Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
a cluster of Japanese Beetles looking lifeless

Japanese Beetle Time

Hello fellow readers, Caught in the act! I found the culprit of Carolyn’s holy rose dilemma we spoke about last week. As I arrived with Pyrethrin in hand, there they were, the shiny green and rust-colored beetles chomping away. Yes, indeed, it’s Japanese beetle time. Their arrival bri
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a woman from the waist down in jeans and black workbooks demonstrating no-till gardening using a broadfork.

No-till Gardening

Hello fellow readers, I adore learning from Patti Doell of Little Big Farm, a cut flower farm in Blairstown, NJ. We spoke in late winter when her seed-starting was underway, and I found out she adopted the no-till gardening technique. Also known as no-dig gardening, it’s the pra
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Kearny Community Garden using strawbales

Vegetable Gardening Basics

Hello fellow readers, Thanks to Anita from Blairstown, NJ, who sent me an alert; I sat in on an informative talk about Vegetable Gardening Basics—virtually, that is, like everything these days. Kelly Durkin, Manager of Catherine Dickson Hofman Branch of Warren County Library, looking
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brown patches on lawn

Brown Patchy Lawn Dilemma

Hello fellow readers, After our volunteer sing at the Karen Ann Quinlan Home for Hospice last Friday, my singing buddy, Ken of Branchville NJ, asked about grub remedies for his lawn riddled with brown patches. He tried a product from a home store, but it didn’t help. It may not be a g
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white bowl with watermelon cubes and blueberries

Are Seedless Watermelon GMO?

Hello Fellow Readers, We attended a pool party over the weekend with close friends; the host is a full-fledged organic gardener. “Aren’t seedless watermelon genetically modified not to have seeds?” one guest whispered as we were dishing up the delicious fruit. “
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native beneficial ladybug on a hand

Beneficial Ladybugs

Hello Fellow Readers, Sometimes, I think I should’ve been a bug expert given all the garden dilemmas from insects that folks ask about. Fortunately, there are also beneficial bugs, such as the much-loved ladybugs. Aphid remedies before introducing beneficial ladybugs For sure ma
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Ridding of Roundup

Hello Fellow Readers, A few weeks back I dug in with Andrew of Sparta NJ who wished to enhance his gardens in time for hosting pre-prom photos for his daughter. He was expecting sixty with friends and parents. I recall how Jessica came home from school eleven years ago when I first wo
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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog,Northern New Jersey Landscape Designer, Mary Reynolds, Kalmia latifolia

The Love of the Land

Hello Fellow Readers, Saturday night, after a long day exhibiting at a Home & Garden event, I did what I rarely do. I settled down in front of the TV to veg out. Legs elevated on pillows to lessen my foot fatigue, clicker in hand, I stumbled upon a movie based on a true story titl
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Rainwater (& Snow) Harvesting

Hello Fellow Readers, About my Christmas cactus – the one that I wrote about early in our tenure of column chats that came my way by adoption from a then-husband. Neglected and riddled with old deadwood, I was able to revive it. It bloomed beautifully for many years, though alwa
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Mary Stone, Garden Dilemmas, Ask Mary Stone,Gardening tips, Garden Blogs, Stone Associates Landscape Design, Garden Blog, Leaf Mold, Leaf Mold as Mulch

Leaf Mold – Better than Mulch

Hello fellow readers, “Is fall a good time to mulch,” asked John of Washington, NJ? I think so, mainly because when spring arrives, there’s much to do in the garden. And for me, the madness of the season speedily unfolds. This spring, like most springs, mulching didn’t hap
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