Crape myrtle seeds easy to plant

Q: I would like to learn about identifying, collecting and planting seeds from my crape myrtle. Can you help?

— Fred Volpe, Cobb County

A: The seeds are easy to collect and plant. Observe your plant and collect seed capsules when they turn brown. Let them dry on newspaper.

When they are fully opened, you’ll be able to shake out many seeds. Save them in an envelope and plant outdoors, half-inch deep, in a sunny bed in early April.

They should sprout in June. This will result in lots of crape myrtle seedlings for you to enjoy.

Q: My Yoshino cherry is sending up new shoots from its roots. My landscaper has been spraying them with Roundup. He says that this will not kill the tree. I disagree. Who is correct? — Ronald Jones, email

A: Your landscaper is playing a dangerous game. Glyphosate (Roundup, KleenUp, etc) is translocated from shoots to other parts of the plant.

There are many instances of glyphosate going from one tree to another when their roots graft to each other. A safer product to use is naphthaleneacetate (Sucker Stopper).

Q: My back lawn was recently infested with army worms. I was out of town and didn’t notice it until it was too late. I sprayed BT and now they appear to be gone. Is it OK for me to fertilize my lawn and water it right away?

— George Mangum, Montgomery

A: You are exactly correct. Army worms are the caterpillars of a nondescript brown moth that is blown up from Florida by storms each summer.

They damage a lawn by eating the green leaves, but the harm is not permanent. Feed now with any lawn fertilizer and water it in to get your grass into recovery mode.

Q: My centipede lawn is being taken over by prostrate spurge. I know I should have put out pre-emergent, but is there anything I can do besides wait for it all to die?

— Susan Galloway, email

A: Prostrate spurge has wiry stems, a flat growth habit and multitudes of seeds.

You’re right that a pre-emergent product might have prevented it. Make a note to apply pendimethalin (Halts), dithiopyr (Crab-Ex), or isoxaben (Portrait) in March and May next year.

For now, sulfentrazone (Ortho Nutsedge Killer) is labeled for post-emergent spurge control. Remember that the best weed control is a healthy and vigorous lawn.

Q: I have two tomato plants in 24-inch pots. They are doing very well, but 75 percent of the fruit is split at the top near the stem. Is there any solution for this? — Tom Sherman, Fayette County

A: Fluctuations in soil moisture are the usual cause of splitting. Your pots are a bit small, making it hard to keep them watered all day.

A mature tomato plant will suck up all of the moisture in such a container before nightfall each day.

Punch a pinhole in a 2-liter soft drink bottle, fill it with water and put it on the soil when you leave each morning. The slow drip of water will help keep the plants happy.

Listen to Walter Reeves 6-10 a.m. Saturdays on AM 750 and 95.5 FM News-Talk WSB. Visit his website,, or join his Facebook Fan Page at /wrfacebook for more garden tips.