Gardening Q and A

Tulip – Planting Bulbs

Q: I brought some tulip bulbs from Nebraska. When should I plant them? A: It’s best to plant bulbs when soil temperatures are 60 degrees and heading lower. That is usually in October. If you plant them now, you’ll get...

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Lawns – From Scratch

Q: Your website says that May or June is best for establishing a lawn from scratch using centipede or zoysia seed. What would be the odds for success doing it this fall? A: Both centipedegrass and zoysiagrass seeds require a...

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Christmas Tree – Insects Crawling from It

Q: We have bugs coming from our Christmas tree. They crawl onto floor and then die. Any way to stop them from coming out of the tree?  A: They are probably aphids. Christmas tree growers do a great job controlling...

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Bermuda – Aeration

Q: I have a new bermuda lawn. My lawn maintenance company wants to aerate it. Is it too late to aerate a lawn that was planted in April? A: I think the best time to aerate bermudagrass is in May,...

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Azalea and Hydrangea – Pruning

Q: Please let me know the latest I can severely trim azaleas and hydrangeas without killing them during the winter. A: It will be problematic to prune either one right now. Azaleas have just about finished making next spring’s flower...

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Oak – Uprooted

Q: Our neighbor’s large oak tree fell over and uprooted during a violent rainstorm while they were out of town. How common is it for an apparently healthy large tree to fall over? A: It’s a truism that well-anchored trees...

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Tree Limb – Holding Water

Q: My neighbor’s tree holds water in a limb crotch. Should she drill a hole so the water can drain? A: Tree experts agree that drilling a drainage hole is a bad idea. The tree is able to “wall off...

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Soil – Restoring Health

Q: On my new property I want to get the soil as healthy as I can before planting anything. Is it beneficial to apply mycorrhizal fungi? I want to restore the native microbiome. A: Mycorrhizae are helpful soil fungi that...

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Lilac – Brown Spots

Q: What is the best way to care for a lilac bush? The leaves have brown spots now. A: Lilacs can be affected by several leaf spot diseases but they don’t seem to be fatal if the plant is kept...

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Maple – Killing Roots

Q: Is there a product that will kill a big maple tree and its roots? The roots are ruining my walkway. A: Once you cut down the tree, roots won’t continue getting bigger or elongating. But they may send up...

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Fertilizer – Veggie Garden

Q: We recently had a University soil test done for our veggie garden and they recommended 15-0-15 fertilizer. I found it, but only labeled for use on lawns. Is it okay for a vegetable garden? A: It’s tough for the...

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Birch Chips – Usage

Q: We had a huge river birch removed so now we have a huge pile of wood chips from the stump grinding. Can that be used in our yard for anything? Will it attract termites? A: Yes, you can use...

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Red Maple – For Shade

Q: Would an Empress tree be good to make shade for my grandchildren while playing outside? Is there another tree you would recommend? A: Empress tree a.k.a. Princess tree, Paulownia tomentosa, is too coarse and weak-wooded to be a good...

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Bermuda – Optimal Watering

Q: A simple question: what is the best time of the day to water an established bermuda lawn? A: The answer is unequivocal: lawn watering is best done in the morning. This allows two things to happen: the grass blades...

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Kudzu – Growing and Cooking

Q: I’m an alcoholic using kudzu powder to help prevent cravings. How hard would it be to grow kudzu myself in a vacant field? A: Kudzu isn’t particularly hard to transplant and cultivate but first be positive you have a...

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Penoies – Planting Temperature

Q: I was wondering when is the best time to plant peonies. What do you recommend I put in the hole with the dirt? A: For best results, plant peonies in fall when daytime temperatures are reliably below 80 degrees....

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Hummingbirds – Spiderwebs

Q: Back in late spring I noticed my first hummer of the year. It seemed to be concerned about a spider web near my feeder. I removed that web but saw it closely examining another spider web nearby. Why? A:...

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Zoysia – Mowing

Q: My wife and I are having a discussion about our Meyer zoysia. I have always mowed it one inch high. My wife believes that I should mow it at two to three inches high. A: Mowing at one inch...

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