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Don Kinzler


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Plant more, spend less: Tips for a great garden that won't break the bank

Someday, I want my home’s yard to look like the gardens at Versailles Palace. The only problem is I’ve got an orchid taste on a petunia pocketbook.


Hortiscope: Where to go for horticulture info

Readers: With my exit from the Hortiscope column and retirement, I have been asked by many how to get information on horticultural problems. The answer simply is to contact your local NDSU Extension agent. If the agent is not sufficiently schooled in horticulture to answer your questions, he or she will know where to turn to get the answer.

Hortiscope: A look at past letters sent to Hortiscope

Readers: I’ll do a little reminiscing on some articles and inquiries this week. Here is a question posed to Don Kinzler, who started Hortiscope in 1983.

Hortiscope: Plant expert to retire, will not write column

To everything, there is a beginning and an end. The Hortiscope column started in the early 1980s but will end its run at the end of December because that is when I’ll be retiring from the NDSU Extension Service.

Hortiscope: Cut your roses back in fall for best results

Q: I have several questions about different plants. I would like to know if I can trim a schefflera plant. I have a nice plant that was given to me for my son’s funeral. The plant sits in my enclosed sunroom by an east window. It is very big, so I’m wondering if I can cut some of it off.

Hortiscope: Trees that keep leaves into fall may be in trouble

Readers: One of my colleagues, Joe Zeleznik, NDSU Extension Service forester, had what I thought was an interesting question posed to him. His response is excellent and I think worthy of a read by anyone who ever has wondered the same thing about trees. Read on!

Hortiscope: Disease, not fertility issue, caused tulip sparsity

Q: I am working on the scale insects on my orange tree. I have been using Bonide systemic for four weeks and also cleaning off the new scales. How long does a systemic killer take to clear up the problem? Is there an advantage to wiping off the scales with rubbing alcohol or is water OK?

Hortiscope: Miniature orchard off to a good start

Q: I planted four honeycrisp, four haroldson and two prairie spy apple trees several years ago. I am interested in information on tree care and basic maintenance because I would like to keep them healthy.

Hortiscope: Tree’s problem likely weather, not dog urine

Q: I have three red maple trees that I planted several years ago. They were beautiful before this spring. One did not have a full production of leaves. Now that fall is here, the other two trees have dropped their leaves.

Hortiscope: Pruning needs vary depending on plant

Q: Now that we have had frost and are at the end of the growing season, is this the time to trim or prune clematis, honeysuckle and trumpet vines? If so, how much should I trim or prune?

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Growing Together: Get to know your roses

Singer Lynn Anderson never promised you a rose garden, but I will. Anderson obviously didn’t have access to the right plant material.


Growing Together: Imagining the Iris: Proper weeding key to thriving perennials

Good news: Gardening participation is up with a surprising new twist.


Grab your favorite gardening gloves, get smarter while weeding

Garden dirt might make you smarter. Research by the American Society for Microbiology indicates that exposure to Microbacterium vacae is believed to increase learning behavior by stimulating the neurons in the brain. Luckily this bacterium occurs naturally in garden soil.

Growing Together: Keep it real: Artificial flowers on graves a disturbing trend

Every Memorial Day, I discuss death with my family.


Creeping red fescue is very shade tolerant

Q: I am looking for some help. I have a spot in my lawn where grass won’t grow.