Ask Burton

Ask Burton

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Ask Burton: Q: I have several plants with leaf diseases on them right now, and I need to know what to do. My roses have some black spot, my honeysuckle is covered in powdery mildew, and my wax ligustrum had a bad case of some kind of leaf spot in the spring that I don’t want to come back. What should I do to all of these plants?

October, 09

A: We treat fungal leaf diseases differently this time of year, and the difference largely lies in whether the plant in question is deciduous (drops its leaves) or evergreen.

Ask Burton: Q: We live out in the country and would like to screen off our home from the road in front of the house. We don’t have a sprinkler system out there, but really want a screen of trees to break the noise and the sight line from the road. Any suggestions?

October, 03

A: There’s a perfectly good native plant which will do what you wish. Eastern red cedar grows with good speed and basically needs little TLC. A screen of this…

Ask Burton: Q: I have two live oaks in my front yard that were planted 6 years ago. When they were planted, they were both three-inch diameter trees. One has grown robustly, it’s somewhere between seven and eight inches through the trunk now. My other live oak might have grown half as much and doesn’t look nearly as good. The trees are getting the same water, fertilizer, and light. Can you tell me why this one is having a problem growing?

September, 19

A: There are other possible answers, but a very likely answer is a buried root flare. Look closely at the base of the trunk where it meets the soil…

Ask Burton: Q: How can I keep weeds from coming up in my lawn grass during the fall and winter?

September, 12

A: You can apply pre-emergent herbicides right now before the weeds sprout! It is very important that you do this immediately to prevent fall and winter weeds in your…

Ask Burton: Q: My indoor ivy is getting pale and weak, and doesn’t look at all good. What is going on with it?

August, 21

A: Your plant has spider mite damage. This tiny pest can do a lot of damage, and they are troublesome to a number of plants, including ivies in low…

ASK BURTON: Q: How can I ensure that my irrigation system is working properly and that I am getting the most from my “watering dollar”?

July, 27

A. Sprinkler systems make our lives as gardeners much easier, but they’re not a panacea for all ills. In particular, more is not always better. Here are a few…