae, Garden Dilemmas Ask Mary Stone, Garden Tips

Cute Creepy Crawlers

Hello Fellow Readers, Seems we’re crowded with cute creepy crawlers, caterpillars that is. I have an affinity for the woollybear caterpillars because of the folklore about winter predictions; the wider the brown middle band, the milder the winter, so it is said. In fact I love photogr
Garden Dilemmas Ask Mary Stone Gardening Tips, Garden Tips, Ripening Green Tomatoes, Ripening Tomatoes

Avoid Tomato Carnage; Ripen Indoors!

Hello fellow readers, On August 7th I proudly announced Happy First Tomato! Excited chipmunks didn’t get the first bite; the fate of all my tomato attempts in years past. Don’t laugh -I displayed my single bounty for a few days on the windowsill before I indulged in its am
Microstegium vimineum / Japanese Stilt Grass, Garden Dilemmas Ask Mary Stone

More than crabby Stilt Grass & Thistle

Hello fellow readers, Last week we spoke about annoying crabgrass and how to keep it at bay. There’s more to be crabby about writes Carol from Blairstown who sent a picture of what looks like mini-bamboo which she’s trying to wipe out to allow her pachysandra to spread.  Microstegium

A Jiffy Jar of Japanese Beetles

Hello fellow readers, I saw the first of the season as did Tom of Mt. Bethel who asked if he should hang the Japanese beetle traps you find at the hardware store.  The subject opens up a can of worms… or should I say grubs. Studies have shown that these pheromone lures attract many mo

Beaver or Woodchuck?

Hello fellow readers, ‘Help! A woodchuck is eating my trees’, writes Lucia, ‘and is he has moved in right near my front door where there’s a deep hole about a foot in diameter. So I think; do I bake a cake, bring some wine or what? Who can I call to help him move to the San Diego Zoo?

Finding Neem Oil

Hello fellow readers, Last week we spoke about aphids and a remedy using dish detergent. Since then, there’s been an influx of other kitchen and natural remedies against undesirables. Gail of Stone Church suggests garlic, a natural insect repellent as it emits a strong odor that

Aphids on Roses

Hello fellow readers, Michele of Sparta asked how to keep aphids off her newly adopted Knock Out Rose. Her other had been devastated by aphids last year and predicts Knock Out #2 will be impacted. Aphids are small sap-sucking insects destructive to plants that overwinter as eggs and a
Stop Garden Volcanoes Mary Stone Garden Dilemmas

Volcanos vs. Proper Planting

Hello fellow readers, 100 columns ago we began out garden chat; which has more to do than digging in the dirt as gardens are a medium for all that grows in life don’t you think? So for column 101 it seems fitting to reflect back on our very first topic; the etiquette of planting and m
Winter Burn Mary Stone of Garden Dilemmas

Winter Burn

Hello Fellow Readers, Now that the tundra has melted away the damage caused by our infinite winter has come to full view.  Holy cow! Or should I say Holy Deer. For the first time my evergreen shrubs were hammered by Bambi. I’m trying not to hold a grudge as the poor things were starvi

Woolly Adelgid & Hemlock Mulch

Hello Fellow Readers, At last-the official start of spring! One of the chores many delve into along with their spring cleanup is freshening up their mulch. John from Andover asked what mulch he should use. Last week we spoke about the trend in using cocoa mulch but learned it can be t