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Garden answers

Best time to kill dandelions? Fall - because they are in a growth cycle that makes them more vulnerable to weed killers. Apply the herbicide in the morning to allow sun to help the weed killer soak into the plant tissue more effectively.

Best time to mulch leaves with a mower? When they are less than an inch thick on your lawn. Too many leaves equals too much mulch, which blocks sun and rain from going where they need to go?

Best time to eliminate wasps? Winter, when the queen and everyone hibernates inside the nest.

They are three of the hundreds of when-to-do-what or get-what questions and answers in a new book, "Buy Ketchup in May and Fly at Noon" by Mark DiVincenzo of Newport News, Va.

A guide to the best time to buy this, do that and go there, the 192-page paperback is priced at $13.99. The book can be purchased in advance at buyketchupinmay.com.


Bamboo is the garden's version of instant gratification. You can literally watch this grass grow, it happens so fast.

Some bamboos make great screening; some are useful for erosion control; others are just nice to look at. Ted Jordan Meredith introduces us to the gamut in "Timber Press Pocket Guide to Bamboos."

The book provides an overview on bamboo, including growing guidance and tips on keeping its fast-spreading tendencies in check. Most of the book is devoted to profiles of more than 300 species and varieties, from towering treelike bamboos to low-growing groundcovers you can mow.

"Timber Press Pocket Guide to Bamboos" sells for $19.95 in softcover.


Wildfire season hit the western United States this year earlier than usual, burning thousands of acres of forest lands and inflicting great damage in southern California. The Arbor Day Foundation has a way to help plant trees in forests damaged by wildfires through its Replanting Our National Forests campaign.

Every dollar donated to the Replanting Our National Forests campaign plants a tree in a forest that has been damaged by wildfires, insects or disease. Last year, the Arbor Day Foundation worked with the U.S. Forest Service to plant more than 8 million trees in the nation's forests.

The Arbor Day Foundation partners with the U.S. Forest Service to determine the areas that are in critical need of replanting.

Information: arborday.org