April 28, 2018


Weekly news from the

National Gardening Association

   Fertilizing Redbud Trees   

"I have gotten many different responses to this question and need some help! Last year I planted 3 Redbud trees in my yard. I have a professional arborist organization fertilize all my trees annually. They informed me that Redbuds need sulphur to maintain good health. They told me to go to a nearby nursery/garden shop and purchase some there. When I went to the nursery/garden shop they weren't sure what to give me. I've made two trips so far, back and forth with things they thought I needed. On the last trip they gave me "garden sulphur". When I read the bag, I got scared. There were lots of precautions and only instructions to use the product as an insecticide. I called The Chicago Botanic gardens hotline - two different people told me two opposite things. One said Yes they need sulphur, another said leave the trees alone. I don't know what to do and I don't know what to purchase, if I need to fertilize them. Help!" - Read the answer


Growing Basil
Featured in cuisines across the globe, basil is an indispensable flavoring. Plant seeds or transplants after all danger of frost has passed and soil is warm, and it will yield an abundant harvest within weeks.
Weeds: Chickweed
Chickweed (Stellaria media) is a widespread, hardy annual often found in moist, fertile garden soil. In mild winter climates it begins blooming before winter ends. Edible but not very tasty, chickweed plants form dense 3-inch-tall mats of foliage studded with starry white flowers.
Rein in Storm Water with a Rain Garden
When a thunderstorm unleashes a torrent of rain, all that water landing on impervious surfaces like roofs, driveways, and walkways often runs off into the nearest storm drain and from there eventually to local waterways, or it goes directly into nearby streams, rivers, and lakes. Even when the rain lands on lawns, gardens, or other vegetated surfaces, so much comes down so quickly in a thunderstorm that much of the needed water runs off rather than soaking into the ground.
Dividing Perennials
When an established perennial produces fewer flowers, or the center of the plant looks sickly while the margins thrive, it could be time to divide the plant.
Tomato Hornworm
This pest is found throughout the United States. These large, fat caterpillars feed voraciously on the leaves and fruits of tomatoes, peppers, eggplants, and potatoes.
Choosing Tomato Varieties
If you're just starting out in a small backyard or community garden, try growing only a few tomato plants at
Planting Blackberries
Blackberries need full sun. They aren't fussy about soils, although good drainage is important. If the soil has a good amount of humus, so much the better, but average fertility is all they need.


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