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Your Spring Gardening Questions Answered

The annual Spring Gardening show is Friday.

By Lacy Scarmana

This winter was the snowiest in Indiana’s history. But now the trees are budding and the flowers are blooming, so it’s time to get to work outside in the garden.

Local gardening experts Helen May, retired from May’s Greenhouse, and Don Adamson, retired from from Bloomington Valley Nursery, answered questions and shared tips to help gardeners through any planting dilemma.

Frequently asked questions and topics from the show:


Adamson says to make plants grow, fertilizer should have a high first number, meaning it is high in nitrogen. Organic and regular chemical fertilizers are available. Nitrogen is key, but it is also important to include fertilizer with phosphorus, May says. Nitrogen cycles through the soil rather quickly, but phosphorus can last for several years.

Ash Trees

The emerald ash borer has killed ash trees across the Midwest. Adamson says not to plant these trees because they will not be able to survive in this area with the beetles.


What do hair clippings, perfume, and Irish Spring soap have in common? They can all be used to deter deer from eating plants. May says to rotate through different methods because the deer adapt to the strategies.


Adamson says that homeowners with shady yards should re-think trying to lay down seed for grass, as even the best shady grass seed is only mildly effective.

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