Neil Sperry: Gardener’s Mailbag | Life-style


Dear Neil: I have hooked up a photograph from my St. Augustine lawn from final year. I think I have possibly a fungus or an armyworm trouble. Can I address the grass whilst it is dormant now?

And, this concern from yet another reader:

Dear Neil: We experienced these patches in our St. Augustine a few of months ago. I did not get the photograph despatched to you back again then. Is there nearly anything we must be carrying out now?

Respond to: To my 1st reader, armyworms do not trouble St. Augustine. It is possible that this was chinch bug damage from last summer months, but I’d alternatively think about that it is brown patch fungus (also identified as “large patch”) from the drop. You and the next reader probably had brown patch outbreaks after the climate turned cooler. Brown patch attacks only the blades of the grass. It results in them to decay and pull unfastened easily from the runners. You can use the fungicide Azoxystrobin to regulate it when it is lively, but there is no item to use at this time.

Dear Neil: Several years back, I bought liriope to border for shrub bed. However, I finished up with a spreading type in its place of a clumping form. I’ve been ready to prevent it from spreading into the bed, but now it is spreading outward into my St. Augustine. When I consider to pull it out, I pull up runners of the St. Augustine with it. Is there a way to clear away it from my lawn?

Response: All forms of liriope do eventually unfold, some just additional fast than other folks. I have experienced extremely great luck in the similar condition by working with the eco-friendly steel edging that you can invest in in nurseries and components retailers. I essentially make an outer boundary and an internal boundary with the edging. I generate it into the floor just about flush with the soil area. My liriope and its sister, monkeygrass, almost never sneak earlier it. I have basically employed the edging to continue to keep those two groundcovers divided from one yet another. You could try out implementing a broadleafed weedkiller (made up of 2,4-D) to the liriope in your turf spot, but you’ll need to do so with a foam rubber paintbrush to keep away from drift getting the place you never want the herbicide.

Pricey Neil: Submit big freeze of previous February, we have had lots of sucker kind development on our enormous reside oak’s limbs. Is it time to cut this off? Any tips of how we might have this finished?

Solution: Assuming the old branches are not dying back again and in need of staying replaced, sure, you could clear away a lot of this twiggy inner progress. I would likely want a certified arborist on web-site to establish how considerably thinning was vital. He or she could also check any form of freeze damage finished to the tree. Sometimes the sprouts become vital to new limb growth, and the arborist would be able to determine that. As compact as the sprouts are now, a machete may possibly be handy. Or a smaller chain saw. It’s likely operate very best left to a professional. Keep in mind, much too, that pruning operate on oaks is most effective finished before mid-February to reduce the probability of unfold of oak wilt.

Dear Neil: I have a small persimmon tree that needs to be transplanted. Can that be performed now in wintertime?

Reply: Trees and shrubs that need to have to be dug and relocated must be moved although they are totally dormant. Sure, wintertime is the suitable time. Try out to have a ball of soil intact with its root program as you shift it.

Pricey Neil: I appreciate zucchini and use it in quite a few various recipes, but since I moved to Texas I have been unable to mature it. I always imagined it was the least complicated of all vegetables. I get all male bouquets, so naturally I by no means get any fruit. And then something eats the leaves down to the stalks. What can I do?

Remedy: A lot of bugs could be taking in the leaves, irrespective of whether grasshoppers or some sort of caterpillars. The simple fact that you are only having male flowers is far a lot more puzzling. To carry every person up to pace, squash and other cucurbits deliver male and woman bouquets separately. Male bouquets have conspicuous pollen, whilst the woman flowers have swollen bases exactly where the fruit will type. Male flowers are developed for the very first week or two, almost certainly as nature’s way of guaranteeing that pollen will be readily available when the plant is experienced enough to generate woman blooms and, as a result, fruit. I marvel if there is any chance that you gave up on the crops as well shortly – prior to the woman bouquets may possibly have kicked in. Or if the leaves were being devoured also early in the match. Sevin dust most likely would enable with the chewing pests. I’m frightened that is the finest I can appear up with with the specifics that I have.

Dear Neil: I imagined you may well like to see that your information does fork out off. This is a poinsettia that we purchased in November 2020, enjoyed that wintertime, and then nurtured into rebloom this earlier Christmas 2021 as for every your guidelines posted here. Many thanks for the guidance. It truly labored!

To reader Bob C.: Perfectly accomplished! And to every person else, you want to take pleasure in your poinsettia as extended as it stays nutritious, but when the bracts commence to fade away, repot it into a significant container and trim off the invested bouquets and bracts. Put it in a bright, warm spot (no freezing temperatures) the place you can shelter it from the very hot summer time sunlight soon after mid-early morning every single working day from late spring via the summer season. Pinch out its increasing recommendations to pressure it to make branches. Keep it watered and nicely nourished. Starting October 1, give it full darkness every evening from 5 p.m. until eventually 8 a.m. That will bring about the flowering procedure as it “thinks” the nights are acquiring fairly prolonged. It will have to have daylight the remaining daytime several hours.

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— Have a question you’d like Neil to take into account? Mail it to him in treatment of this newspaper or e-mail him at mailbag@sperrygardens.com. Neil regrets that he are unable to reply to questions independently.



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