Category: Wildlife

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) […]


Best fruit tree for central Indiana / What to do about moles?

Q. Do you have a suggestion of a good/easy to grow fruit trees in the Indianapolis area? Any tips on the “how to” will be appreciated. – N.D. A. A dwarf, scab- resistant apple cultivar would likely be the best adapted of the fruit trees for the central Indiana area. There are quite a few cultivars to choose from. Most apple cultivars require cross pollination from a compatible cultivar in order to reliably set fruit. It […]

Q. In an earlier In The Grow Column you were writing about possible replacements for white pine trees in Indiana. Yet you did not mention Eastern red cedar as a possibility. Is there something wrong with the native species of evergreens? A. Eastern redcedar is actually a species of Juniper rather than a true cedar. It is widely adaptable to various stresses, especially drought, so it can be very useful for group plantings, windbreaks and […]


Q. I wrote you last year about my apricot tree having no fruit for two years. You wrote that it’s not unusual. Now, a third year had lots of blossoms but no fruit again. What can I do to get fruit? A. Lack of fruiting is to be expected for apricots in our area of the Midwest most years, and this year is no exception. Apricots are about the earliest to bloom of the fruit […]

Q. I’ve been interested in purchasing a reel push mower, the kind with no power engine, especially every time I see the price of a barrel of oil rise and every time I try to start my older, smoky power mower. I also like the idea of not polluting the air with noise or exhaust. We have a typical suburban front lawn and a very small backyard (under a lot of trees). Our lawn isn’t […]

July 2007

Q. Some years ago, I had a list of plants in the garden that were compatible and those that weren’t. If you have such information, could you include it in your “question and answer” column? It’s too late for this season, but we’d have it for next. A. The principles of “companion planting” are based on the belief that certain plants can benefit others when planted in combination or nearby. Such strategies can include using […]

Q. Concerning the question about deer and other wild animals eating plants, bushes, and young tree growth, etc.: We were told (and experienced) to tie (a particular brand of deodorant) soap to all trees and bushes to keep deer from eating our landscaping. It works for us. We have seen as many as 40 head in our area in Steuben County. They are here! And before, we tried everything. A. Your soapy landscape plants are […]

Q. In the November edition of “Electric Consumer,” the “Gardening Q&A” talked about cardinal flowers. I wondered if these could be purchased anywhere, as I would love to have some by my pond. I live in Northeast Indiana, and, if you know where I could obtain some, I would appreciate the information. A. Known botanically as Lobelia cardinalis, cardinal flower is a wonderful native plant that is especially attractive to hummingbirds and butterflies. Garden centers that […]

Q. I live in the country and have a gopher problem. They are digging holes around the bird feeders. I have even seen them in the bird feeders. They are digging so much that the pipes the bird feeders are on are about ready to fall down. — Barbara La Cross, LaOtto , Ind. A. Begin by going to Purdue Animal Damage Control Web site at to make sure you’ve identified the culprit properly. There are […]

Q. We just moved into our new home in a wooded area. In 2003, I planted over 80 wild violet plants along our drive (you see them everywhere in the spring). I just love them. Well, so did the deer. I guess they thought I set up a buffet line for them. They ate them down to the heart. Then, I planted hostas, which they thought were tasty, too, I later learned. So what can […]

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