Q: Is it better to separate Stella d Oro daylilies in spring or fall? Jim Depping, email
A: In my experience, you can divide daylilies successfully every day of the year … but the best time is in spring, before they bloom. Repeat-blooming daylilies like yours get crowded quickly. Scoop up a clump, wash off most of the soil, and use a sharp knife to separate the individual plants. Mark your calendar to divide the clump every three years. You’ll get better blooms if you fertilize them a couple of times each year as well.
Q: My muscadines have not been pruned but the vines are just about fully leafed out. What do I do at this point? Phylis Austin, email
A: It is tough to decide what to do this late in the spring. Flowers have already started forming at the base of the long shoots. If you prune the shoots back to two buds, as you would do in January, you will remove leaves that would feed the flowers as they develop fruit. In my opinion, you should first inspect the vines to make sure no choking tendrils from last year‘s growth have wrapped around the main cordons. Remove them when found. Then do some light ‘nipping and tipping’ to shape the vines enough to make mowing underneath and harvesting easy. Enjoy this year‘s grapes but be aware you will have a big job of pruning this winter to get the vines back to the shape they should be in before next spring. I have details on muscadine culture at bit.ly/GAmuscadine.
Q: I believe carpenter bees are very important pollinators so I allow them in my yard. Even though they drill holes in wood I think it’s bad to kill them. Mary White, Atlanta
A: In my opinion, the reputation of carpenter bees as plant pollinators is not proven. They are so large that they can make a hole in the side of flowers to sip the nectar without entering the flower to contact and transport the pollen. I am sure that some percentage of pollination is performed by them in nature but many people consider the holes carpenter bees drill in wood to outweigh their value as pollinators. If you’d rather not kill the adults directly, keep an eye out for holes and plug them with caulk when spotted.
Q: I use Google Lens to photograph and identify flowers. Are there other apps that do this on a smartphone? Radio caller
A: I have used both PlantSnap (plantsnap.com) and GardenAnswers (mygardenanswers.com). I like PlantSnap better; it correctly identified ‘Limelight’ hydrangea and kudzu flowers, both of which confounded GardenAnswers. PlantSnap is free. GardenAnswers is free for identifying common flowers but has a $2.00 personalized service to identify uncommon plants. I have not tried Google Lens (lens.google.com) but I’ll give it a whirl this spring.
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Listen to Walter Reeves Saturday mornings on News 95.5 FM and AM750 WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, follow him on Twitter @walterreeves, on Pinterest, or join his Facebook Fan Page at bit.ly/georgiagardener for more garden tips.