About Kris_Wetherbee

I was born and raised under the green thumbs of my parents, who instilled in me a love of gardening. Through the years I've developed my skills, learned the ropes and nurtured that passion through classes, studies and other learning opportunities as well as professional experience that includes time spent as a certified organic market grower, garden coach and designer. Together with my husband we have developed, nurtured and maintained several gardens on our own property, including a Tuscan courtyard garden, cottage garden, herb garden, wildlife garden, kitchen garden, and a fruit and berry orchard.

  1. Garden Solutions Center Just installed new septic system so entire lawn was re-seeded (by ontractor). Other than watering early morning and at dusk, what other steps should be taken to ensure the grass takes and fills in properly. Also, the edging in the yard abuts property that is unoccupied and overgrown with trees, vines and other weed-like growth. What can I plant on the edge of my yard to blend in? I would just like it to have various wild flowers growing to soften the edges without requiring much upkeep. Would various seed packets that you can buy do the trick? My friend told me she tried some that they never grew. I don't have much gardening experience so need basic advice. I live in RI. Thank you

    I always recommend that after reseeding or seeding a new lawn, to cover the area with a 1/8 - 1/4 inch layer of seedling mix or compost. After that the main thing is to water well and keep the area sl…
  2. Garden Solutions Center I got a lot of seeds this spring with the intentions of planting them all. We've had horrible rainy weather up here in WV and that, along with the craziness of my life these days has gotten in the way of any planting. Instead of doing it this late, I'd like to save them for next year. What's the best way to do that?

    Hi Paige. Seeds last a long time when stored in the freezer in an freezer-safe, airtight container. I've had many types of seeds remain viable for five to 10 years when stored this way. Of course ther…
  3. Garden Solutions Center How do I remove Wild Violets from my lawn? They are taking over!

    Wild violets can be quite tenacious and difficult to eradicate as they can spread by reseeding and often by stolons and roots. You can also smother larger patches with black plastic topped with a thic…
  4. Garden Solutions Center My rosé garden is planted on a bank. It it exposed to a daily strong breeze that dries out the soil

    My first thought is, what type of mulch are you using--some mulch materials blow away more easily than others. As an example, pine straw mulch (made from pine needles) interlocks and sticks together a…
  5. Garden Solutions Center I'm thinking of growing a few herbs on the patio. What are three culinary herbs that you recommend growing? Also, any growing tips for containers is appreciated. Thank you.

    The best culinary herbs to grow are the ones that appeal most to you. That said, some culinary herbs are premium when fresh (though the dried versions are really good) and ideally suited to containers…
  6. Garden Solutions Center I have peonies transplanted from a shady spot. One plant flowers, the others bud but don't flower. Should I move them again or try something else?

    If you moved your peonies to a sunny area I would leave them be. Moving or dividing peonies too often can cause a plant not to bloom. A plant is also unlikely to bloom if buds were present during a la…
  7. Garden Solutions Center Last fall I finally dug up my horseradish plants which had been in the garden a few years. I was impressed with the harvest and I saved the green tops of some of the roots. They still look like they could grow. Do you have any tips on planting and fertilizing? Thank you.

    If your growing season is long you can harvest roots in late fall of the same year, though some experts recommend waiting until the second fall after planting. You can even do as you did and leave the…
  8. Garden Solutions Center Last fall I finally dug up my horseradish plants which had been in the garden a few years. I was impressed with the harvest and I saved the green tops of some of the roots. They still look like they could grow. Do you have any tips on planting and fertilizing? Thank you.

    The root, rather than the leaves, is the part that is planted. When harvesting roots, you want to cut off the top third for use in the kitchen and then save the bottom for planting in the garden. Just…
  9. Garden Solutions Center I have a pothos plant I intend to hang outside this summer and want to know how often it should be watered? I live at Lake Chelan where it can regularly be hot and dry for 3-4 months.

