Garden Dilemmas, Delights & Discoveries, Ask Mary Stone, New Jersey Garden blog
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Mud Season to Dos (& Don’ts)

Hello Fellow Readers, It’s the official the start of spring and I don’t feel ready. The ending of this winter, more than most, came much too fast. Partly because I didn’t have my fill of cross-country skiing; not to complain because the times we did have were glorious. It’s more becau

Impulses Satisfied by Seed Shopping

Hello Fellow Readers, “Seems timely,” wrote Anita from Blairstown NJ in an email this morning with a Rose is Rose cartoon (a syndicated comic strip by Pat Brady.) It starts out with a woman decked in garden cloths and wide-brimmed hat adorned with a pink bow. She’s on her knees up to
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Leaf Mold – Better than Mulch

Hello fellow readers, Is fall a good time to mulch, asked John of Washington NJ? I think so, especially 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 happen despite m
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Ladybugs: a Lucky Garden Gift

Hello fellow readers, I was chatting with Linda, my college roommate in southern California, who mentioned her friend Lore’s home is being swarmed by ladybugs. Many of us think of ladybugs as good luck which is said to have stemmed from farmers long ago, who prayed to the Virgin Mary
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Readying for Organic Veggies

Hello fellow readers, 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 previo
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Fungi Impacted Leaves in the Garden

Hello fellow readers, This growing season provided a perfect environment for foliar disease. Earlier in the summer Hector from Morristown, NJ sent a photo of his Mom’s maple tree dotted with black spots. “All the leaves seem to have the cooties.” I sent the photo off to my favorite as
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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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“No self-respecting southerner …”

Hello Fellow Readers, Pam and Ed of Sparta have a charming bluestone patio. The shady spot has encouraged moss to take up residence which is lovely. The dilemma is, ants have also moved in. Previous attempts to evict the ants has caused the demise of their treasured green fuzz in the
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Honoring the Health of our Earth

Hello Fellow Readers, As we ready our gardens for the new season of growth, many add fertilizers and other nourishment such as compost and manure. You’ve likely noticed, I advocate organic practices so we all may breathe green with a splash of color. Organic farming became known as su
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Compassion for Stink Bugs?

Hello Fellow Readers, During a recent interview with BJ Ward of Warren County Community College in Washington NJ regarding their upcoming visit with Liz Gilbert, he asked if stink bugs are a common garden dilemma question. As a matter of fact, no one yet asked about the annoying littl