Gardentalk – Listener question lightning round

This is the second year that this beehouse has remained vacant in a North Douglas yard.
This is the second year that this beehouse has remained vacant in a North Douglas yard. (Photo by Matt Miller/KTOO)

In this week’s edition of Gardentalk, Master Gardener Ed Buyarski tackled a series of yard and garden care questions sent in by listeners.

The first few questions were related to last week’s segment on garlic.

“I’ve harvested and dried my garlic, but haven’t cut the stems off each bulb yet. Is it necessary to cut stems off before storing over winter?” asks Ann.

Buyarski said it depends on how much room you have.

“If you’ve got three foot long stems, you can use those stems to hang up a bunch,” Buyarski said. “Simple answer is no, it doesn’t matter.”

A reminder to keep them in a warm place about 60 degrees. Don’t refrigerate them.

“How do you know its ready? Not a lot of luck here. I am told it’s too hot, but then why do we have wild garlic growing?” asks Bonnie.

Buyarski said he hopes that it doesn’t mean her garlic is still in the ground. He said it certainly should have been harvested now.

“When to plant garlic in Oklahoma?” asks Ida.

Buyarski said the basic rule is planting at four to six weeks before the ground freezes.

“I’m planting garlic right now and I have planted garlic as late is between Christmas and New Years when the ground’s not frozen,” Buyarski said. “So, that gives her some

“I’d love to hear some bee friendly recommendations from Ed. And, do those bee houses that popped up everywhere actually help our bees?” ask Sarah.

Buyarski said those beehouses are usually good for orchard mason bees. But he can’t confirm if they actually work in Juneau.

He said bee-friendly plants commonly found in Juneau include dandelion, raspberry, crocus, and pussy willow.

“I planted peony crowns in spring (in pots) and transplanted to a south slope. How do I best prepare the transplants for winter?” asks Andrea.

Buyarski recommends lightly fertilizing them with bulb food, cutting off all stems to two inches above the ground, and sheltering them for the winter with spruce boughs or other material.

“So, they don’t emerge too early in the springtime, and hopefully, have a few flowers next year,” Buyarski said.

Listen to the Oct. 3 “Gardentalk” focusing on listener questions.


Finally, the Garlic Lovers Potluck will be held 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Oct. 26 at the Northern Light United Church. Everyone is invited to bring a tasty dish with garlic in it. Buyarski said that has previously included soups, salads, and garlic flavored brownies and chocolate cake. The free event will also include presentation on the basics of garlic growing, harvesting, and storage.

Do you have a garden question for Ed? Fill out the form below, and he’ll answer your question in an upcoming segment.

Listen to past episodes and subscribe to the podcast on the “Gardentalk” page, so you’ll never have to worry about missing Thursday’s live radio broadcasts.

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