Gardening Q and A

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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,...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

Florescent Lamp – Amount Of Exposure

Q: I have a double florescent tube lamp that I’m going to place over my seedlings when they come up. How many hours should it be on? A: Eighteen hours on and six hours off seems to work well. Remember...

READ MORE

Stepables – Back Yard Cover

Q: We have a heavily shaded back yard and are looking what to try next. I’d like your thoughts on Stepables. A: Stepables ™ is a collection of many different species of plants that are typically low-growing and spreading. You...

READ MORE

Tomatoes – Too Much Water

Q: Last year we had poor tomato production due to rainfall and a lack of sunshine. What can we do to prevent problems in our garden before planting this year? A: If too much water was the problem, increasing the...

READ MORE

Roses – Rosette Virus

Q: Last week I took out a beautiful thirteen-year-old climbing Eden rose because it had rose rosette virus. We weren’t able to get all the roots but most of them. Is there something I can add to the soil so...

READ MORE

Freezing Seeds – Not Helpful

Q: I have heard that freezing seeds for up to one week prior to planting seeds up the germination. Is this true? A: I don’t think it helps germination. It’s true that some seeds require “stratification”, which is storage in...

READ MORE

Spirea – Pruning Tips

Q: My husband wants to prune our spirea. But he doesn’t believe me when I insist it blooms twice! Our landscaper used to severely prune it this time of year. A: Scheduling spirea pruning depends on which kind you have....

READ MORE

Bee Trap – No Bait Required

Q: I checked out the carpenter bee trap on your website. Should you put some bait in the bottle? What makes the bees go down the hole? A: No bait is needed. Once bees enter the drilled holes in the...

READ MORE

Harsh Winter – Are My Plants Dead?

Q: Has winter weather killed my (gardenia), (loropetalum), (daphne), etc? A: With multiple bouts of sub-10 degree cold, the winter of 2014 will teach us all some lessons about how hardy our plants REALLY are. I’m wondering how my St....

READ MORE

Blueberry – Determining Your Variety

Q: How can I determine what variety of blueberry bushes I have in my yard? A: You can’t do it definitively. You might be able to make a good guess by observing when yours fruit. ‘Climax’ is earlier than ‘Brightwell’,...

READ MORE