Q: I need to prune my winter jasmine plants. Is it too late to prune now?Lynda Newsome, Rome
A: It is too late in the season to prune if you want flowers next year. Winter jasmine blooms in January, and the buds to make those flowers are already formed on the stems at this time. On the other hand, if your jasmine is a tangled mess and you don’t care about blooms, now is a fine time to clip out the craziness. Late spring is the normal time to prune winter jasmine, after it finishes flowering.
Q: Any idea where I can find calcium carbonate (lime) without magnesium in it for my lawn? My soil tested above optimal for magnesium, so I don’t want to use regular lime.Kurt B. Uhlir, Roswell
A: Lime without magnesium will be hard to find around here. Most of our garden lime comes from the marble quarries in North Georgia, where magnesium is naturally part of the stone. I am willing to bet you used a home garden soil test kit purchased locally. These are not very accurate. It is likely your soil is fine. You can get details on a much more accurate laboratory soil test at georgiasoiltest.com.
Q: At the beginning of May, I had ten Emerald Green arborvitae planted by a local landscaper. Four of them died, one after another, over a three-month period. I was told I did not water enough.Russ Jones, Marietta
A: I lost three of the four arborvitae I planted five years ago for the exact same reason: not watering enough. Even though mine were planted in late fall, and I assumed winter rains would take care of them, they did not get enough water. By mid-May the next year they were toasty brown. In your case, May would have been a terrible time to plant your arborvitae unless you were prepared to water heavily once per week for the next several months.
The decline might have been exacerbated if the landscaper simply dug a hole and popped them in. Roots would have had a hard time expanding before the summer drought. Replant now, giving plants five gallons of water per week (in the absence of rain) until next September.
Q: My house has a steep slope in one spot. It’s been covered in pine straw but weeds have been making their way through. After using organic herbicides to no avail, I sprayed Roundup Extended Control. Now, two weeks later, I want to plant shrubs there. The label says to wait four months but I have already purchased the plants. Is there any way to safely put them in?Brandon Blalock, email
A: When it comes to pesticides, “The label is the law.“ It is hard to predict what will happen if you plant during the four month cautionary period. One of the herbicide ingredients, imazapic, is very effective at preventing new growth. A little bit goes a long way. The safest thing to do is return the plants.
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Listen to Walter Reeves Saturday mornings on 95.5 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.