“I live in a ground-floor apartment. I had Hostas in front of my patio. The ground crew mowed right over them. Since there is less than an inch sticking up, do you think they’ll come back this year?” Question from Amy of Cincinnati, Ohio
Answer: Perennials like hosta have buds that reside at or just below the soil surface. If the mowers did not scalp the buds from the soil, then your hosta should return without a problem. They are particularly hardy perennials that will survive really tough winter weather. I expect that they will return for you in spring!
“How can I keep bugs and slugs from destroying my tomato fruit? They totally decimated my crop this year leaving me nothing to can for the winter months.” Question from Sylvia of Belle Plaine, Minnesota
Answer: There are several things that you can do to ensure that insects and slugs don’t damage your tomatoes. Here are six methods.
Six Ways to Stop Pests From Eating Tomatoes
Clean your vegetable beds up completely in the fall, and till lightly in the spring. This will remove any overwintering pest eggs.
In the spring, apply a layer of quality compost as a surface mulch to stop weeds and create an open, weed-free layer to keep slugs away (slugs often hide in weeds).
Use tall tomato cages, and prune your tomatoes to keep developing fruits off of the ground and away from slugs and critters.
Apply diatomaceous earth at the base of your tomato plants to deter slugs. You can also use Sluggo, a good slug killer that is approved for organic gardening.
Plant your tomatoes in the full sun (8+ hours) at least 3-4 feet apart, leaving space between plants. This will discourage slugs, which cannot withstand the sun and avoid open ground.
Apply BT spray, which is also approved for organic gardening, if tomato hornworms or other caterpillars attack your plants and fruits.