Answering questions from Canada AM viewers is one of my favourite things to do.  Every time I look over the menu of questions from Trish, my producer, I am reminded of the diverse audience that we reach each day.  Here are some great questions and answers that (I hope) make sense and that will get you one step closer to the garden and lawn of your dreams. That after all, is my mission.

Jennifer writes…

I have a ditch at the end of my yard that is so prone to weeds. I laid down a weed barrier a few years ago -- and have put stones, but the weeds keep coming back. What can I do to kill them that doesn't involve chemicals?

I am truly not a fan of synthetic landscape fabric. People often lay this down hoping to eliminate weeds and instead create this barrier that they cannot dig through while weeds thrive on it and in it.  Frankly, landscape fabric is great for use under a patio where it will help to minimize weeds for a year or two.

To eliminate weeds without chemicals place a thick black sheet of plastic over the area and anchor it with stones or bricks or this like.  Leave it there for up to six weeks to “cook” the weeds, roots and all.  Then remove the plastic, add adequate soil and plant.

Heather ‏writes…

Mark what's the best kind of rose bush I can plant for the Gaspé region?

Gaspé is not an exceptionally cold region and is typical, for the most part, relative to the rest of Canada. But if your garden is located near the sea, you should use a shrub rose -- one that is resistant to salt damage which drifts in or is blown in from the ocean.  I like the Canadian Explorer series best of all. 

Patrick writes…

Everything in my backyard is so green and lush...EXCEPT for the grass. What can I do?

Start by spreading good quality soil about 5 cm. deep.  Triple mix or Lawn Soil will do.  Broadcast fresh grass seed over the area and rake it smooth.  Step on it with flat-soled shoes, fertilize it and water it.  Keep it wet until germination occurs and then water less frequently.

Charlene Candice writes…

My largest plant, ever. It was given to me. I need Mark Cullen! What is it called and which pot do I use?

Splitleafed philodendron.  Soooo ugly!  Throw it out and get a new one.  Or repot it in a bigger pot and give your house guests a laugh.

Rebekah Spratt writes…

Mark is there a non-fence way to keep deer and rabbits out of my veg garden?

Deer repellent made at home always has rotten eggs in it.  I have a recipe on my web site, or buy Bobbex [ready to use or concentrate] and be done with it.

Robert Kimber writes…

What is the difference with brands of peat moss other than price?

No difference.

Fennella Bruce writes…

The leaves of my lilies have holes. What kind of bug is eating it? How do I deal with it without pesticides? Other than looking bad, is it bad for the lily?

Lily beetle is a huge problem in eastern Canada.  Use Neem oil which is the active ingredient in leaf shine.

Mark Cullen