Q: I am an avid observer of all plant and animal life in and around my abode. I have observed the tulip poplar trees this past year have produced an overabundance of flowers and seed pods. Have you received reports from our area on a poplar super-bloom event? Allen Burgener, Cobb County
A: I have not noticed anything unusual on my tree, but if anyone would know about tulip poplar flowering, it would be local beekeepers, who go out of their way to collect tulip poplar honey. Contact the Forsyth Beekeepers Club (forsythbeekeepersclub.wildapricot.org) or the Georgia Beekeepers Association (gabeekeeping.com): They have numerous classes and sources of information for beekeepers.
Q: My dad (at age 91) cuts our very large yard on a riding mower. He insists on cutting it as low as a golf green. He thinks it saves him more frequent cuttings, but then he complains about all the chickweed he has to control. The grass looks awful: It’s a mixture of fescue and whatever else can survive. We have a circular driveway in the front. I’d like to mow it correctly and show him the difference. Sidney Brown, Southside Virginia
A: Doing comparison planting is the basis of University of Georgia Extension education. My father claimed that he had a stack of Extension bulletins a foot high by the time he was 20. He wanted to know which variety of cotton he should plant, which beans were best and which variety of corn he should plant for his mules. In late March, loosen the soil in the circle manually or with an aerator. Scatter turf-type fescue seed at a rate of 5 pounds per 1,000 square feet. Do not exceed this rate; avoid seed crowding. Apply any lawn fertilizer at the rate specified on the bag. Water as appropriate. Here’s the key practice to show your father: maintain the fescue at 3 inches high. I have no doubt your part of the lawn will be beautiful!
Q: I have some white and lavender colored lantanas that are in their fourth year and have gotten very leggy. They bloom in late summer/early fall. When they come back next year, do I need to prune them? Deanna Smith, Roswell
A: Contemplating the Christmas freeze we just endured, I think you had lantana plants. Varieties that are usually winter-hardy, such as ‘Mozelle’, ‘Chapel Hill Gold’ and ‘Miss Huff’, may sprout from their roots. Otherwise, make a local nursery happy and purchase new plants this spring.
Email Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen to his occasional garden comments on “Green and Growing with Ashley Frasca” Saturday mornings on 95.5 WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, or join his Facebook Page at bit.ly/georgiagardener, for his latest tips.
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