Hercules beetle has an impressive grub

Q: I have found lots of large grubs this year. One was 2 inches long and as big around as my index finger! — Sue Solakian, email

A: The most common large grub of spring is that of the Hercules beetle. I find them often in rotted logs. The grub later changes into a brown pupal case and the large beetle emerges in mid-summer. You may find one flying around a porch light. As befits its size, it makes an impressive droning sound! The grub is not harmful. You can leave it alone or toss it into an open spot and give a bird a feast!

Q: I have an abundance of mondo grass in my lawn. The rest of the yard is a combination of various weeds and fescue. What’s the best way to get mondo to take over? — Theron Bond, email

A: I have a very similar situation. All I’m doing is planting sprigs of mondo grass 6 inches apart in my lawn and letting the mondo grass plants grow together. It’s slow, but it works for me.

Q: I have fought annual bluegrass in my lawn for years, but never got total control. A neighbor told me his lawn care guy uses (name deleted) and gets very good results. Why don’t you recommend it? — Lonnie McCall, email

A: I don’t recommend it because, in my opinion, it is not safe or appropriate for homeowners. I’ve redacted the name of the product, but I’ll quote from the label. “Applicators must wear: long-sleeved shirt and long pants, shoes plus socks, protective eyewear and chemical resistant gloves made of any waterproof material. Residential turfgrass sites are limited to targeted or spot treatment with the spray directed to the weeds. Spot treatments are limited to not more than 10% of a residential lawn. … Some ornamental shrubs, plants and trees may be sensitive. Be particularly careful not to overdose under the dripline of trees.” Add the fact that it costs $199 for 3 ounces and you can see why I think it would be irresponsible of me to recommend that anyone except turf care professionals use this product.

Q: I have a scuppernong vine that I got from my Grandad. I noticed when pruning that some of the vines were half black, half green on the inside and others weren’t bright green like they should be. — Mary Shoptaw, Morgan County

A: Since the plant is a sentimental favorite, I’d try to propagate it to have a backup. When green shoots appear in spring, look for and protect the ones closest to the ground. In mid-summer, stretch a couple of them along the soil surface. Select a spot 12 inches back from the tip and scrape it gently with a dull knife to expose the green cambium layer. Dig a shallow trench beneath the wound and anchor the stem in place with a handful of dirt. Put a brick on top to hold it in place. During the next several months, roots will form at the wound site. When leaves appear at the tip next spring, clip the rooted section between it and the mother plant. Place it in another part of your garden or give it to a family member for safe planting.

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Listen to Walter Reeves Saturday mornings on News 95.5 FM and AM750 WSB. Visit walterreeves.com, follow him on Twitter @walterreeves, on Pinterest, or join his Facebook fan page at bit.ly/georgiagardener for more garden tips.

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