The Civic Garden Center works cooperatively with the OSU Extension office to operate the Helpline - a service for gardeners and the curious to call with plant related questions. Here are two recent questions with answers. If you have a question, give us a call at 513-221-8733.
Q: There are small black hard shell insects on the underside of my ficus tree leaves. What can I do to eliminate them?
A: Spray with horticultural oil. http://gardening.about.com/od/naturalorganiccontrol/a/Hort_Oil.htm
Q: I have dug up some peonies; how can I store these over winter?
A: Do not wash rhizome; shake or gently break away soil.
With sterilized knife (dip knife in alcohol) cut out damaged or rotting areas.
Cut four holes in a gallon plastic bag on both sides.
Dampen peat mos, vermiculite or sawdust slightly (damp but not soggy)
Place peat moss in plastic bag, tuck in rhizome and seal bag
Store in cool dark place
Remove rhizome from bag, weekly, and check for rot
Cut off any rotting areas with sterile knife and return to plastic bag, making sure
storage material stays damp; place back into storage