Rosie Lerner

Rosie Lerner's website
Extension Consumer Horticulture Specialist
Purdue University
Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture
625 Agriculture Mall Drive
West Lafayette IN 47907-2010

Voice: 765-494-1296
Fax: 765-494-0391

716 articles by this author

Article List

Purdue Extension Online Resources for Gardeners


Looking for opportunities to learn from home?  The following online resources cover a wide range of information for gardening and taking care of your yard. General Yard & Garden Purdue Extension Indiana Yard & Garden Website Purdue Yard & Garden News Purdue In The Grow Question & Answer Purdue Extension Master Gardener Program Purdue Plant & Pest Diagnostic Lab (PPDL) Submit a Sample PPDL Picture of the Week Purdue Plant Doctor apps Purdue Extension Education […]


April Garden Calendar


HOME (Indoor plants and activities) Start seeds of warm-season plants (including tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, marigolds, zinnias, and petunias) indoors for transplanting later to the garden. Harden off transplants started earlier in spring before planting outdoors. Gradually expose the young plants to outdoor conditions of wind, brighter sunlight, and lower moisture. Apply fertilizer to houseplants according to label directions as days grow brighter and longer and new growth begins. Foliage plants require relatively high-nitrogen fertilizer, while […]


Advice for first-time gardeners: Start small


As so many of us are spending much more time at home these days, this might be the perfect time to think about starting a vegetable garden! In addition to adding fresh produce to your diet, gardening can offer both physical and mental therapeutic benefits. Anyone can develop a green thumb, as long as they’re willing to invest a little time, patience and elbow grease. Good planning is essential to successful gardening. Start your garden […]


How to tame a slope


Q: Behind my house I have about 3/4 acre that is on an incline of about 30 degrees and all sand. It is about 330 feet long and about 75 feet up the slope. I have had all the mulberry trees, bushes, vines, and poison ivy removed and would like to have some kind of cover crop. What would you suggest? The slope is too steep to mow, so I have spent more than  300 […]


March Garden Calendar


HOME (Indoor plants and activities) Begin fertilizing houseplants as new growth appears. Remove spent leaves and flowers to improve appearance and encourage more blooms. Start garden seeds indoors for transplanting outdoors later in spring. Check stored bulbs and produce for decay; discard damaged items. Prune, repot, and clean houseplants as needed. YARD (Lawns, woody ornamentals, and fruits) Prune trees and shrubs (except those that bloom early in spring) while plants are still dormant. If you […]


Spring Garden Shows Cure Winter Blahs


Whether you’re new to gardening or a seasoned green thumb, you’ll find lots of inspiring ideas at area gardening shows this spring.  No matter what your location, you’ll find at least one show within reach for a one-day excursion. Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, Chicago, and Louisville are just a sampling of the great garden shows we can eagerly anticipate. February 27 – March 1 Fort Wayne Home and Garden Show Memorial Coliseum Fort Wayne, Indiana February […]


It’s For The Birds


Q: I would like to plant bushes that will attract birds in fall and winter. I’m thinking of something that produces a berry they eat? – J.W., Winfield, Indiana A: Birds require not only food such as fruits and seeds, but also shelter and water. Planting a variety of plants that offer these resources across the seasons will help attract more birds to your yard. Some native shrubs to consider include: Aronia (chokeberry) Callicarpa (beautyberry) […]

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Mother Nature Gives Spring Bulbs the Heave-Ho!


It’s not unusual for Indiana weather to have trouble deciding what season it is. Warm spells during the dormant period often lead to bulbs poking their foliage (and sometimes flower buds) through the soil. While we’re more used to seeing this happen during February warm spells, our frigid temperatures arrived a bit early in fall 2019, followed by intermittent unseasonably mild weather. Indiana temperatures widely fluctuated in November and December, with the low temperature at […]


February Garden Calendar


HOME (Indoor plants and activities) Check water levels in cut flowers daily. Check stored produce and flower bulbs for rot, shriveling, or excess moisture. Discard any damaged items. Most houseplants require less water in the winter because growth is slow or stopped. Check the soil for dryness before watering. Move houseplants to brighter windows, but don’t place plants in drafty places or against cold windowpanes. Potted spring-flowering bulbs forced into early blooming can make good […]


January Garden Calendar


Home (indoor plants and activities) Keep holiday poinsettias and other plants near a bright window. Water as top of soil becomes dry. Increase humidity around houseplants by grouping plants together, placing them on a pebble-water tray or running a humidifier. Check stored produce and tender flower bulbs and roots for rot, shriveling or excess moisture. Remove and discard damaged material. Repot houseplants as they outgrow current pots. Yard (lawns, woody ornamentals and fruits) Check young […]