Q: I moved into a new subdivision in November. My yard has Bermuda sod, which I don’t really care for. Is it possible to overseed with centipede grass? — Mark Dunaway, Jonesboro
A: I don’t think the centipede will ever smother the Bermuda. Bermuda grass simply grows faster than centipede grass. If you really want to have a centipede grass lawn, you need to spray the lawn with glyphosate (KleenUp, Roundup, etc.) now while the grass is greening and do it again in three weeks to mop up any surviving sprouts. Till the area thoroughly, then rake it smooth. The best time to plant centipede grass is mid-May until late June, so you have time to do it right. I have details on planting centipede grass seed at bit.ly/GAcentipede.
Q: I keep finding small golf ball-size pods in the woods. They are delicate with a thin green outer shell and one fluffy seed inside attached with little spidery legs to the inside of the pod. A friend says they are aliens, so we are not letting them into the house in case they try to take over our bodies in the night! — Elaine Artman, email
A: No aliens from this! They are oak apple galls, caused by a harmless wasp. The wasp damages an oak leaf and inserts her eggs. The eggs secrete a hormone that causes the plant tissue to grow a distinctive green protective skin over them. No harm is done to the tree and no control is necessary. I have more details and great pictures at bit.ly/applegall.
Q: I planted a Brown Turkey fig in 2001. It is huge, but so far this year it has not sprouted any leaves. The smaller branches are dark and brittle. Did winter cold kill the branches? — Michael Davoli, Roswell
A: My mother’s fig also seems very slow to sprout leaves this year. But when I was there earlier this week, tiny green buds had begun to open. I think you should give the fig another couple of weeks and report back if it hasn’t sprouted small leaves by then.