Online chat with a URI Master Gardener

by Caroline Brown

Mark your calendars for an online chat at May 9 at 1 pm, when you can ask a URI master gardener a burning gardening question that's been stumping you. (Of course you can always ask me on this blog, but hey, online chats are more fun.)

Click here to submit a question to Rosanne Sherry, a 1977 graduate of the URI MG program. Rosie is the coordinator of the program and puts in a lot of hours managing volunteer projects, events and classes, and the comings and goings of master gardeners and lowly interns like me.

You can submit the question now but it won't appear until the scheduled date and time. The transcript will be available after the chat. If you can't wait til May 9–maybe the leaves of your beloved rhododendron are disappearing right before your eyes–then you can always call the URI Master Gardener Hotline at 1-800-448-1011. I can't remember if that's an RI in-state number only; if it doesn't work then send an email to mggarden <at>


12 Comments to “Online chat with a URI Master Gardener”

  1. I think that I have a Ralstonia Solanacearum (an ivy-like geranium). It is growing out of control. It is top heavy because I am propping it up due to the growth of flowers. Should I just let it hang like an ivy or keep propping it up?

    It also now is growing several branches at its base. Need help!!!

  2. Hi Michael, I googled Ralstonia Solanacearum and from what I can see it’s not a plant, it’s a deadly plant disease/bacteria:
    I did however, something called an ivy geranium, Pelargonium peltatum:, also google ivy geranium and look at the photos and see if that’s what you have. Most sites I saw show it as a container/hanging basket plant rather than a climbing vine, and it is also an annual. (so if that is what you have you probably wont’ have to worry about it for much longer).

  3. Least expensive method to aerate a lawwn. Thank you RSVP

  4. Hi Frederick, the least expensive way to aerate a lawn is to rent a power aerator at a rental center and do it yourself. I think they cost $25 an hour or so. Good luck!

  5. Hi! Can you tell me if using a power aerator will affect a sprinkler system in any way? We do lawns and we wondered if it is a problem? Thanks very much…E

  6. Hi peaceful one. There are two things you could worry about, the sprinkler heads and the sprinkler lines. The heads you can flag before you aerate so you can avoid them. The lines would typically be laid 6-7 inches below the surface and core aerators usually are 3-4 inches, so you SHOULD be safe. You can ask the homeowner if there are any places s/he knows of where the lines or shallow (maybe due to roots or rocks or something) or you can get the name of the contractor and call them and ask.

  7. Hello,
    I’m trying to get a vine (mandiville) to grow up a post. What is the best way to secure it? It has nothing to grasp onto and it is having a difficult time trailing up. Thanks.

  8. Hi Nancy, you could consider putting nails in the top and bottom of the post and running heavy twine between the nails–then you could twist the mandevilla vine up the twine and when it gets to the top you could train it to come down the post. You could also consider tying it with garden ties that you can buy at any nursery.

  9. I have an oak tree that has been loosing leaves for about two weeks. The leaves seem to have a blight. I have many oak trees and only one is loosing leaves. Should this be a concern? Every fall I compost the leaves of my yard for use in vegetable and flower gardens. Should I be concerned about using these early dropped leaves for the compost?

  10. Hi Bob, I wouldn’t compost these leaves this year, just to be safe!

  11. Hello, I planted 2 years ago two Rose of Sharon ( a red and a blue plants). Each year they give lots of buds, but they do not come to flowers. Any advice? Thank you. JBE

  12. I also have an Ibiscus which needs to be pruned. It is in a pot for I have to bring it inside in the winter. It is at least now 5 feet tall and spindly.
    Do I prune it in the fall or in the spring?
    How much do I trim it? Thank you. JBE

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