Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
light beige frothy slime mold on a variegated ornamental grass

Slime Mold & Artillery Fungus

Hello fellow readers, Several fungal dilemmas are showing up as of late. Bob of Piscataway, NJ, sent a photo of icky creamy, frothy stuff on Hakonechloa. Also known as Japanese Forest Grass, it’s one of my favorite shade-loving ornamental grasses. It’s the first I’ve
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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 brick walk leading to a front entrance with pink knock out roses

Rose Remedies

Hello fellow readers, Two unsightly rose dilemmas came to my attention, requiring a revisit of suggested rose remedies. We’ve chatted before about the plethora of rose challenges such as spider mites and aphids that often run amok. Never mind the fungus amongst them like black spot an
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an open bag of Twin Oaks Pine Bark Nuggets

Carpenter Ants and Termites in Mulch

Hello fellow readers, Today’s topic hits close to home. Sandy from Sparta, NJ, wrote, “Brian bought pine bark nuggets to mulch the garden, and there’s tons of huge black ants and some termites in it. What do I do?” The close-to-home part is I’m tackling c
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closeup of a beige-colored cave cricket on a white background

Do Cave Crickets Benefit the Garden?

Hello fellow readers,  Jolee came upon an American toad in the lawn to the left of a drainage swale.  I’m glad she didn’t pounce for the kill, the fate of cave crickets, though we are grateful for her finesse. Our rescue pup is indeed earning her keep. The darn things ador
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Native Tree and Shrub Replacements

Hello fellow readers, The influx of insects killing stands of trees is heartbreaking. But beyond the losses of our much-loved trees is an opportunity to plant beautiful native trees and shrub replacements. We spoke before about how the emerald ash borer is devastating trees. They say
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a stack of ashwood logns invested with EAB

Help Control Emerald Ash Borer Spread

Hello fellow readers, Last week’s chat about the end of the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) quarantine brought quite a buzz. Though authorities will no longer restrict ash wood movement, we can help control Emerald Ash Borer spread by doing our part. Which brings the question of Robert
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a large patch of bark fallen from an ash tree

Emerald Ash Borer a Lost Cause?

Hello fellow readers, Upon investigating the culprit of a tree largely de-barked, I learned the US Department of Animal and Plant Health Inspection recently dropped the quarantine laws to prevent the further spread of Emerald Ash Borer. Could it be that EAB is a lost cause? After the
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close up of a buck with antlers

Feeding Deer Promotes Disease

Hello fellow readers, When I moved to the area and saw Deer Corn for Sale signs, I considered it a tool to lure deer during hunting season. I quickly learned that folks buy it to feed deer all winter long. While their intentions of being kind to wildlife are good, feeding deer promote
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a grey winged insect with black spots and reddish tinge of color

Spotted Lanternfly Update

Hello fellow readers, As I took photos of a landscape renovation I designed for clients in Tranquility, NJ, I came upon a Spotted Lanternfly that landed on the welcome mat by the front door. I snagged a photo of it, thinking to myself, you are not welcome at all. Since The Press (NJ/P
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