Gardening Q and A

Zoysia – Proper Scalping

Q: When is the best time to scalp zoysia lawn after winter? A: You can hasten the greenup of bermuda and zoysia lawns by removing the dead leaves after vigorous growth has begun. When your lawn is at least 50%...

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Ambrosia Beetle – Spraying Your Crepemyrtle

Q: What is the best systemic insecticide for ambrosia beetle control on crepe myrtles? I was using Isotox but my bottle is all gone. A: Systemic insecticide will not kill ambrosia beetles. The female beetle bores through the bark and...

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Crapemyrtle – Proper Trimming

Q: We bought a ‘Biloxi’ crapemyrtle last fall. It has four stems and is seventeen feet tall. How should it be trimmed? A: ‘Biloxi’ crapemyrtle has pretty lavender flowers and the exfoliating bark is beautiful in winter. It’s one of...

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Potatoes – Covering Stems

Q: I’m growing potatoes in a wire cylinder that I gradually fill with layers of compost and shredded leaves. As the shoots appear above the mix, should I completely cover them with another layer or should I let them grow...

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Moss – Removing Weeds

Q: Could you please tell me how to kill weeds in a moss bed? A: Pulling them individually is the only option. I spoke to a gardener recently who tried spraying glyphosate (Roundup, etc) on weeds in his moss bed....

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Gladiolas – Fewer and Fewer

Q: Do you know reasons why my gladiolas would come up fewer and fewer each year? I was expecting them to multiply! A: In my observation, it’s usually it’s because there’s too much competition from new bulblets (technically they are...

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Dutch Clover – When Should You Sow

Q: When is the best time to sow white Dutch clover? I want to grow it as a living mulch in the permanent areas of my garden. A: The best time is in September but you might get acceptable results...

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Daffodils – Buds Won’t Open

Q: For the last couple of years, my daffodils have gotten to the stage of showing flower buds but the buds won’t open. What went wrong? A: It sounds like a condition called bud blast. It’s commonly ascribed to severe...

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Daylilies – Help Them Spread

Q: I planted daylilies on a small slope where they get direct sunlight for most of the day, but they haven’t spread in several years. It’s probably due to all the red clay. What should I add to the clay...

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Fertilizer – Some Pros and Cons

Q: I planted new bermuda sod last summer. I used 10-10-10 fertilizer the remainder of the year. Should I stick with the 10-10-10 or go with products that have a higher first number, like 29-0-4? A: Do you eat your...

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Ferns – Should They Be Outside

Q: When can I put my ferns out on my covered porch? A: Assuming you have Boston ferns, they can go outdoors when night temperatures are reliably above 45...

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Hyacinths – Best Time To Fertilize

Q: I have hyacinths blooming but they are always a little scraggly looking. Is it too late to apply fertilizer or do you think that is the problem? A: You can add a little fertilizer now but it most of...

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Pre-Emergent – Will Halt Grass Growth

Q: When the label on a pre-emergent bag says it will prevent seeds from growing does that also mean it will keep bermudagrass from spreading into bare areas? A: Yes: common weed preventers can cause “clubbed” rooting of bermudagrass, zoysiagrass,...

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Bows – Growing Straight Logs

Q: I have been building bows for five years and have had a hard time getting osage orange logs. I recently purchased some small osage orange trees so that I could grow them and harvest them later. What is the...

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Roach Control – Laying Mulch

Q: I was curious what mulch you recommend when it comes to roach control? A: Most homes have mulch near the foundation. Your best bet for immediate short term control is to sprinkle outdoor insecticide granules onto any mulched areas...

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Lenten Roses – Self Pollinators

Q: My Lenten roses are blooming, and I am curious to know if they self-pollinate or is there an insect that does so. A: They self-pollinate like crazy! Hellebore flowers have the male and female parts close together so self-pollination...

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Powdery Mildew – A Host Specific Malady

Q: After fighting powdery mildew on a crape myrtle, I’ve decided to dig it up and plant a Japanese maple in its place. Is there something I should do to the soil before I plant? A: Powdery mildew is very...

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Cottonwood Tree – Can It Be Killed?

Q: How can I kill a cottonwood tree that’s growing between my foundation and my AC unit? I drilled holes in the stump and poured rock salt and boiling water in the holes last spring. A few days later there...

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