Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
Cream colored slime mold on mulch

Fixing Funky Fungi in Mulch

Hello, fellow lovers of all things green. It’s mulch time, and John from Andover, NJ, asked what kind of mulch to use. First and foremost, stay clear of trunks and stems to prevent disease. That’s my polite way of saying no volcano mulch, please. To avoid mushrooms in the
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A selfie of black sneakers on a lawn filled with sunny yellow dandelions

Benefits of Plantain & Dandelion “Weeds”

Hello, fellow lovers of all things green. Have you ever considered Broadleaf Plantain, the flat-leaved weed with spikey seed heads that invades your lawn, a beneficial plant? It was news to me to learn that it’s a valuable herb, though I’ve known for years that Dandelions
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a large yellow sunflower with a honeybee standing in front of a field of sunflowers.

A Sunflower Maze Brings Happiness

Hello, fellow readers, What a joy to visit Liberty Farm’s Sussex County Sunflower Maze in Sandyston, NJ, who invited us for a special day bringing happiness. It’s their 14th year of growing the maze. Raj Sinha started growing sunflowers when the New Jersey Audubon Society
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a yellow swallowtail butterfly on a long white Bottlebrush Buckeye Bloom

Bottlebrush Buckeye Hide Tree Knees

Hello fellow readers, We went from a drought spring where we were behind in rainfall to a summer unfolding with too much rain. Trees came down after last week’s storms and flooding, wreaking havoc. Many of them, the Ash trees now dead from the Emerald Ash borer. After the skies
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white bowl with watermelon cubes and blueberries

Oxymoron of Seedless Watermelon

Hello fellow readers; Independence Day is a day to celebrate and cherish the freedoms our forefathers fought for and to thank those that serve to protect our freedoms today. Along with the July 4th festivities comes watermelon. Remember the seed-spitting contests? Maybe young uns don&
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A colander of funky vegetables on a wooden table

Are Funky Vegetables GMO?

Hello Fellow Readers, Green beans aren’t only green anymore. And tomatoes come in all sorts of shades and mottled blends of colors. There are even tomatoes that stay green when they’re ripe. Charlotte of Stone Church, PA, asked if the funky vegetables are genetically modif
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two yellow flowering sunflower heads

Delights in my Dry Summer Garden

Hello fellow readers, As I write, it is Labor Day, a day of rest for many, and thankfully soft rain has begun. Countless plants in our gardens and trees and shrubs are tired from the dry summer we endured. But there is magnificence too. This morning I invite you to walk with me to fin
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A an older golden retriever with a white face and big smile named Miss Ellie Mae sitting in a garden .

Origin of Dog Days & Sweating Like a Pig

Hello fellow readers, Mysteriously, a photo of our dear Miss Ellie appeared while posting last week’s column. It was taken on a hot day while out weeding. Miss Ellie plopped herself in the garden to cool herself off. It brought a smile as recently I snagged a photo of Jolee doin
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Rosemary DeTrolio, wiht dark shoulder length hair and a blue shirt, sitting on a garden step with her two tan dogs

Sharing Garden Blessings with Rosemary

Hello fellow readers, I enjoyed sharing stories of garden blessings with Rosemary DeTrolio while visiting her garden in Hope, NJ—a serene plot of vegetables and flowers planted by an extraordinary lady whose calling is to help others grow their spirit. As the owner of Hands of Light b
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a cluster of shiny green and rust colored Japanese Beetles feeing on a plant

Safely Controlling Japanese Beetles

Hello fellow readers,  In last week’s chat, we marveled over the miracle of a robin’s nest though we don’t feel the same about baby insects, other than perhaps caterpillars that turn into butterflies. We sure don’t feel the same way about Japanese beetles wreak
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