Garden Questions of the Week
“I heard you talking about late planting of the garden. How late and what are you talking about planting?” -Trees, shrubs, evergreens, roses, perennials, annuals, fruits and berries – these can be planted all summer and fall. Landscape crews will plant as long as the ground is workable and the weather conditions favorable. Annual vegetables can still be planted now as well, minus most of the early cole crops. Tomatoes and peppers can be planted thru the 4th of July producing late crops. Look at it this way – we have about 120 days until our average first good frost. Beans take 50-60 days, sweet corn 60-75 days, carrots 75 days, radishes 22 days, green onions can still be planted, even a late crop of cucumbers, squash, winter squash, and sweet and seed potatoes if you found them. And don’t forget – late July and early August become great times to plant cole crops / greens for the fall season!
“When do I apply a grub preventer to my lawn?” -June and early July are probably the best times, so now is great! Make sure that you are using a grub preventer, not a grub killer (use that later in the season as a one time kill). Bonide’s ‘Grub Beater’ is a good one to use.
“Does your rule of thumb about the 1 inch of rainfall every 10 days apply to veggie gardens as well?” -That is good, but veggie gardens usually need an inch every week and as we get warmer and plants become more productive, maybe an inch and a half or two, especially the tomatoes. Water deeply and less frequently, try mulching, and usually best to water in the morning, keeping the water off the foliage.
“Can I use Roundup to kill the weeds in my perennial garden which slopes into a pond with fish?” -Roundup only moves thru plant tissue and roots, not thru soils and mulch, but will also travel in water. So keep it away from the pond, and try to not spray before a rain, or at least time the spray so it becomes rain-fast. Otherwise, once it hits soil or mulch, it locks up, and breaks down. By the way, use it on a ‘no wind day’ to prevent any drift from hitting your desirable plants or drifting into the pond. To be safe, take a milk jug, cut out the bottom, place the jug over the plant to be sprayed, and spray thru the top of the jug. For smaller desirable plants, do just the opposite. Jug over the good plant to protect it, and then spray the weed.
“I have that limey green grass growing up in my lawn and some of the landscape beds. How do I get rid of that stuff?” -It’s nutgrass, or also called watergrass or nutsedge, and it’s not a grass, but is sedge, and a tough sedge to get rid of. It grows faster than the regular grass, and it loves moist areas or low wet spots, although it will grow anywhere. It is a perennial, and reproduces from seeds, tubers, and nutlets, which is why it’s so hard to eliminate! So here’s are a few tips for controlling nutgrass: 1.) Hand pulling younger plants (plants just sprouted from seed) may offer some control, but once the tubers and nutlets have formed in the ground, pulling may not work. You get the top of the plant, but many of the tubers and nutlets remain in the soil to re-grow. So be sure to dig out the plant, foliage, tubers and all. If drainage is a problem (compacted poorly drained soils favor nutgrass growth), try to make necessary corrections to eliminate the problem. 2.) For open landscape beds, ‘Roundup’, or ‘Hi Yield Nutsedge Control’ are your best bets, as both will move down into the tubers and nutlets for complete control. And it may take repeated applications before getting the nutgrass totally under control. Spray it, kill it, if it re-grows, treat it again, until control is had. Only spray the nutgrass, use caution when spraying – and always read the label first. 3.) For the lawn, ‘Hi Yield Nutsedge Control’ does an excellent job controlling nutgrass without harming the turf. Spot treat the lawn areas infected with nutgrass and repeat if re-growth appears. Do not spray the entire lawn. Spot treat only as needed. 4.) FOR OPTIMUM CONTROL – here’s the secret for the best success – Use a surfactant like ‘Turbo Sticker’ in the spray which helps these herbicides stick and penetrate the waxy foliage of the nutgrass, giving you better results. It’s a must for spraying chemicals to control nutgrass. Also helps many other herbicides, insecticides and fungicides work better. Again, reads the label before using.