Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

Articles written by Molly Hackett

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Grasshoppers, season extenders & tomatoes

For any gardener who has used, or wants to use, an electric shredder for chopping garden debris and turning it into mulch, here is updated information: For years I have used chopped garden...

 

Saving seeds, tilling and morning glories

I want to save seeds from my poppies and hollyhocks. How do I do that? The most important thing is not to cut off the seedpods too soon. When seedpods turn from green to beige, the seeds in the pods...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    July 2, 2020

Tomato troubles, plastic covering and tasty veggies

What does it mean when the bottom leaves of my tomatoes turn yellow? It means that the bottom leaves are not healthy. If they turn yellow late in the growing season, it means only that the leaves are...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    June 4, 2020

Compost, walls of water and plant bedding

Q: Would too many pine needles be bad for my compost? A: Poor old pine needles! They often get a bad rap from gardeners, for no good reason. Pine needles have been accused of making paths slippery...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    May 7, 2020

Zucchini secrets & bolting spinach

Q: My zucchini always produce poorly. Because of my altitude, I grow them in a hoop house or low plastic tunnel, whichever you call it. They do grow and eventually they flower but I have lots more...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    April 2, 2020

Walls of water, potatoes, zucchini & row covers

Q: What are walls of water? A: They are 18-inch plastic cylinders which act like miniature greenhouses. The wall forms a circle of water-filled tubes. Walls of water can be purchased at a hardware or...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    March 5, 2020

Tomatoes, phosphorus and seed catalogs

It is too early in the year to get a shovel into the ground but it is time to start preparing for this year's garden if it is going to be the best ever. Q: What are your favorite tomato varieties? A:...

 

Weedkiller, green tomatoes & soaker hoses

Q: Without using weedkiller spray, how can I clean up a weedy bed where I want to plant bulbs this fall? So far I have been digging and that is hard work. For the winter, can I cover the bed with a mu...

 

Annual vegetables & flowers & deer repellant

Q: We will be traveling next year and so not gardening in Seeley Lake. A friend will water the perennials enough to keep them alive but what can we do about annual vegetables and flowers? We don't...

 

Dealing with ants, tomatoes and potato scab

Q: Can you tell me how to kill the ants in my garden? A: I know of nothing short of nuclear attack that would kill ants, but I can tell you how to get them out of the garden easily, as long as you...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    July 4, 2019

Encouraging native plants and bolting lettuce

Q: How do we encourage native plants like lupine, Oregon grape and arnica for a natural yard? We keep an area unmowed, and we also need to think about fire resistance. A: I am assuming that you have...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    June 6, 2019

Hardening, aphids & quackgrass

Q: What on earth does it mean to "harden" a plant? A: It is gardeners' slang for helping an indoor plant to adapt itself to outdoor weather. The same techniques are used for plants grown in a...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    May 2, 2019

Basil and fertilizers

Q: I love basil and would like to grow my own but I need some instructions. Also, once I have basil plants outdoors, will I have to protect them from deer? A: Basil is easy enough to grow, once you...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    April 4, 2019

Sprinkler woes and when to start planting

Q: Watering always is a problem for us. We hand water some raised beds but that doesn't work if we are going to be gone for several days. If we use sprinklers with timers, we end up watering areas...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    March 7, 2019

Raised bed and path woes

Q: We are starting our first garden of raised beds in Seeley Lake. How much do we have to worry about soil contaminants in our garden beds? Is there some way to keep the soil in good health from year...

 

Lilac

Why do the leaves of my French lilac fold up? It lives outside the garden fence, in full sun, in rocky soil which we have not improved as we did the garden soil. It has small leaves and double dark...

 

Mint

Q: Clover has invaded my bed of mint and is choking out the mint. Is there any way to eliminate the clover and save the mint? A: You could dig out the clover, but that strikes me as solving the...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    July 5, 2018

Pototoes

Q: Even though I knew better, I planted my potatoes only two inches deep. Should I pile dirt around them to protect them? A: To protect the developing potatoes from growing at the surface and being...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    June 7, 2018

Purslane

Q: My vegetable garden has been invaded by purslane. What should I do? Hoe it? Leave it to cover the paths? How can I keep it out of the plants? A: Purslane--that flat succulent weed which grows to...

 
 By Molly Hackett    Opinion    May 3, 2018

Planting

Q: With our winter that won't stop, what would you suggest about planting dates for the vegetable garden? Our average date for last frost is June 10. A: If there is one constant about Montana...

 

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