Garden FAQs

What’s a natural method to kill the weeds in my garden without harming surrounding plants or flowers?

If you have overgrowth of weeds in your garden or lawn and you’d like to avoid using products that contain harmful chemicals, a vinegar solution might be your best bet.

Although it may take a couple days for you to see results, it will be worth the wait to refrain from using synthetic herbicides that can cause health issues for your family, pets or contaminate your soil.

You can purchase white vinegar by the gallon at the store, which typically contains 5 percent vinegar and 95 percent water. The active ingredient that makes vinegar such a potent remedy for unsightly weeds is the acetic acid.

Although it may take a few applications, spray or pour the white vinegar to kill weaker weeds that are two weeks old or younger. Make sure you’re applying the solution on days that are 70 degrees and above. This solution might not be as affective, however, one weeds with well-established roots might that might prove harder to kill and will require their roots to be soaked with around a 20 percent acetic vinegar.

For extreme situations, try brewing a more potent solution by adding a cup of table salt and a tablespoon of liquid dish soap to a gallon of white vinegar. One precaution is not to let solutions containing salt be applied a certain area too often where you may want to grow in the future. Long term, salt prevents grass, flowers or plants from growing.

What flowers are poisonous to house pets?

Often overlooked as a potential health risk, flowers can be hazardous or even deadly to your house pets. If ingested by your cat or dog, some flower pedals and bulbs are toxic enough to cause acute or chronic health issues and can even be fatal.

For instance, lilies are notorious for causing kidney damage if eaten by cats and can create stomach issues for dogs. Other health issues such as vomiting or diarrhea can arise if cats or dogs ingest the flowers and bulbs of autumn crocuses, tulips, daffodils, chrysanthemums, foxgloves or hyacinths.

If this is a concern for you, simply make sure these flowers are out of reach from your pet, or you can look into alternatives to such as roses, daisies or jasmine.

What should I do if my cut flowers start drooping?

There’s no need to panic when your flowers don’t appear to be as spry and lively as they once were. When air gets trapped in the stem tips, flowers and other plants will have a hard time drinking water which causes their stems to lose water tension and begin to droop.

To remedy the situation:

1) Remove flowers from the vase

2) Use scissors to cut about an inch off each stem at a 45 degree angle

3) Clean out vase and replace with cold, fresh water

4) Place flowers back in vase and you’ll begin to see them perk back up in 24 hours

Keep Track of Your Local Weather

Make sure to stay up-to-date on your local weather to so you know how your plants or flowers will be effected to help your garden stay in prime shape. When rain is in the forecast, you may not need to water your plants as frequently. When conditions are dry, make sure you’re watering often enough to quench your garden’s thirst.

Gardeners watch the weather forecast with a keen eye. Before you plant, make sure your area has made it past the final frost date is the only way to successfully get started and thrive.

Another useful tool is knowing your “growing zone”, also known as the USDA Hardness Zone. This geographic system classifies your area to its seasonal temperatures, which can be used to choose your flowers, plants, etc. more wisely. Keep in mind that many times you can grow plants on the fringe of your area’s hardness zone. Colder temperatures occur in “lower zones” while warmer temperatures point to “higher zones”.