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Weekly Lawn & Garden Tips

3/27/17- Come gentle Spring, thermal mildness, come. Thomson

Question:
Should I mulch pachysandra under my oak tree this spring? How far apart should the plants be? Len, Norwich, CT
Mort's Answer:
Five to six inches would give you a tight fit within a year. You will get a leaf mulch from the oak leaves in late fall. Mulching with wood chips this spring could get soggy. Norwich has a shallow water table because f all the clay and ledge. I would suggest letting that decision air until next spring. Mulch does reduce weeds so it may require a Plan B if the weeds are too prevalent. It's not much,it's mulch.

Question:
We have a lot of Creeping Charlie. A lot of target herbicide sprays do not get rid of it. What can we use on the lawn and in the garden? Rebecca, Blue Mound, IL
Mort's Answer:
Four step programs include herbicide with the fertilizer. This helps fill in the bare spots left after they are killed. Creeping Charlie, with its tiny little blue flower, reseeds very quickly and is often below the cut of the mower. An early application of a pre-emergent application will help. Corn starch can be used in flower and vegetable beds as a pre-emergent.

Question:
I have creeping charlie and bindweed over 25% of my front lawn. It covers an area of 40 by 80 feet. How can I get rid of them? Emily, South Chicago,IL
Mort's Answer:
The best weed control is a good tight grass. Grass grows sideways and can cut out weeds. Creeping Charlier is pernicious and is not easily eradicated because it sits under the lawn mover and the seeds are easily propagating. You can use target sprays like Round Up, Finale or Vine-X. I would use the Vine-X on the bindweed, which is probably on your edges of the lawn near fences and the like. Target sprays need a lapsed time of at last two weeks before top dressing and reseeding. You will need about 10 cubic yards of goodA half inch is actually better but you may not find someone to deliver that small amount. Unfortunately bagged top soil is often poor quality and may have more weed seed. All soils have some weed seed. Rake the soil over the entire lawn after killing the weeds with a herbicide. You can use a winter rye and add some fescue and blue grass with annual rye in the spring. This will fill spaces until your good grasses expand. screened loam to cover at an inch depth.

Question:
We have an Abutilon that we have just planted. Can I keep that outdoors through the winter? Marie, Brunswich, GA
Mort's Answer:
Althouugh I have seen some growing in zone 6 in protected ares, flowering Maple is hardy from zone 8 south. Since it gets rather breezy on the isles, I would recommend covering the plant with burlap in the winter. There are several good Abutilon with pinkish purple, yellow or white trumpet flowers. A. hybridum varieties include Boule DeNeige and Golden Fleece. A.pictum has a yellow or orange flower with red veins. A.theophrasti is basically an annual weed that reseeds itself.

Question:
How can I get your book? "A Face Made for Radio"
Mort's Answer:
You can purchase my book, "A Face Made for Radio".
This autobiography is 11.95 per copy including S&H. It chronicles my first 25 years and the history of radio. Just mail check or money order to:

Whitehouse Productions
484 Wellington Ave.
Cranston, RI 02910.

Allow two weeks for delivery.

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