Gardening Q and A

Flower Bed – Armadillo Damage

Q: I planted some dwarf mondo grass 2 months ago. After about 3 weeks I found it completely uprooted. I replanted it and 3 weeks later it happened again. It doesn’t appear that any of the roots or leaves are...

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Butterfly Weed – Seed Pod

Q: This just appeared on my butterfly weed plant. Are these seeds? A: Yes, it’s just the seedpod full of seed. Each seed has a silky tail that will be caught in the wind and thus will be distributed around...

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Can I Plant Centipede Grass Now?

Q: Is it okay to plant centipede grass now? A: You can plant centipedegrass sod now but you don’t have enough time for centipede seed to germinate and spread before the weather cools off. Then you won’t have anything to...

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Insects On Figs – How To Deter Them Without Killing

Q: I have a fig tree that is covered with little juicy nubs where figs used to be. Every time one gets ripe, large black wasps with white marks descend and devour it before I get a chance to pick...

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How To Save Fescue In The Summer

Q: Every year, I plant fescue seed and get a lush lawn. Come summer, it always dies out; by the end of the summer there is nothing left. I am aware that fescue doesn’t like heat. What do you know...

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Lime Does Not Control Moss

Q: I have some mossy areas in my lawn that could use some lime. How much? A: It is a myth that lime eliminates moss from a lawn. My backyard patio has several large patches of moss growing happily in...

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Owl Nest Box – Will The Owls Scare Away The Bluebirds?

Q: I recently read an article about putting owl nest boxes in the back yard. Will having owls in my yard scare away the bluebirds that regularly nest there? A: I’m guessing the article described building and installing nest boxes...

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Killing Nuisance Trees

Q: Is there is a device that could carry an electric charge and which could be clipped to small invasive trees and, with the press of a button, cause that nuisance plant enough harm that it would die quickly? They...

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Applying Lime To Lawn To Raise pH – How Often To Do It?

Q: How often can one apply lime to a lawn to raise the pH? A: You can apply lime to a lawn, if needed, a couple of times a year. Since it can take several months for lime to change...

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Mulberry Weed – Getting Rid Of It

Q: I have been invaded by mulberry weed. Any advice to get rid of it forever? A: This is a plant to which the phrase “get rid of it forever” does not apply. It sets seed only a few weeks...

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Cottonseed Hulls – Are There Seeds Mixed In?

Q: If I use cottonseed hulls, will I end up with a garden full of cotton? Are there cotton seeds mixed in with the hulls? A: The cottonseed hulls that come from a cotton gin usually don’t have many seeds...

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Centipede Grass Turning Red

Q: Some of the blades of my centipede grass are turning red. Not sure if excess rain is a contributing factor. A: Centipede grass is well-known to turn red as a response to stresses like traffic, wear, drought, low fertility,...

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Fescue Lawn Weeds – Should I Switch To Zoysia?

Q: For the past three years I’ve battled weeds in my fescue lawn. I’m considering tilling or aggressively aerating next spring and sowing zoysia. The lawn gets at least 6 hours of mostly full sun. A: Zoysia could be a...

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Spider Lily Bulbs – When To Plant

Q: I just received some spider lily bulbs. Should I plant now or refrigerate until spring? A: Spider lily, Lycoris radiata, blooms in fall. It’s likely the bulbs you have were harvested after their leaves faded last spring. If that’s...

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Rhododendron – How/When Do I Prune?

Q: How and when I can prune back a large rhododendron? A: In late summer, it’s best to split the job into two parts. Remove about 25% of the plant this winter but leave some of the shorter limbs that...

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Fig Tree – Figs Are Not Ripening

Q: I have a young fig tree. Last year I got twenty-five delicious figs. This year none of the figs are ripening. I have over forty green figs of various sizes on the tree. A: I really should patent a...

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Fescue Lawn – Getting Rid Of Violets

Q: Violets appeared in my back yard two years ago and have taken over. How can I get rid of the violets and reseed my fescue lawn? A: I’ve had great success controlling violets in a fescue lawn by using...

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Quantity Of Nitrogen In Fertilizer – Effect On Lawn

Q: Would a lawn fertilizer containing 10% nitrogen produce the same color green as a fertilizer containing 29% nitrogen? A: The short answer is “yes” but a better question would be how long will the grass stay green after either...

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