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Ask Burton

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Ask Burton: This week, we’re discussing how to deal with rascally rabbits! Q: I have planted a bed of pansies for winter, and last year, the rabbits thought it was an all-you-can-eat buffet! How can I keep the flowers in my beds from becoming rabbit food?

November, 29

A: Rabbits can cause small amounts of trouble all year long, but they love pansies. Thankfully, we can help.

We recommend Rabbit Scram to scare the critters away. Apply an…

Ask Burton: This week, a question about a seasonal, aromatic favorite. Q: I like to buy the tall cone-sheared rosemary each year to use on my porch, but often have chunks of them turn brown. Sometimes I see tiny spots of white on the leaves when this happens. How do I stop this from happening?

November, 22

A: Rosemary is a plant that likes full sun and good airflow to keep its leaves dry. Next to your door on the patio in winter is part of the…

Ask Burton: This week, just a reminder. Please check your sprinkler systems!

November, 16

It’s November. We all watered like crazy this summer, due to the severe heat. But, thankfully, that’s over with until next year! We’ll still have some warm(ish) weather, certainly. But…

Ask Burton: Q: I have nutsedge growing in my flowerbeds. I would like this problem to go away. Do you have a spray that will fix it for me? I’ve pulled, and pulled, and never successfully gotten rid of it.

November, 08

A: Nutsedge can be defeated. But you must be persistent!

Right now, it’s already too late in the year for herbicides to be effective in controlling nutsedge. Regardless of what…

Ask Burton: Q: How do I make my tulips look good this time? Every time I plant tulips, they never look like the bulbs at the Arboretum. They’re trying to bloom, but the bloom stems are stunted and unimpressive.

November, 02

A: Your tulips need to chill. And we’re not intending that as humor.

Many spring-blooming bulbs – chief among them tulips and hyacinths – would benefit from spending six weeks…

Ask Burton: Q: I came home last night and saw two big branches had broken off my crape myrtle overhanging my back driveway. We had wind this week, but it just wasn’t severe. Any reason for this to be happening?

October, 25

A: It’s a weather-related issue, but it’s not the wind alone.

Trees and shrubs throughout the Metroplex have had two pretty tough years to get through in a row, between…

Ask Burton: Q: My crape myrtles are covered in a sticky mess, and there’s webs all over the plant. It looks awful! What’s going on, and how do I stop it?

October, 19

A: Aphids are all over crape myrtles in the Metroplex right now, and they’re the cause of this mess.  Aphids suck sap from newer growth, and the shiny, sticky residue…

Ask Burton: Q: I planted a nice bed of pansies after Thanksgiving, once my summer plantings had given up the ghost. But I’ve had them in the ground for six weeks now, and they barely seem like they’re growing! This always happens to me – my pansies don’t look great until March. Why is this happening, and how can I do better?

October, 12

This week’s question is usually asked in January. The solution is simple – plant in October. That’s why we’re bringing it up now!

(The answer, if done this month)

Ask Burton: Q: My trees have suddenly been infested by caterpillars! I have a tree line of native pecans, and a month ago they were fine. Now, I have webbing all over, the leaves are being devoured, and there’s so many of the bugs that they’re falling off and going everywhere. What can I do to stop this?

October, 04

A: First, take a deep breath, then relax. Your plants will come to no long-term harm.

Fall cankerworm and several other common fall caterpillar pests have been worse than usual…

Ask Burton: Q: I have a row of Eastern Red Cedar, and several of them are turning brown. What’s going on? My cedars have been bulletproof, to date.

September, 27

A: There are two perfectly good reasons for why such a tough plant is having a hard time this year.

Weather.  Last year, we had a devastating freeze in February…