Ask the Expert
Q: What are some easy heirloom tomatoes to try at home?
A: Some of my favorites, and the easiest to grow at home, are the many varieties of heirloom cherry or miniature tomatoes. Yellow pear is probably the most common and easiest to grow. This tomato features small, yellow, pear-shaped tomatoes. Black cherry is a wonderful heirloom featuring deep, dark fruits in rich maroon. Green Zebra is another of my favorites, featuring larger fruits striped in shades of green.
Q: Where can I find seeds for colored carrots?
A: You should have no problem finding seeds for many colorful carrots at a good local garden center. They are also increasingly available at big box stores. Look for purple, white, red and yellow carrots, all of which are easy to grow and delicious. If not able to find them locally, visit an online source such as www.seed savers.org.
Q: When can I expect to see rose-breasted grosbeaks again?
A: Rose-breasted grosbeaks, in the cardinal family, normally return in mid to late April in southern Wisconsin, early May in the north.
Q: I want to grow milkweed this year. Should I start from seed or plant potted plants from the garden center?
A: For best results the first year, I suggest planting potted plants of assorted varieties in your milkweed patch. Plants started from seed may not bloom for a year or two, so incorporate seedlings into your bed as well.