How safe is pygmy goat manure? What can we use it for?
Harve, Hamptonville, NC
Goats have multiple stomachs and digest everything thoroughly. They are even capable of digesting tin cans. Unless you are certain that your little goat has not eaten metallic objects, you could use the manure for all your vegetables, as well as flowers and shrubs. As a precaution, I would allow the pile of manure to sterilize itself through the winter. Metals will still be present with winter curing. Flowers will probably have a wider array of color with the metallic elements, especially miniature roses.
Can we make our own baskets with our annuals?
Mike, Uncasville, CT
It is an easy task at this time of year to make up baskets for hanging or planters for the winter months. A number of annual plants are good candidates for winter color indoors. Coleus. begonias and patience are excellent specimens for mixed or straight pots. I am partial to the runts that did not flourish outdoors. They still have a lot of untapped energy for winter blooms. You can mix coleus with either begonia or impatience. I like to remove the spike of blue flowers from the coleus but they are a good contrast to some of the various colors of other plants. You can put four or five plants in an eight inch pot. Ivy geraniums should be in hanging pots. I take in some tender perennials like geraniums each year. I have had some last five years. Usually, wax begonias will only last two years. Patience are too large after two years. Be sure to use a good sterile potting mix and put them in a south facing window.
I have a new hybrid tea rose. It had one, three and three roses in successive waves. It is about three feet tall now. Should I prune and should I cover it for the winter?
Darlene, Jewett City, CT
Hybrid tea roses should be cut back to two feet for the first winter. After the last rose has dissipated,leave just three main stems. This will be your scaffolding for the summer blooms, You could cover it with burlap but it is not necessary. You may get some dieback in the spring. Remove the black edge as the buds start to swell. Use only organic fertilizer preferably manure.
We have a three foot blueberry bush on the north side. We would like to move it to another side of the house. Can we do it now ?
Jane, North Providence, RI
As soon as the plant defoliates, you can dig a ball. Have the new hole dug ahead of time. A hole of two feet by 18 inches will suffice. Do not put any fertilizer in the hole and cover the surface with six inches of mulch after planting. Aged sawdust is the best.
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