Brood X cicadas won’t be seen in Atlanta

This cicada's dark eyes tell you it's an annual cicada, not a periodical cicada from the Brood X clan. (Walter Reeves for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)
This cicada's dark eyes tell you it's an annual cicada, not a periodical cicada from the Brood X clan. (Walter Reeves for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Credit: Walter Reeves

Credit: Walter Reeves

Q: I’m very interested in the Brood X cicadas. Any ideas on when and where these unique bugs will appear? Keith Nanthavongsa, email

A: Only a few counties in far North Georgia will see a notable appearance of Brood X cicadas. In metro Atlanta, we will have the usual appearance of annual cicadas, but they are a normal occurrence in summer. Remember, the Brood X periodical cicadas have red eyes, while the common annual cicada’s eyes are black. If you want to see where the multitudinous insects are actually emerging (millions per acre!), download the free phone app at Cicada Safari (cicadasafari.org). You can use your phone to photograph and upload cicada sightings and check out what other folks are seeing.

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Q: I planted a couple of tomato plants and peppers recently. Do you recommend dusting the plants before any blooms or bad insects are present? Glen Andrews, Gwinnett County

A: I can’t recommend applying pesticides without knowing what you’re trying to control. Putting insecticide out indiscriminately would inevitably hurt pollinators. I would much rather you keep an eye on the plants and, if you see a problem, apply the most efficacious remedy then. Most problems have cultural, organic and chemical solutions. Remember, the best pesticide is the gardener’s shadow.

ExploreMost recent gardening advice from Walter Reeves

Q: We need advice on how to improve our centipede lawn. We had several pine trees taken out so it now gets lots of sun. How do we get rid of the weeds with yellow flowers? Marilyn Jean Day, email

A: Your centipede grass should be plenty happy in full sun. And equally happy will be the golden-hued dandelions and oxalis weeds in your lawn. But since centipede grass is sensitive to several weed killers, I’m hesitant to recommend anything like a weed and feed. I think your best option is to plant centipede seed in mid-May, fertilize, and irrigate to keep the soil slightly moist for six weeks. You can carefully spot spray weeds with glyphosate (Roundup, etc). After mid-July, the centipede seed should be sprouted and beginning to spread. Fertilize again. You can use a weed killer labeled for centipede lawns next year when the grass is vigorously growing.

Q: I just dug up a New Dawn rose with rose rosette disease. Is it OK to put the material with my yard waste or should I bag it and put with the garbage? Steve Preston, Decatur

A: Bag it. The longer the rose is outdoors, the more opportunity there is for the mites that carry the virus to spread.

Walter’s email address is georgiagardener@yahoo.com. Listen to his comments at 6:35 a.m. on “Green and Growing with Ashley Frasca” Saturday mornings on 95.5 WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, follow him on Twitter @walterreeves, on Pinterest, or join his Facebook Page at bit.ly/georgiagardener.

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