Posted on: November 12, 2018 | Written By: Doug Oster |
Gardening editor Doug Oster gets asked a lot of questions. A lot. And he doesn’t mind offering gardening advice. But rather than just limiting those answers to the person who asked, we thought it might be a good idea to share that wealth of knowledge with everybody.
There are three ways to send in your questions:
(The questions may be lightly edited for grammar/clarity/etc.)
John: In regards to canna lilies, after cutting off the stalks, do I leave the tubers in the ground for a few weeks like I do with dahlias?
Doug: You can pull them after cutting the stalks. We leave the dahlias in the ground a couple of weeks so they form eyes. You don’t have to worry about that with cannas.
Kimberly: A friend gave me two small elephant ears. They are in the basement drying up. Never thought about it as a houseplant. At this point, should I let them stay dry for spring or hurry up and put them in a pot?
Doug: It’s up to you. If you do decide to store them, put them in something like vermiculite just so they don’t get too dry. I love them as houseplants. I’ve got a huge one that I used to take in and out. Now I just leave it inside year round and it’s happy.
Liz: Can I plant daffodils with my garlic?
Doug: They both can be planted at the same time. If you want them in the same bed, just give them enough space to do their thing. You’ll be pulling the garlic in July and the daffs will stay.
Holly: When is the best time to cover the potted perennials with burlap for winter?
Doug: I don’t like to cover them with something like that. You can mulch them once the foliage dies back. I do use burlap around some shrubs like hydrangeas as a windbreak, hopefully to keep the buds from freezing in the winter.
Dan: I was wondering if I could save an orchid I transplanted but didn’t like the new pot and lost all its leaves. There are still small air roots. Do you use organic indoor year round or just certain times of the year?
Doug: When you transplanted, did you put the plant into an orchid mix as opposed to a standard planting mix? Orchids need drainage and don’t like to be over-watered. Get a feel for how much moisture is in the mix by lifting the pot. The plant needs water, but not a lot. There’s no reason to fertilize until we get to the other side of the season, late February or March.
Yes, I always use organic methods, inside or outside.
Doug Oster is manager and editor of Everybody Gardens with a passion for gardening and a love of sharing is experiences with other gardeners. You will also find Doug’s gardening contributions in the Tribune-Review each week. He’s an Emmy Award winning producer, television host and writer. Oster is co-host of The Organic Gardeners Radio show every Sunday morning at 7 a.m. on KDKA radio in Pittsburgh. Oster’s Outstanding Documentary Emmy was awarded for Gardens of Pennsylvania, a one hour special he conceived and produced for the PBS affiliate WQED. Doug appears every Thursday morning on KDKA-TV’s Pittsburgh Today live at 9 a.m. “Gardening is fun, he says, enjoy every day spent outside tending vegetables, flowers, shrubs and trees.”