, Salem, MA


April 26, 2013

Can we grow a pumpkin in yard?


If you used compostable mulch like grass or leaves, it could be left to compost right on the bed. You won’t have to completely remove it, but pull it back from the base of the plants to prevent rot and insect damage.

If you used hay as mulch, it probably hasn’t rotted enough to leave it. Move it to the compost heap, where it can continue decomposing for a few more months, then bring it back to the garden.

Q: Everything seems to be sold for large gardens — seed, plants, fertilizers — and they’re things I would really like to try if I could get a smaller size. I’ve written to several companies, but they can’t seem to help. Can you offer any suggestions?

A: This is the time of year to choose a “garden buddy” — someone in your neighborhood with whom you can share plants, seeds, garden materials and even some specialty tools. You’ll save time and gasoline on trips to the nurseries and share information as you go through catalogs and trips out for supplies. Choose a first-time gardener, or someone who has knowledge to share about a specialty like roses or lilies. It might be wise to set budgets so there are no misunderstandings.

Q: My neighbor walks her dogs past my house every day, sometimes more than once. She is a very caring dog walker, picking up all solid matter, but there’s no way she can control the wet spots, which appear to be happening in the same spot every day. Now I’m beginning to see dead grass in the area. What can I do?

A: First, don’t be too quick to blame. Maybe it’s not only your neighbor’s dog’s fault — other dogs follow suit and may have used the same spot, over and over.

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