Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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Doublefile Viburnum Angels

Hello Fellow Readers, I am thrilled to report the robin mentioned last week did indeed nest in the Doublefile Viburnum outside our kitchen window. Perhaps the same robin that nested there last year. They say they can return to a spot if they’ve had successful broods prior. It tu
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Root Pruning

Hello Fellow Readers, Last week we spoke about Early Spring Transplants and the question of root pruning came up from Brian of Stone Church PA. Great question Brian. Transplanting is always stressful for plants especially for the feeder roots; those most responsible for bringing nutri
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Early Spring Transplants

Hello Fellow Readers, Early spring, after the ground thaws, is an ideal time for transplanting many deciduous and evergreen trees and shrubs before they break dormancy. It’s the second-best time in my book. The first best time is after the leaves drop or when they go dormant. That way
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Raining Cats and Dogs

Hello fellow readers, Last week we were on deck for a new planting, but heavy rains were forecast. While a light drizzle or overcast skies are ideal for planting, when it’s raining cats and dogs it’s not. Just as walking around soggy soil is not good for existing plants, planting in t
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Tickle and Rub Mycorrhizae

Hello fellow readers, “Be sure you tickle the roots,” I coach new gardeners after carefully removing a plant from its pot. Using my fingers, or an edge of a trowel, I demonstrate how to loosen the roots to encourage them to spread. Sometimes a utility knife comes into play if a plant
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Terrariums: a Mini-gardening Warmup

Hello Fellow Readers, Just before our gardens kicked into gear, I had the privilege of dropping in on a succulent event hosted by A&J Messina Greenhouses in Blairstown NJ which served as a mini-gardening warmup. What a lively group of over seventy guests learning how to make a ter
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Readying for Organic Vegetable Gardening

Sara from Oxford NJ asked how to prepare a plot in her backyard for organic vegetable gardening come spring. She suspects the previous owners used chemicals as when they moved in, the lawn "looked like a golf course." Kudos Sara. It's smart to consider the prior use of chemicals when
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Free Peat or Peat Free ?

Hello Fellow Readers, For several years now I’ve had two bales of peat moss in my potting shed. For the life of me I don’t recall where they came from. Perhaps a donation from a client when they moved? Sphagnum moss, or peat moss, is a genus of approximately 380 species. It’s a
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Proper Planting Hillside

Hello Fellow Readers, In the Spring of 2011 my sister Dot, who lives in Chesterfield Virginia, planted a Red maple (Acer rubrum) in the tiered garden she and her hubby built to manage the slope in their back yard. At the time our dear Mom had just moved in and I recall her reminiscenc
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The Fall Divide

Hello fellow readers, Last week we spoke about how fall is a great time for planting most trees and shrubs. What about perennials asked Dorothy of Bangor? By and large I prefer spring for planting most new perennials. But if you can’t resist a bargain, fall can work just fine. In fact