Herbs are an easy garden addition

Parsley is an easy-to-grow herb that can be planted now. CONTRIBUTED BY WALTER REEVES

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Parsley is an easy-to-grow herb that can be planted now. CONTRIBUTED BY WALTER REEVES

Q: What are good herbs I can plant? Anita Foster, Fairmount

A: Any time is a great time to plant herbs! Some are annuals, like basil and parsley, which are best planted each spring. Others, like rosemary, oregano and thyme, are perennials, which can grow for years in your garden. Most herbs grow best in full sunshine but a few tolerate semi-shade. The University of Georgia has a great publication on planting, maintaining, preserving and cooking with herbs. You can download it at bit.ly/GAherbs.

Q: Since Georgia State By State Gardening magazine went out of business, what other gardening newsletters and magazines do you recommend?Robert Twilling, Cartersville

A: Where once there were many, now there are few to choose from! I subscribe to Horticulture (hortmag.com) and Fine Gardening (finegardening.com). I receive American Gardener because I'm a member of the American Horticulture Society (ahsgardening.org). My landscaper friend Danna Cain (homegardendesign.com) recommends Garden Design (gardendesign.com). As for gardening newsletters, I hope you subscribe to mine (bit.ly/newsletterWR). I also enjoy Neil Sperry's garden newsletter (neilsperry.com). From Ohio State University, the BYGL newsletter (bygl.osu.edu/newsletter) often has humorous but science-based articles about insects and gardening.

Q: Our HOA board is debating whether to overseed centipede grass with rye grass to keep our turf green all year. What is your opinion?Lee Smart, Georgetown County, S.C.

A: The main reason you should not overseed centipede grass with rye grass is that you'll severely weaken the turf before summer sets in. Centipede grass needs all the resources it can get to green up in spring. Rye grass robs nutrients and will reduce sunshine on the underlying centipede. When the rye dies in spring, you will be left with a weak, patchy stand of centipede grass. Golf courses can overseed their bermuda fairways with ryegrass because they have the expertise and can perform the daily monitoring that is needed. If you are willing to hire someone to visit your community daily from September to June, you might be successful. If not, I predict you will be sorry.

Q: While watering my Meyer lemon tree I found a lot of small worms crawling on top of the soil. How can I eliminate them?Art Kunzer, Gainesville

A: I think you are seeing the larvae of dark-winged fungus gnats. They live in very moist potting soil, feeding on fungus that grows there. To confirm my diagnosis, cut a quarter-inch thick disk of Irish potato and place it on the soil surface. Fungus gnat larvae will collect on the underside of the potato. They are tiny worms with a distinct dark head. Sprinkle a one-half inch layer of dry sand on top of the soil. This will immediately discourage gnats from laying their eggs. In the future, water your lemon only when the soil feels dry.

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