Tools and Chemicals

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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How To Dispose Of Bad Milorganite?

Q: I had a bag of Milorganite that I stored in a plastic bucket. Somehow the lid was shifted and now I have a smelly, sticky mess. Any ideas how to dispose of it? We live near a lake.  A:...

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Will A Hurricane Downpour After I Apply Pre-emergent Wash It Away?

Q: Will a hurricane downpour after I apply pre-emergent wash the chemical away?  A: Pre-emergent chemicals dissolve pretty quickly. This means that even if you have a big downpour after applying, the first half-inch of rain dissolves the chemical and...

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How To Control Leaf Rollers On Canna Lilies?

Q: I sprayed my canna lilies with insecticide every two weeks to control leaf rollers. Is there something better I could be doing?  A: The cigar-rolled leaves of a canna infested with leaf rollers are really ugly. In addition to...

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Fertilizer Recommendations

Q: Most of the bushes in my yard have fertilizer recommendations of 10-10-10. For many years I’ve used liquid 10-10-10, mixing it with water from my rain barrel, but I can not longer find it. What do you recommend instead?...

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Safe Herbicides To Use Near A Creek?

Q: I have a few acres that are in need of brush control. My issue is that I have a well close to the area and my land slopes down to a creek. Are there any herbicides that are safe...

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Optimal Application Time To Apply Pendimethalin Next Year?

Q: Your recent article on stiltgrass recommended to use a pre-emergent. Can you give the optimal application time to apply pendimethalin next year?  A: Pendimethalin will control stiltgrass if it is applied before its seeds germinate in spring. Stiltgrass seed...

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Are Solar Pots Good Or Bad For Plants?

Q: Are solar pots good or bad for plants? Might they confuse a plant by shining light on the roots causing them to try to grow more? A: Solar pots are quite attractive with their soft nighttime glow. I think...

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Second Fertilization With A Kelp Product

Q: Following a pruning of our camellia hedge the professionals did a deep root fertilization and recommended a second fertilization with a kelp product. What do you think?  A: The use of biostimulants (including humic substances, seaweed extracts, and beneficial...

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Pre-emergent (pendimethalim) – Stains

Q: What could cause these stains? Bleach and a pressure washer will not clean it off. A: It sure looks like the stains caused by pendimethalin pre-emergent. The label clearly says to avoid getting it on hard surfaces. The chemical...

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How to Get Rid of Nostoc

Q: Do you have any suggestions for getting rid of the green jelly stuff in our lawn? A: You have nostoc. It’s a gelatinous colony of a type of bacteria that is usually found where grass is growing poorly due...

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