    Hi Don. There are so many variables when it comes to hanging baskets and container gardens: how big is the basket or container (i.e., larger sizes need watering less frequently); what type of containe…
  10. Garden Solutions Center What are your tips for fertilizing and pruning grapes? I have had some growing close to 20 years and hate to admit I rarely fertilize. But they seem pretty prolific. I'm sure I need to amend the soil somehow. I've also read about pruning them and have whacked them back to a few vines in the past per some articles I've read. But as my health has deteriorated my care has too! LOL And it seems if I do nothing they grow better than ever every year. I started to just cut the dead vines, and left all the ones with 2nd year growth which I hear starts to produce the fruit. So it's a tangled mess, but I have a bumper crop every year. I am lucky in AZ it is pretty dry so I dont't have to worry much about thinning to prevent mildew or other moisture problems. Any ideas how to improve my situation? Thanks!

    As far as fertilizing, that should be done every spring. I prefer to mulch the vines with a layer of compost or aged manure, and water in additional rock dust every few years. As for pruning, well you…
  11. Garden Solutions Center I just read your blog post on plants that attract birds and butterflies and want to grow more plants in my patio garden that do just that. Can you give me a few suggestions for summer-blooming plants? Are there any herbs that will attract birds or butterflies? Thanks!

    I'm happy that my blog inspired you to grow more wildlife-friendly plants. Two summer-blooming favorites are salvia 'East Friesland', and coreopsis 'Moonbeam'. In fact, I just picked these two up yest…
  12. Garden Solutions Center I usually have great grape harvests, but toward the end of the season I get caterpillar and their adult moths that arrive and skeletonize the leaves. Sometimes they seem to arrive earlier and when the leaves are eaten the grapes get too much sun. The moths are about 1 inch and seem to be all black. The caterpillar stage are about 1/2 inch and kind of looks like zebra stripes. I have used BT with fairly good success but it is difficult for me to get out often enough to keep up with those darn caterpillars. I'm hoping to cut them off at the pass, so to speak, and stop them from coming back every year. I'm also wondering if my BT mixture is strong enough. I follow the bottle directions...I think! LOL Thanks!

    You may not know it but you wrote the name of the moth that's feeding on your grape leaves when you described what the moth was doing; the moth in question is called the grapeleaf skeletonizer--no kid…
  13. Garden Solutions Center can I graft Stewert avocado ont an avocado I grew from seed from an avocado I ate? Will it produce? How do I tell if it's a male or female avocado plant?

    The answer is, yes you can. However, the tree may still not produce fruit, and even under the best of conditions it can take from 7 to 15 years to produce fruit. Grafting scion wood from a desired avo…
  14. Garden Solutions Center What zone is Chicago, Illinois?

    The USDA hardiness zone has changed a bit beginning last year. Chicago is now zone 5b. Here are two links that explain the changes and show growing zones for the rest of Illinios. http://www.plantmaps…
  15. Garden Solutions Center I live in Northern California, the Wine Country, been starting tomato seedlings (from scratch) indoors for weeks now, they are getting kinda big, when can they be transplanted into soil outdoors?

    Your tomato seedlings can be planted anytime after all danger of frost has passed, which is most likely the case in your area. As a former market grower, what we did and most growers do is start the s…
  16. Garden Solutions Center I live in So. Calif. and have to resort to growing tomatoes in containers due to lack of space. Are there any types you recommend that would be good to try and would be disease resistant? Also, what size container is best suited for growing them? Thank you for your suggestions.

    The good news is that you can grow most any tomato variety in a container as long as the container is large enough and a cage or trellis is provided for the more vigorous, indeterminate varieties. Tha…
  17. Garden Solutions Center The cosmos are sprouting in coastal Georgia. Do I need to thin them or let 'em go?

    You'll get the most beauty and blooms if you thin seedlings 12 to 18 inches apart, depending on the variety. Cosmos do self sow freely, so you will most likely need to thin every spring for the best s…
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