Ask Burton

Ask Burton

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Ask Burton: I always thought Spring was the best time to plant, but recently I’ve heard that Fall is the best time. I want to add some more trees and shrubs to my landscape and wondered if you could clarify the best planting time?

September, 14

A: Fall IS the best time for installing pretty much any new tree or shrub that’s winter hardy in our area. It’s better than planting at any other time…

Ask Burton: This week, a pair of quick questions about the vegetable garden that we hear often each September. Q: My tomatoes looked nice all the way through the summer, and I had hoped to keep them for the second crop. Spider mites have struck, and they’re terribly stressed. Is there still time to replant a second crop? Also, I plant broccoli and cabbage in my fall garden, but they always end up covered in holes.

September, 08

A: Your first tomato crop is over, but it’s too late to plant a second crop of tomatoes. Older plants which go through the stress of the summer often…

Ask Burton: This week, a question about one of our most popular groundcovers. People have had this issue crop up in the past two to three weeks; here’s how ot fix it. Q: I have vinca major groundcover, and it’s gone from beautiful to devastated in the past three weeks. Nearly every leaf is destroyed; I see brown, translucent pieces of leaves here and there, mixed throughout. All of my stems are still green.

August, 31

A: You have been visited by leafrollers! These caterpillars do a lot of damage to cannas and the vinca groundcovers, especially vinca major, in a very short period of…

Ask Burton: Q: I hear that using a pre-emergent herbicide will help me to keep weeds from coming up in my lawn grass during the fall and winter. What do you recommend and when should I apply it?

August, 24

A: To head off weed issues while they’re still a non-issue, now is the time to start applying pre-emergent herbicide!

The best time to apply pre-emergent for the fall…

Ask Burton: Q: I have planted a large bed of potato vine, and it’s growing crazy fast but many of my leaves have small holes in them. How do I handle the problem?

August, 18

A: There are a number of pests that can chew holes in the leaves of the fast-growing potato vine; beetles, looper caterpillars, slugs, snails and grasshoppers can all nibble…

Ask Burton : This week, we’re dealing with – we hope! – the last of the trouble spots of the intense February freeze. Q: I have a (Japanese yew, live oak, Shumard red oak, sunshine ligustrum, eleagnus, there are others as well) that have taken a turn for the worse as the heat really started to peak this summer. My plants are well established, and my sprinkler is getting good coverage – I checked! But now I have twigs and a handful of limbs dying, and occasionally whole plants are starting to fail without obvious answers why.

August, 11

A: The explanation, in many cases, goes back to a few days before the February freeze.

In the weeks leading up to the storm, the Metroplex had balmy weather…

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.

August, 03

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, 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?

July, 27

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: I have a Japanese maple tree that I planted in my yard this spring, and the beautiful maroon leaves have turned greenish. Why is this happening? Do I have the wrong type of Japanese maple?

July, 21

A: The good news is that nothing is wrong with your maple.

Japanese maples give great color in shadier areas of our landscapes, but they’re very much a ‘Goldilocks’…

ASK BURTON: Q: We planted this Japanese maple in the spring. It just recently began looking distressed with some brown leaves. The tree is getting full morning sun but nothing past noon. Is there anything I can do to help it?

July, 13

 A: Your plant is showing some heat stress getting established this first summer, but you haven’t done anything wrong in its maintenance. Japanese maples are one of our most…