Ask Burton

Ask Burton

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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.

June, 29

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 simple reminder, and some tips on how to use water instead of wasting it. Please water more. And do so wisely – water isn’t cheap, and it’s the right thing to do.

June, 21

The summer’s heat is here, hotter and earlier than normal. Adjust your sprinklers and get up early to beat the heat for any hand watering needed. As a rough…

Ask Burton: This week, a solution for a tough weed problem in the landscape. Q: I have a weed – looks like a grass, but when I clean out my bed, it’s always back within the next ten days and it’s always worse than when I first started pulling. What is this, and how do I get rid of it?

June, 15

A: This sounds like nutsedge, and it’s a persistent weed in the flowerbeds and lawn. Pulling it does tend to make it worse! Nutsedge has a thin root system…

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, 07

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: This week, we’re looking at containers – with a lot of spring color wearing out in the heat, many people want to freshen up their patio and entryway show for the summer. Q: I had beautiful pots of petunias on my patio, and the past few weeks has made them give up. What can I plant right now that will really go through the heat and work in my containers?

May, 30

A: There are still a number of good choices you can use, based on your sun exposure, that will tolerate the heat well. Plant selection isn’t all, though! There…

Ask Burton: This week, a tougher question about what to do when your landscape has been taken over by hazardous vines. Q: I made an unpleasant discovery. Poison ivy is growing in the flowerbed on the side of my house, and it’s growing through and on things. Of course, I learned this was poison ivy the hard way, and got a nasty rash. I need to get rid of this!

May, 25

A: Ouch! Poison ivy can cause a painful rash, and you do need to remove it. It’s tough when it’s growing in beds with desirable plants.

As a first…

Ask Burton:Q: I have a sunny bed in front of my house, and I recently planted a crape myrtle in a bed with soft leaf yucca, Mexican feather grass, and sedum. The crape myrtle looks fabulous, the sedum looks OK, but my yucca looks like it’s withering and the feather grass died. What’s happening?

May, 18

A: The question answered itself once we asked how often the bed was being watered. A good, solid soaking once every other day makes the crape myrtle happy, and…

Ask Burton: Q: My Japanese maple’s leaves have suddenly shown numerous small holes, and there are tiny cones (1/4″) made of dried leaves sticking to the top of many leaves. What is happening?

May, 10

A: We’ve had customers showing up to the nursery earlier than in any year we can remember with bagworms! May 4th marks our first sighting this year, when we’re…

Ask Burton: This week, a question about tomatoes! Q: I have a raised bed that I filled with a good bulk soil mixture, and planted tomatoes. I love tomatoes! But my tomatoes do not love me – they’re pale, not growing well, and some of the lower leaves look purplish. How do I fix this?

May, 03

A: You need to fertilize more aggressively.

Raised gardens need more frequent watering than in-ground, and those waterings rinse away soil fertility. Bulk bed mixes contain a lot of…

Ask Burton: Q: I have a nice, established row of Nellie R. Stevens hollies, and they’re starting to show yellow leaves, scattered throughout the plants. Otherwise, the plants look good, and they’re covered in new growth. This is also happening to my magnolias. Should I be spraying for a disease?

April, 27

A: Happily, no.

Hollies, Magnolias, and other evergreen varieties, have long-lasting leaves that do not drop for the winter. Long-lasting does not mean eternal! Periodically, the plants will shed…