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Past Questions and Answers | May 2015

Question #1

Question:  What do i do about the moles in my lawn? I've never seen them but i see the tunnels and the holes they leave! I'm afraid they will ruin my flower beds! My lawn is soft all over!! HELP!!

  Kenyatta, Detroit, MI


ANSWER:   The best thing is to go ahead and hire a professional pest company. They will set traps in the mole runs and remove the moles for good. You can get the traps at some garden stores and set them yourself, but it is a lot of trouble and you will have to dispose of the dead moles.

Question #2

Question:  We don't have the money to rototill our garden right now, do you HAVE to remove all the grass from a space or can we just pile the soil, etc. on top of the grass?

  Sharon Smith, Chewelah, WA


ANSWER:   If you just pile soil on the grass, it will grow up through the soil and infest your garden. You can try lasagna gardening, which does not depend on removing the grass from your area. You put a deep layer of mulch down, then a layer of manure, then a layer of grass clippings or hay, and continue with the layers of manure and grass clippings or hay until you have built up your bed. End with a layer of compost and you can plant right away.

Question #3

Question:  about how long does it take for potatoes to mature?

  Paul Powell, Pleasanton, Texas


ANSWER:   90-120 days, depending on the variety

Question #4

Question:  Tomatoes develop blight early for three years now,I have been unable to rotate crops as I have only one garden spot. Is there anything I could use such as Lyme to treat the soil and rid it of this fungus? I have tried compost, miracle grow, watering carefully to not have leaves get wet, but this area tends to have wide spread problems with Blight. Ideas? Thank You.

  Lynn Grabko, Harrisburg, PA


ANSWER:   You need to plant tomatoes resistant to blight. Ask at the nursery for varieties that resist early blight. There is nothing you can do to the soil to remove the blight once it starts. You can also grow tomatoes in pots with clean potting soil to avoid the blight.

Question #5

Question:  I want to do soil drenchs with good water soluble fertilizers like hydrolized fish and kelp from spring through summer and top dress with landfill compost and skip the granular fertilizers. By the time i get done with granulars weeds and grass have gotten out of control due to neglect while i have been working granular fertilizer into the soil. Is that a reasonable practice? I cant afford to hire help.

  Valarie Gross, Rapid City, SD


ANSWER:   You need to either use the water soluble fertilizers or top dress with compost but not both. Putting too much fertilizer on your garden can kill your plants just as easily as not enough. The compost is a better option than the water soluble fertilizer.

Question #6

Question:  I live in bakersfield, CA, where temperatures can hover from the mid 40.s in the winter to low 100's in summer, with the occassional dip below freezing and rise to about 110.

I would like to plant a kentucky blue grass mix for my backyard, which gets full sun all day. is this possible or am i wasting my time?

  Matt Juhasz, Bakersfield CA


ANSWER:   Kentucky blue grass will not stand the heat at your location. It will die in the summer if you plant it. It is a cool season grass that normally grows in the fall, winter and spring. It prefers temperatures around 60 degrees.

Question #7

Question:  I spent a lot of money on sod 2 yrs ago then payed a well known company to fertilizer and kill weeds but to no avail I have huge clumps of crab grass growing in it. Right now that is the only thing along with other weeds that is green. The back yard had no grass when we bought this house. The first year I just watered and fertilized and it was thick green and beautiful. After 2 yrs of using this company I have fought weeds and crab grass daily. I fired them when the man that was suppose to get rid of the weeds, which I paid dearly for each month told me I would have to dig them up and put sand in the hole. Good riddens to them. I'm 60 yrs old and disabled so digging up crab grass isn't an option. Is there anything I can put on the clumps of grab grass to kill it so it doesn't take over my yard. I loved it so much the first and part of the 2nd yr. My heart breaks every time I go try to dig one of those clumps up, not to mention the pain it causes me. Please help. The beautiul birds and I love my backyard.

  Denise Robinson, Ringglold, GA


ANSWER:   What you need to do is in February spread a pre-emergent on your lawn that will prevent the crab grass from coming up in the first place. There is very little that will kill it once it is up that will not kill your lawn. If you have a St. Augustine lawn, anything that will kill growing crabgrass will kill your lawn.

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Fertilize Container Plants

Because container gardens are usually grown to show off a lot color, the plants in them require more frequent fertilizing.

It's good to feed them every two weeks with a water-soluble complete fertilizer like a 20-20-20 or a hyrdolized fish fertilizer.

Regular feeding will help them fill in faster, and produce more flowers.

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