Don’t store tulip bulbs near vegetables in fridge

Q: I know that spring bulbs have to be chilled in the soil or in the refrigerator for several weeks before planting. I know that if I chill them in my fridge, I should keep apples, pears and other fruits out. But what about vegetables? Do any of them cause tulip flowers to be small? Lisa Fredricksen, email

A: Good thinking! Besides the fruits you’ve listed, tomatoes, avocados and peppers can release enough ethylene gas to affect tulip blooms. But honestly, we have plenty of chilling hours outdoors each winter in North Georgia. There is no need to chill bulbs if they are planted in mid-October.

Q: We sodded with Bermuda two years ago and have been watering regularly early in the morning for 10-15 minutes several times per week. We have a lawn service applying weed killer and fertilizer but the sod is dying. We really are at our wits’ end and simply do not know what to do next. Lee & Debby Williams, email

A: This is simple: You have been watering way too much. Bermuda grass hates soggy soil. Your goal for any lawn should be watering deeply once a week. Soil should be a bit dry before the next irrigation. I can’t predict what will happen now. Your lawn may be too far gone to save it. Turn off your sprinkler, do not fertilize, and let’s see what it looks like in May next year.

Q: I have a bit of a problem. They had to dig up my lawn and unfortunately left large dirt patches. I’m not 100% sure of the grass I have but I believe it’s fine-bladed zoysia. Do they make a grass seed that I can use to patch this area? Glenn Leeder, Cumming

A: I am not quite sure what is the best answer to your problem/question. If it indeed is fine-bladed zoysia, the only available options are Emerald and a couple of variant varieties. Unfortunately, there’s no seed for those varieties; they are only available as sod. I’m not sure if there is even any zoysia sod available from sod farms at this time of year. The only zoysia seed available is Zenith. Its blade is wider than Emerald. But you don’t have enough time to get it to sprout before cold weather comes. I think your best bet is to hunt really hard for a fine-bladed zoysia sod source. If you can’t find that, I think the next best thing would be to cover the dirt with straw and let it sit dormant until it’s time to plant zoysia sod in spring. I would not plant anything there before spring. That would complicate laying sod at the right time.

Email Walter at georgiagardener@yahoo.com. 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.