Sunday, December 6, 2009

Recent questions and answers from the OSU Extension Horticulture/Civic Garden Center Helpline

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.

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

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Helpline Questions & Answers

Christmas Tree Sale at the Civic Garden Center!

Our parking lot smells sooooo good! We have assorted sizes from 3-4 feet all the way to 8-9 feet tall trees. All are Fraser Firs from North Carolina with perfect tops for that Angel or Star that's been in the family for generations. Or start your own tradition and use something non-traditional as your tree topper!

We are open from 9am-6pm Monday - Friday and 10am-5pm Saturday and Sunday for the tree sale. Stop in and shop our lobby for hand made pottery and CGC logo wear.

Here are some tips for taking care of that tree over the holidays.

  • Keep your tree in a cool place until you bring it into your home.
  • Make a fresh cut to remove about an inch thick disk of wood from the base of the trunk before putting the tree in a stand or bucket.
  • Place your tree in warm water as soon as possible (tap water is fine to use).
  • As a general rule, provide your tree with 1 liter of water per inch of stem diameter.
  • Check the water level daily to make sure it does not go below the base of the tree.
  • Visit to find out how to properly dispose of your Christmas tree this year!