GARDENER'S MAILBAG

Burls rarely kill limbs

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: I've had these "crop circles" in my lawn for the past four years. I've been told they're caused by insufficient shade, lack of water, worms or fungus. Nothing I've tried has helped. What would you suggest?

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Herbicides best for tackling nutsedge

Wednesday, October 11, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: I've tried everything to kill nutgrass/nutsedge in my garden. Pre-emergent granules didn't help. Pulling didn't help. I've had a fresh crop every morning all year. What can I do?

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Dig crape myrtle roots to get rid of plant

Wednesday, September 27, 2017
By Gerry Lewis

Dear Neil: I had a crape myrtle cut down and the stump ground several years ago. Many sprouts have come up. I've sprayed them repeatedly with Round Up, but they're still there. What can I do?

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Edge burn caused by moisture stress

Wednesday, September 20, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: I have two young red oak trees in our yard. The leaves on one of the trees are turning brown. Is this something I need to be concerned about?

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Growing sansevieria can be a rewarding experience

Wednesday, September 13, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: Almost 50 years ago I bought a 4-inch pot of sansevieria (snake plant). It had three leaves at that point, but now it has grown to fill four very large pots and it is blooming. I didn't even know that they bloomed.

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Crape myrtle problems merit professional help

Wednesday, August 30, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: We have a crape myrtle that developed white spots on its bark this summer. Someone told us to spray the spots with alcohol, but that doesn't seem to have helped. Now there are orange wasp-like insects flying around it. Do you have any idea what is going on?

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No need to prune fusing crape myrtles

Wednesday, August 16, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: I have a crape myrtle with two trunks that are rubbing together enough that they are almost fusing. Is there any reason to worry about that?

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St. Augustine stronger than Bermuda if conditions are good

Wednesday, August 9, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: This spring I reseeded my lawn with Bermuda grass over St. Augustine. Now the Bermuda has taken over one-fourth of my lawn. Will it eventually overtake all of the St. Augustine?

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Call in experts for Texas mountain laurel spots

Wednesday, August 2, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: For the past year our Texas mountain laurels have been dropping leaves onto our deck almost every single day. Never more than 15 or 20, but always some.

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Hackberry may share roots, watch for decay

Wednesday, July 26, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: We have a cluster of hackberry trees that shade our house and patio. They were here when the house was built eight years ago. A small one has gone from green to dead in just a matter of a few days. What would have caused this, and how can we keep it from spreading?

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Mow stinging nettles low, treat with weedkiller to eliminate

Wednesday, July 19, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: We have recently moved to the country, and we have three acres that are literally covered with stinging nettles. I've tried lots of suggestions, all to no avail. What is the best way to eliminate it? It's even coming up through my sod.

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Fight root rot with sphagnum moss

Wednesday, July 12, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: A huge percentage of our St. Augustine did not come back after this past winter. Zoysia that we have growing nearby has been fine. Here in mid-summer the spots are still dead. We don't believe it's chinch bugs because of the time of year when it hit (early spring). What would have done this?

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Pollination, type matter when growing tomatos

Wednesday, July 5, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: My tomato plants are large and healthy. They bloom well, but no fruit sets. The flowers just eventually fall off. What can I do?

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Mother-of-thousands common in most gardens

Wednesday, June 28, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: I have this curious little plant in my garden. I don't know how to care for it. It was left by the previous homeowner.

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Magnolias make great replacement trees

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: We recently lost a Bradford pear that split in a windstorm. What is a good replacement tree? We like magnolias, but they are so messy.

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Use fertilizer to shape up lumpy pampasgrass

Wednesday, June 7, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: I have three clumps of pampasgrass. This winter it froze, so I cut the clumps back to 18 inches like you told someone else to do. Now, all the new growth is coming up from one side of each clump.

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January freeze damages gardenias

Wednesday, May 31, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: What would be causing the slow death of our dwarf gardenias? These green leaves and yellowed leaves are both on the same plant. We have two other plants on either side, and they also have the yellowed leaves. This is our second bad experience with gardenias in this spot.

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Consider your sunlight when planting groundcover

Wednesday, May 24, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: I have an area roughly 30 by 40 feet in size. It is shaded, and bermuda has not grown well there. Last year I spread one to two inches of new soil thinking that would help the grass grow and cover, but it did not. What would you suggest I do for that area?

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Information needed to fight neighbor’s weeds

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: We planted a new lawn 18 months ago. It has done very well, except along the boundary where our neighbor's weeds are invading. What can I put down to keep his weeds from taking over?

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Detergent can help fight oxalis invasion

Wednesday, May 10, 2017
By Neil Sperry

Dear Neil: This suddenly appeared in our lawn this spring. What is it? What would be good to control it?

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