Problem Solving

Winter Protective Mulch

A mulch designed to protect tender plants in the winter is not the same as the mulch you put down to suppress weeds and keep moisture in the soil. The latter is usually finely chopped leaves, bark or other wood, and it works by forming a thin but fairly tight layer on top of the…

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A Good Year for Oak Galls

“What are those small, white balls in my lawn?” and “There are white, fuzzy things all over my plants…are they harmful?”  These are the questions that are coming into the garden center right now. Those small balls, the size of a pea or slightly larger, are wooly oak galls. They are made by a tiny…

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For Plant Identification, Look At The Leaves First

If you are looking to identify a plant for yourself or others, here are a few things to keep in mind. It’s now common practice to post photos of plants online and ask “the hive mind” for identification. We see such requests on the Cape Cod Gardening Facebook Group all the time.  People are wonderfully…

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Why Did My Plant Die?

Let’s start this post off with the truth: sometimes we can’t figure out why a plant has died. And often, a plant dies not just from one cause, but from a combination of “this, then that, and the other thing.” That said, here is how to problem solve if you’ve got a plant that didn’t…

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Taming The Cape Cod Jungle

Here’s what’s going on in every yard and garden on Cape Cod: birds light in shrubs and trees, and poop onto the ground below. As they do so, they place seeds for many invasive or wild plants into your garden. Many of those seeds germinate, and before you realize it, your plants are infested with…

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What Happened To My Grasses?

Ornamental grasses (some of our customers call them “beach grasses”) took a hit this past winter. We’ll never know whether it was the rollercoaster temperatures early in the winter or the very wet conditions we had in March, but many people found that their grasses were dead this spring. Some clumps have a few, feeble…

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“It’s Out of Control!” The Too Large Hydrangea

Your hydrangea has gotten too big. It is growing up over the windows or spilling out into the walkway. Your hydrangea is covering nearby shrubs, or blocking the driveway. “How do I prune this to make it small again?” you ask. The simple answer is that you don’t. Plants grow to be the size and…

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Winter Moth Larvae 2018

Although the “word on the street” is that winter moth larvae damage isn’t going to be as bad this year, I have seen them on every property I’ve visited in the past ten days. They are still very small, so the damage they are doing is only noticeable when you look at a plant closely.…

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Is It Safe To Plant Outside?

As the garden center fills with beautiful plants for the summer season, our customers are asking if they can plant what they see outdoors. “Can I put my tomatoes in?” one man asked today, and yesterday a woman called wanting to know if she could plant the basil outdoors. Today is May 1st and we…

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