Posted on: March 9, 2020 | Written By: Doug Oster |
Everybody Gardens 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.)
Kathy: Why haven’t my crocuses bloomed?They usually bloom very early, especially the yellow ones, but nothing yet and no signs of buds. They have been in the ground at least 30 years.
Doug: I’ve only had snow crocuses bloom, and I’m still waiting for the main crop. I’ve seen some up, but not the bulk of them. I bet you will see them in the next week or so.
Patty: In reading the fine print on my dormant oil spray, it’s not safe for bees when they are actively visiting the treatment area. Not sure when our bees will come out since this is our first over-wintering of our bees. Do you know of a dormant oil spray that is safe for bees?
Doug: First off, good for you carefully reading the warnings and directions on the dormant oil. It’s always important to note, that even though a treatment is certified organic, there still can be hazards. Dormant oil is sprayed on things like fruit trees and other plants early in the season to suffocate insects that have overwintered on the plant.
Susan: I bought a new house six years ago and didn’t realize there was a patch of Bermuda grass in the front yard. It has spread. How can I get the Bermuda grass out of the front yard?
Doug: It’s not going to be easy, but here are a couple of organic methods.
Jean: So I have never grown garlic. I have some bulbs, given to me last fall by a friend. The ones not eaten, stored in a brown paper bag, have sprouts. I stuck one clove in a bit of water and it has a couple 3 inch sprouts. What next? Into the ground? Do I separate the cloves from the heads and plant them?
Doug: Sounds like you’re in pretty good shape. The only downside to this is that the soil is not ready to be worked. Here’s what I would do. I’d buy a $5-7 bag of compost and spread it out over a garden bed. Take the heads you have and gently separate them. Push each clove into the soil, down a couple of inches and six inches apart. Then I would mulch with a one-inch layer of mulch. I have the best luck planting garlic in the fall, but spring will work. Let the cloves spout and leave them be until they send up a seed head called a scape. Remove the scape to force the plant into concentrating on making big bulbs. When half of the foliage has turned brown, pull the bulbs and hang them in a warm dry place for three weeks. They will last the longest over the winter if the stems are left on. Good luck!