SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Lifestyle

April 26, 2013

Can we grow a pumpkin in yard?

(Continued)

As a fix, remove the spot to a depth of 4 inches, fill it in with fresh top soil and reseed, or buy a piece of healthy sod. You’ll have a perfect lawn instantly. In either case, cover the damaged area with horticultural lime. Lime neutralizes the acid in the urine and will prevent the area from turning color, if caught in time.

You could also put up a sign that says, “Not a doggie park.”

Q: My corn plant, an inside plant, has grown so tall it really needs to be cut back. The leaves are only coming out of the top foot of the plant. I haven’t cut it back in the past because it has bloomed every winter. Suggestions?

A: Decide how much of a new plant you want to be left with. Cut the main stem back, remove two or three leaves and root the piece in water — or dip the cut end in a rooting compound and root it in peat or sand. Either way, be patient. Roots will form, and you’re on the way to a new corn plant.

You will have to give up on the wonderful but seldom-seen flowers — usually, corn plants take years to flower. The bare remaining stem might sprout if given good care.

This week’s dirt

While you’re out around the garden on the first sunny days, don’t go out without a pad and pencil. Inspect the garden and begin list-making — what has broken and will need pruning, and what will have to be replaced.

---

North Shore Gardener by Barbara Barger of Beverly is a feature of Friday’s Lifestyles section. Reach Barbara by email at nsgardener@comcast.net or write to her c/o The Salem News, 32 Dunham Road, Beverly, MA 01915. Previous North Shore Gardener columns can be found at www.nsgardener.com.

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