This is the Q&A for the Yard and Garden show for March 29, 2019. Yard and Garden Live is a call-in radio show I do on KUTT 99.5 FM from 10-11:30 am and it will run through August 2, 2019. It can also be found on kutt995.com for online listening. If you missed a show or just want to read through the questions, I have written them all in my blog and will continue to do so throughout the season.
Guest Host: George Pinkerton, Director of Landscape Maintenance, Downtown Lincoln
1. The first caller of the show has a Boston Fern that was overwintered indoors. Should that be cut back now, or what type of care does it need for this spring?
A. Now is the time cut back the Boston Fern to the soil and it can be divided now to prevent overgrowth in the container. The plant can be divided into 4 new, smaller plants to repot. You can move all of these plants outdoors in May once the temperatures are much milder.
2. How do you control sandburs?
A. Sandburs are annual grass plants, therefore, crabgrasss pre-emergent herbicides will control sandburs. You can use products containing the active ingredient of pendimethalin, dithiopyr, or prodiamine. Wait to apply these from mid-April through early May for best control and length of control time.
3. What is the best turf to grow under evergreen trees?
A. It is difficult to get turf to grow under evergreen trees, or in any amount of high shade. Turf is a full sun plant species and will struggle to grow in too much shade. It might be best to just mulch the area if it’s not too big or to use this area for a shade perennial garden filling it with many different shade tolerant plants. You can also use some of the shade tolerant groundcovers such as periwinkle or purple leaf wintercreeper.
4. A caller has a black walnut tree in her backyard. It has now allowed for seedlings to develop in other locations as well. One walnut sapling is growing close to the house and another is getting to big quite large, 18 feet tall. Can these be moved still?
A.The large tree could still be moved, but it would have to be done with a tree spade. Move it soon, before bud break this spring to avoid more damage. The one that is too close to the house is also 10 feet tall and that would be difficult to safely move without damaging the tree or the house. It would be best to cut that one off and treat the stump with a 2,4-D or glyphosate product to prevent regrowth.
5. The last caller of the day has clover in his lawn, how can that be controlled? He also has moss in his flower garden. How can he treat the moss?
A. Clover is best controlled in the fall with a 2,4-D product or a product containing triclopyr. Clover is an indicator of low fertility, so fertilizing more may help reduce the clover. The moss in the flower garden is most likely present due to high moisture and high shade. Add some mulch around the plants to cover the ground and absorb extra moisture.