We would like some privacy from a public building on adjoining property. There is a chain-link fence on the property line. Could you suggest an attractive, fast-growing, hardy vine to cover it? We prefer something with blooms.
We are fortunate to have such a vine, carried by nurseries in Canada and the United States.
Silver Lace-Vine, or Fleece-Vine, (Polygonum auberti) will tolerate temperature as low as minus 30 degrees F. (minus 34 degrees C.) and will thrive in the heat of the southern United States, excepting south Florida and a few hot spots in California and Texas.
With sunshine and a well-drained soil, it will reward you with bowers of white, fragrant flowers.
Planted every 15 feet, they will likely cover your fence in one or two seasons. After reaching the size you want, prune it after it flowers each year.
When we visited friends in Virginia last summer we noticed a beautiful mulberry tree with white berries. I've tried in vain to locate one in nursery catalogs. Do you know where the white variety can be found? Also, would it be hardy in our area (South Dakota)?
Mulberry trees can have red, white, or black fruit. To our surprise our supply of nursery catalogs list only the black varieties. We have several white ones that attract a large number of species of birds, which never bother our cherries because of them. Some fruit growers use mulberry trees for this purpose. They're extremely hardy, growing all over the United States except in the semi-tropical areas. Suggest you ask your friend to send you some seeds from the fruit. Be sure they are dry, then store them in the refrigerator (at 40 degrees F.) for three months. They could then be planted in pots or in a coldframe, where they should sprout if soil is kept moist. They could be planted in a permanent location in late spring next year, after they've been left in a coldframe all winter. Berries can be used to make jam or jellies if a little something tart is used with them.
At a little restaurant specializing in soup and sandwiches we had lovage soup. It was so delicious we would like to grow our own. Where can we get seeds, when should they be sown, and how big a space do we need?
Seeds of Levisticum officinale can be sown in late summer, or started plants can be planted in spring or early summer. Plant roots need to be kept moist, but they need a well-drained, loose soil that has some organic matter.
Once established, lovage produces a good crop of stalks, leaves, and seeds each year. Ours occupies about 2 square feet of our garden and grows 4 to 5 feet tall.
Leaves and stems have a strong, celerylike flavor that is a bit sweeter than celery (good in soups and stews). However, the seeds are not as sweet as celery seeds, but more aromatic.
Seeds are available from: Geo. W. Park Seed Company, Greenwood, S.C. 29646 and Nichols Garden Nursery, 1190 N. Pacific Hwy., Albany, Ore. 97321.
What would cause our large sweet peppers to have a bitter taste? Because we moved last year, our garden was in a completely new location. Is there something we can add to the soil?
You might have a boron deficiency in your soil. You can have it tested by contacting your local county Cooperative Extension Service.
Low moisture content in the soil can cause off-flavor. Low night temperatures and extremely hot daytime temperatures also affect taste. They do best at 70 to 80 degrees F. (21 to 26 degrees C.) during day and 60 to 70 degrees F. (15 to 21 degrees C.) at night.
Be sure you have ample organic matter in the soil.