Noon Edition airs on Fridays at noon on WFIU.
We’re officially into Spring now, whether it feels that way or not.
That means it’s time for our local experts to return and answer your gardening questions!
It can be tough to get your garden going again, but Helen May and Don Adamson have decades of experience growing plants in Southern Indiana and can give you the knowledge and information you need for your own gardening ambitions.
If you have any gardening-related questions or requests, please send them to us by twitter or email.
Join us this week as we answer your questions about spring gardening in Southern Indiana.
Helen May, retired owner of May’s Greenhouse
Don Adamson, retired from Bloomington Valley Nursery
Helen May encourages listeners to take up gardening, but cautions new gardeners not to get ahead of themselves.
“I think you should consider how much you can take care of through the summer because it is a steady thing and then you need to make a list of what you most want to grow,” May says. “You can’t grow everything you want, especially in the first year when you don’t know what you’re doing.”
Don Adamson says that soil preparation is the key foundation for good plant growth.
“If you don’t do that to start with you’re going to be unhappy with the results you get, so make sure and do good soil preparation ahead of time and everything will work out better,” Adamson says. “One thing a lot of people don’t realize much of the soil around here is clay-based and the plants get too wet and vegetable gardens often are messed up more by too much wetness than not enough, so you need a good porous soil and you may have to add some sand.”
May and Adamson say it’s important to wait for the last frost of the spring before planting annual flowers.
“For the most part, you want to wait until you’re pretty sure there won’t be any more frost,” May says. “Used to be, years ago, I could have told you the official killing frost date. With the way the weather is acting, I don’t know what to tell you. Check with your local gardening shop. There are some plants that can take a light frost.”
“I’d wait at least another month,” Adamson says. “People get excited when spring comes and want to enjoy the warmer weather. Wait at least until May.”
Multiple callers asked how to deal with moles and voles disrupting their gardens and plants.
“One thing they carry which we used to use is castor oil,” Adamson says. “It runs them off and we’ve had reasonable results with that… nothing is foolproof — the best way is to catch them in a trap. One other thing is to get rid of the grubs in your lawn.”
Adamson says there is a new deer repellent called “Plantskydd” that is showing some promise.