Gardening Help FAQs

Here are answers to some of the most common questions we receive about garden plants. You will find concise information on general gardening techniques as well as plant selection and care. For detailed information on specific plant pests and problems refer to our Common Garden Pests and Problems page.

Do you have additional gardening questions? Please contact us. Here's how.

Horticulture Questions and Answers

Do I have to call the Haz-Mat Unit when I break a fluorescent light bulb?

 NO! That is a myth sadly perpetuated by media hype!  

Here are the safe, sensible, simple steps to handle a broken CFL – compact fluorescent light bulb – in your home.

1.     Open a window or door and leave the room for 10 or 15 minutes. Natural ventilation will dilute and disperse any mercury gas released from the broken bulb.

2.     Sweep up – don’t vacuum - glass and other broken bulb pieces. Air flow from a vacuum cleaner may blow any remaining mercury gas up into breathing space.

3.     If a bulb breaks on carpeting or upholstery, use masking tape to pick up glass bits and wait a little longer to completely vacuum the area.

4.     Use a towel to grasp and unscrew the ballast from the light fixture, to protect your hands from any glass fragments remaining on the ballast.

5.     Wrap all bulb pieces in newspaper or a paper bag and dispose in your landfill trash; recycling programs only accept whole CFL bulbs.

6.     Replace the broken bulb with another energy-efficient CFL – or try an even more efficient LED bulb in your fixture!

Do I have to call the Haz-Mat Unit when I break a fluorescent light bulb?

 NO! That is a myth sadly perpetuated by media hype!  

Here are the safe, sensible, simple steps to handle a broken CFL – compact fluorescent light bulb – in your home.

1.     Open a window or door and leave the room for 10 or 15 minutes. Natural ventilation will dilute and disperse any mercury gas released from the broken bulb.

2.     Sweep up – don’t vacuum - glass and other broken bulb pieces. Air flow from a vacuum cleaner may blow any remaining mercury gas up into breathing space.

3.     If a bulb breaks on carpeting or upholstery, use masking tape to pick up glass bits and wait a little longer to completely vacuum the area.

4.     Use a towel to grasp and unscrew the ballast from the light fixture, to protect your hands from any glass fragments remaining on the ballast.

5.     Wrap all bulb pieces in newspaper or a paper bag and dispose in your landfill trash; recycling programs only accept whole CFL bulbs.

6.     Replace the broken bulb with another energy-efficient CFL – or try an even more efficient LED bulb in your fixture!