Ask Burton

Ask Burton

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Ask Burton: Q: I had excellent tomatoes this spring, and I want to have the best fall garden possible. Should I keep my existing tomato plants (they still look good), or replant young starts?

July, 13

A: There are two schools of thought about that, and I’m going to have to land on the side of fresh tomato starts. I’ve done it both ways. Healthy…

Ask Burton: Q: I have St. Augustine grass in my yard and in the past few weeks, I’ve had good sized patches dying! It looks like our sprinkler system isn’t running, but we checked, and the area is getting plenty of water. Still, it’s mostly the St. Augustine in the hottest, driest areas showing damage. The damage is getting worse, and has been all month.

July, 07

A: The likeliest problem right now is chinch bug damage. We’re talking with a lot of people who are seeing this problem right now… in fact it’s the single…

Ask Burton: This week, a quick answer about issues in your containers. Those flowers in the patio pots need to look nice! Q: I have numerous pots of flowers on my patio, and many of them are getting yellowed foliage and aren’t looking their best. I fertilized them with a good granular fertilizer when I planted them up, and they get decent sunshine. Any ideas on improving them?

June, 30

A: Flowers in containers need a steady source of additional fertilizer! You’re watering your pots more often than your plants in ground – you just have to – and…

Ask Burton: Today, we’re talking about fungus! Q: I have mushrooms and ugly looking fungus growing around my plants in the flowerbed. How do I get rid of these before they harm my plants?

June, 23

A: Patience. There are all sorts of fungi in any healthy soil, most of which are harmless. Mostly, they decay dead vegetation, which is why you see fungal strands…

Ask Burton: Q: I have a ‘Dynamite’ crape myrtle in my back yard and I love the bright red blooms on it. I’d like to have one near my front door too. How easy would it be to keep ‘Dynamite’ trimmed down to three to four feet tall?

June, 16

A: It’s not a good idea to do this. This variety of crape myrtle will grow to about 15-20 feet tall. If you prune or “top” it, or any…

Ask Burton: This week, we’re looking at grasshoppers, and some of the best ways to control them. Q: I live a little out of town, and grasshoppers are a problem. They love to eat my cannas each and every summer, but some years, it’s like they’ll leave all of my shrubs looking nibbled. How can I head this off this year?

June, 09

A: Most lawn and garden pests tend to concentrate on a handful of plant types to feed upon, but grasshoppers are notable because they feed on such a wide…

Ask Burton: Q: My lawn is being overrun by nutgrass. What can I use to get rid of it?

June, 02

A: Spray our Sedge Ender when nutsedge is actively growing, generally from the middle of May through September. Follow the instructions on the product label for the most effective…

Ask Burton Q: My Indian hawthorn are showing some sort of chewing damage. How do we stop this?

May, 25

A: These plants are showing bagworm damage, as well as actual young bagworms. Damage usually starts being noticeable around Memorial Day, although the critters have been showing up a…

Ask Burton: This week, a heads up on a nasty turf disease in our area. Q: I have irregular patches of dead grass in my St. Augustine lawn. The areas are surrounded by yellowing grass, and the patches show up regardless of whether the areas are in sun or shade. I had chinch bugs last year and treated for them. Is it the same problem?

May, 19

A: Probably not. Chinch bugs really take off when the weather gets hot, and are always worst in the sunniest, driest parts of your lawn. It’s early for this…

Ask Burton: Q: The snails are eating up my flowers and I want to kill them, but I have two dogs that like to get into everything. Can I kill the snails and not hurt my dogs?

May, 11

A: The most common slug pellet contains metaldehyde, a dangerously poisonous material if eaten by cats or dogs. The pesticide is very effective, inexpensive, and for a lot of…