Crabapple_bumper_crop_following_drought_2015pamm_(2)_medium UConn Home & Garden Center

The UConn Home & Garden Education Center (HGEC) is a horticultural informational resource based out of the Plant Science and Landscape Architecture Department of the University of Connecticut. We provide outreach to the general public on horticultural topics and garden and household pests.

(This group currently has 2 experts available to answer questions)

Questions asked to this group

Honeylocust woodchips as mulch

Hi there I just had a healthy honeylocust tree cut down in fear of it one day crushing my house and my neighbors. I’m wondering if the wood chips from this honeylocust are ok to use as a mulch in the path inbetween my garden beds. As best I can tell they are non-toxic. I understand that if incorporated into soil it can reduce available nitrogen for other plants but I will only use it as a mulch on the paths. Just making sure they arnt toxic and going to do damage! Thanks

Middlesex County MA Posted 13 days ago

Composting a drip irrigation garden

I have an above ground drip irrigation system for my flower and vegetable gardens. How can I compost the soil without clogging up the irrigation tube holes? Thank you.

Middlesex County MA Posted about 1 month ago


My homeowners association requires that should you wish to build a retaining wall to protect the shoreline that you use riprap. Could you tell me what types of rocks would one consider using that would meet the definition of riprap.

Litchfield County CT Posted about 1 month ago

Lemon Tree Help!

I received this lemon tree 3 years ago from my daughter and it produced 2 lemons and the year after that 4. I had a huge scale infestation last summer and it killed the tree stock. Two main chutes have begun and a small third is coming. Should I cut the original stock down (the one that had the infestation since it's completely dead/doesn't leaf out/produce anything) and allow the other two chutes to grow? Should I leave everything? What should I do to get this plant producing again!

Essex County MA Posted 2 months ago

New garden bed build

I'm building a new garden bed. On existing lawn which is clay soil. I'm considering removing the turf, adding partially composted organic material, then replacing the turf roots up. Or leave it and do a lasagna style bed. Either way it will be mulched with 4" of shredded leaves. Any advice is greatly appreciated. Bob M.

Penobscot County ME Posted 2 months ago

Raccoon skat? MA

We found this scat today in the middle of our yard. All by its lonesome and probably about 2 to 3 inches in length. The "berry" bits make me the think it is raccoon but I know skunk poop is similar. How does one differentiate?! We live in a suburban area outside of boston. Thanks!

Norfolk County Massachusetts Posted 2 months ago

Save my pine tree

Hello.. my gardener planted my evergreen pine trees around September 2020. I water them every day. I noticed within 2 weeks that they were starting to turn brown. I added fertilizer and stated to water every other day because temperatures started to cool down. What can I do to help my evergreen pine tree that are not looking that evergreen.

Norfolk County Massachusetts Posted 3 months ago


I see you recommend iron sulfate to kill moss. I see brands out there but not sure which is correct one to purchase. Can you provide me amount of iron sulfate required per 1000 sq ft. I know you can not recommend brands but if you also know several brands that contain that I would appreciate.

Middlesex County Massachusetts Posted 3 months ago

What kind of spiders are these 3 separate spiders

I have seen multiple spiders in my house... it was normal to see tiny almost like translucent once on the ceiling but recently im finding dark and larger ones around my house and um just paranoid that my kids will get but. I live in Eastern ct.

Connecticut Posted 3 months ago

Vegetable garden soil test

I had the soil in my vegetable garden tested and was wondering how concerned I should be with the results. My phosphorous level is 67.5 ,ca 3688,mg 765, sulfur 31, boron1.3, man 8.4, zen 22.8, Aluminium 11, lead 30.4 , ph7.0 I used to add manure in the past, now I was wondering if I can add my own compost and ground up leaves. Should I be worried with the amount of lead? I was using a zinc iron follicular spray this year on the plants to help with the high phosphate levels. Thank you.

Essex County Massachusetts Posted 3 months ago