Carol Stocker – Globe Correspondent
October 1, 2019 3:34 pm
What to do this week: September became a second August, with high temperatures and little rain, so it irrigates new plantations and all trees and shrubs until October, especially during the weeks when less than an inch of rain falls. Finish the restoration of the lawn in the next two weeks, keeping the planted areas constantly moist until the new grass sprouts.
Q. Can we do something to prevent grass larvae from coming back next year? We do not want to tear our front lawn, and we have grandchildren, so we must take into account the chemicals.
TO. White worms are immature beetles less than an inch long, with white bodies, soft C-shaped and small black heads. They are about an inch underground eating roots and creating brown spots on the grass. While chemical poisons do not work for all four larval species, organic HB nematodes (Heterorhabditis bacteriophora) do apply between mid-August and early September. It's already a bit late, but since it's been warm, you can try. Or wait until the end of April or May. However, some synthetic fertilizers kill the nematodes, so keep an organic fertilizer like Plant-tone if you apply them. Organic lawns are more resistant to larval damage. Autumn is the best time to hang a birdhouse designed for children (with an entrance exactly 1 inch wide). Next spring you can see them feed their chicks from the white food buffet table.
Two blooming redbud trees. —Adobe Stock
Q. How close to the house can I plant a redbud tree?
TO. The common eastern redbud grows 25 by 25 feet, but a dwarf selection called "As of Hearts" grows only 12 by 12. "Ruby Falls" also occupies less space due to its habit of crying. "Merlot" stretches only 15 feet, and may be the best option for climate change due to its Texas paternity tolerant of heat and drought. Almost all redbuds have small magenta flowers for three weeks in May, but I also like white varieties like "Alba." They look like enveloping lights on bare branches. Redbud leaves turn yellow in autumn, and buds of magenta spring flowers are edible in salads.
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