Tools and Chemicals

Should I Get A Backyard Greenhouse?

Q: I am considering getting a small backyard greenhouse but I am concerned about it getting too hot.  A: A greenhouse is fun to have but sometimes you have to learn by experience what it takes to cool and heat...

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What To Do With Old 4-5-4 Plant Food?

Q: I just discovered an unopened bag of 4-5-4 plant food I purchased for my azaleas. It contains “material recycled from the food processing industry, formulated specifically for all acid-loving plants…” What would you suggest I do with it?  A:...

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Black Spot Disease On Roses – Rotating Chemicals

Q: I believe my unhappy roses have black spot disease. What should I do? A: Black spot disease can rapidly make a rose raggedy. You can prevent the disease from affecting new leaves by spraying with a rose fungicide. The...

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Will Roundup Affect My Liriope?

Q: I have recently planted six hundred liriope plants for groundcover. Some unwanted grasses, mimosa, and other weeds have sprouted in my planting. Can I spray Roundup on the unwanted plants or will that affect the liriope?  A: I can...

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How High Can Raised Beds Be?

Q: I am working to create permanent raised beds in my garden. I have been told that raised beds should not exceed twelve inches high because the soil becomes too hot and dry.  A: Raised beds do dry out a...

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Will A Vinegar And Salt Solution Kill Underbrush?

Q: Can you spread a vinegar and salt solution under big pine and oak trees to kill the underbrush below them?  A: Neither vinegar nor salt will kill the underbrush. Concentrated acetic acid, which smells like vinegar, might burn the...

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Should I Use Liquid Fertilizer On My Lawn

Q: I just bought a large tow-behind sprayer. I would like to use it to apply liquid to my one-acre lawn. What’s the least expensive fertilizer to use?  A: The best product for your situation is one of the granular...

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Glyphosate (Roundup) damage to angel trumpet

When John S. asked about the tiny leaves on his angel trumpet, I told him it sure looked like the damage that glyphosate causes on azalea, rose and crapemyrtle. A few days later he replied that he had sprayed Roundup...

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Planet Jr. Cultivator

Q: I want to know more about this tool. I have found NEARLY identical tools, but almost never a 1 wheeled version with the same sweeps. Here is what I know…. My parents got it back in 1990 from our...

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Weed killer spilled on shrub (holly) roots

Q: I had a little accident with either undiluted Weed-B-Gon or Roundup about 6 weeks ago. While I was behind my Robin hollies at the water spigot, the bottle turned over and about a quart of product went into the...

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Creating A Shade Garden Where Soil Is Clay

Q: I am trying to create a shade garden under several large white oaks where the soil is dense clay. How can I amend it? I have seen something called an air spade that injects compressed air to break up...

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Pet Safe Weed Killers

Q: We need a pet safe weed killer that will control dandelions but leave our fescue and bermuda alone. What do you recommend?  A: Products that contain chelated iron, FeHEDTA (Natria Lawn Weed Control, Fiesta, etc. ), will give reasonable...

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Phone Apps To Identify Flowers

Q: I use Google Lens to photograph and identify flowers. Are there other apps that do this on a smartphone?  A: I have used both PlantSnap (plantsnap.com) and GardenAnswers (mygardenanswers.com). I like PlantSnap better; it correctly identified ‘Limelight’ hydrangea and...

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Can I Use Trifuralin As A Weed Controller On Zoysia?

Q: Can I use trifuralin as a pre-emergent weed controller on zoysia? I bought it before I realized it is intended for vegetable gardens.  A: Congratulations for reading the label! University turf expert Clint Waltz says in the past trifluralin...

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Planting Seeds In Used K-Cup Pods

Q: I hate the thought of all my K-Cup pods going to the landfill. I planted Blue Lake green bean seeds and poblano pepper seeds in used coffee grounds after removing the aluminum covering. I put them in a plastic...

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Organic Herbicides (Weed Killer)

Many homeowners want “organic” choices when it comes to selecting weed killers. Fortunately, there are several choices for both selective and non-selective weed control. Vinegar has been touted as a herbicide but the kitchen version is too weak to do...

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Preventing Privet Seeds From Germinating

Q: Will preemergent applied in March prevent privet seeds from germinating?  A: Unfortunately, no. Weed preventer chemicals are pretty good at preventing small seeds from developing into larger plants but they rarely affect the growth of large seeds. Privet seeds,...

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Fertilizer Similar To Milorganite?

Q: It looks like there’s a shortage of Milorganite. I use it almost exclusively in my landscape. Is there any other all-in-one fertilizer that comes close to it?  A: Milorganite fertilizer is made from composted sewage sludge in Milwaukee. In...

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