Gardening Q and A

Will Umbrella Pines Grow Here?

Q: We vacationed in Italy and the umbrella pines were wonderful. Will they grow here?  A: I just got back from Italy myself! Italian umbrella pine, Pinus pinea, is the source of pine nuts (pignoli) used to make delicious pesto....

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A Chlorine-Based Solution Got On My Japanese Maple – Long-Term Damage?

Q: I recently had my house pressure-washed and they used a chlorine-based solution. Some of the spray got on a Japanese maple and turned some leaves brown. Will this be long term damage or will these leaves come back next...

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How To Control Honeysuckles On Boxwoods?

Q: We have some really old boxwoods that honeysuckle has almost taken over. How can I kill the vine?  A: The best honeysuckle control is to clip the vine at ground level under the boxwoods and immediately dab some glyphosate...

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When To Fertilize A Bermuda Lawn

Q: I have an 8000 square foot bermuda lawn and I use a reel mower. I put down 25 pounds of 32-3-8 in early May. When do I fertilize again?  A: Much of the decision about fertilizing a bermudagrass lawn...

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Can Millipedes Harm Anything?

Q: In all this dampness, we have had a lot of millipedes. They crawl up the side of the house and across the drive. Can they harm anything?  A: They don’t bother anything except your nerves. It’s creepy to step...

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Roadside Plants That Look Like European Elder?

Q: I fell in love with the fragrant flowers and berries of the European elder when I lived in Ireland. I see something that looks similar growing along roadsides here. I’m thinking it is Sambucus canadensis, but the flowers have...

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Transplanted Blueberry Bush – Not Fully Leafed Out

Q: I transplanted a large blueberry bush early last fall. I have other blueberry bushes that are fully leafed out now, but the transplanted one is only 20% leafed out. Should I remove berries to reduce stress or let the...

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Can I Put Rubber Mulch Around My Trees?

Q: Is it ok to put rubber mulch around the base of my trees?  A: I do not recommend using rubber mulch. Even though it does an adequate job preventing weeds, the stuff is hard to keep clean and it...

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Fescue Lawn – When Is It Safe To Put Down Liquid Weed Killer?

Q: My new fescue lawn has been growing well and has been cut twice. My landscaper used weed and feed granules but after five days I see no change in the weeds. Is it safe to put down liquid weed...

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Tall Fescue In Centipede Grass – How To Get Rid Of It?

Q: How can I get rid of tall fescue in centipede grass?  A: There are herbicides labeled to remove fescue grass from centipede but you can accomplish the same result without cost. All you have to do is manipulate the...

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A Plant To Avoid Erosion Of A Shady Slope?

Q: I have a steep slope in my backyard that is covered with English ivy. What’s the best ground cover I can plant instead to avoid erosion of the slope? It’s pretty shady. We back up to a park where...

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Cherry Leaf – Finger Gall

Q: I have a tree in the back yard that has developed these strange bubbles on its leaves. The entire tree is covered along with the leaves wilting and dropping at a pretty steady rate. A: It is just finger...

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Grape – Tumid Gall

Q: My grape vines are growing some weird thing. Can you identify? A: I think it is tumid gall. Generally does no damage to the grape. Cut it open to see what’s inside. Grape...

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Blackberry – Stem Gall

Q: I found this on my blackberry plant and thought you might know what it is. Should I remove it? A: I think it is a stem gall caused by the egg laying accomplished by a midge insect. Galls typically...

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Should I Put Sand Down Before Zoysia Installation?

Q: I am going to be installing zoysia sod soon. My lot is heavily shaded but I’m having my trees thinned to help with sunlight. The soil stays a little damp. Would it be good to put down 3″ –...

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How To Keep Neighbors Bermuda Grass From My Fescue?

Q: How do I keep bermuda grass from my neighbor’s yard from spreading into my fecue?  A: If your neighbor has bermuda grass in their lawn, it is going to come into your lawn pretty quickly, particularly if they have...

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Restore Bare Places From Empty Ant Hills

Q: How do you restore the bare places from fire ant hills in my centipede lawn that have been vacated after using ant bait? A: Wait until early May when the soil is warm and drag a rake a couple...

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What Is A Good Fertilizer For Our Deodar Cedar Tree?

Q: Can you recommend a good fertilizer for our lovely deodar cedar tree? A: If your tree is near another area that is regularly fertilized, such as the lawn or your flower beds, it doesn’t need fertilizing. It will get...

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