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Michigan State University (MSU) Extension helps people improve their lives by bringing the vast knowledge resources of MSU directly to individuals, communities and businesses. For more than 100 years, MSU Extension has helped grow Michigan’s economy by equipping Michigan residents with the information that they need to do their jobs better, raise healthy and safe families, build their communities and empower our children to dream of a successful future.

(This group currently has 4 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group

Suggestions for a tiny condo patio

I have a bleak little 6'x9' concrete patio with a 6'x9' bed of dirt, which faces due south and gets full sun all day. Two downspouts pour water into the area, which pools on the sidewalk; one spout drains off the roof directly into the middle of the dirt patch. In rainy weather, the ground gets very wet, and at spring thaw the ground is soaked with salt water from the sidewalk. I'm required to have two yew shrubs on a bed of rocks, and I can't do anything to the 4' strip of grass in the front. Photo 1 shows my front yard; my place is on the left, and the requisite shrub arrangement can be seen in the neighbor's patch on the right. Photo 2 is a picture of my patch. Note the second downspout by the front door. Photo 3 shows the location of the downspout that drains directly into the bed. What can I plant here that will go with the yew shrubs, blanket the rocks with a carpet of flowers, and keep down weeds? I'd also like to have a little flowering tree to shade my patio. Is there a kind that will fit?

Macomb County MI Posted about 5 hours ago


Without think I applied Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Killer For Soil And Turf to my garden spot. My thought was to reduce the risk of cut worms and any other pest prior to planting. However this product is Not Recommended by Bayer to be used around edible plants. It will be down for at least two weeks prior to planting and there has been lots of rain, plus it will be rototilled into the soil. Is there a health risk to planting in this soil or should I avoid using this plot this year.

St. Clair County MI Posted about 6 hours ago

All around natural fertilizer for lawn and trees.

I recently bought a new home last June. I would like to fertilize the grass as well as all the mature trees with something somewhat natural as well as something that doesn’t break the bank. Any suggestions? I have mature Oaks, mature Pines, and mature cedar trees and a little over a half acre of yard. This is all new to me so any advice would be helpful. Thank you

Oakland County MI Posted about 9 hours ago

Holly spots

My Holly bushes-The Royal Family have blank spots on some leaves followed by brown leaves that are dead and falling off branches. Looks like some type of fungus. I have went to various garden stores but not sure what fungacide to buy. Please advise.

Livingston County MI shrubs diagnosis of plant problems leaf spots holly bushes Posted about 11 hours ago

Apple tree that won’t bloom

I have a honey crisp apple tree planted about 5 years ago. It has been growing well, but has yet to blossom in any year. I also have another smaller tree planted two years ago now covered in blossom about 30 feet away. I haven’t been able to find much info other than the tree maturing and over pruning. Any help would be appreciated!

Washtenaw County MI apple tree honey crisp Posted about 14 hours ago

Tree identification

I am looking for and identification for the tree in the attached pictures

Kalamazoo County Michigan tree identification Posted about 15 hours ago

Pine tree troubles

I have been told that there are pine beetles attacking the pines in our neighborhood but I don’t know how to identify affected trees. I also think I have another problem pest as well leaving white web-ish material on many trees. Help!

Hillsdale County Michigan pine beetles Posted about 16 hours ago

Best organic way to raise Phosphorus levels in soil.

I checked the Phosphorus levels in my soil and found a deficiency. I would like to know the best and safest way to organically correct this. Thank you Tom Venney

Alcona County Michigan soil testing soil and fertility issues Posted about 16 hours ago

Funny looking blueberries without a calyx

Good morning, A few weeks ago I had blueberries that had no calyxs. Is there a reason why? Thank you, Evelyn Johnson-Sylvester

Kent County Michigan blueberries calyx Posted about 19 hours ago

Lawn damage

I have something ripping up pieces of sod in my yard. It happens every night. It is really starting to make me angry. I spend lots of time and money to have a nice yard. I put down merit insecticide when it started a couple days ago to get rid of the grubs. I cant afford to do a lot more than that since it costs me about $500 to do that. I know that when the grubs die out the skunk or racoon will go away but how can I stop the damage until then? I even hired a guy last fall but he could not trap it after many tries. We think it is a skunk but we are not sure. Please can you help me?

Lapeer County Michigan lawn damage possible skunks Posted about 19 hours ago