If you have a question about gardening in the Birmingham area, ask John. John Floyd has been gardening–and learning about gardening–for more than 30 years. In addition to his day-to-day experience in the garden, John has degrees in horticulture, plant taxonomy, and plant physiology from Auburn and Clemson Universities and was Editor-in-Chief of Southern Living.
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About the only thing I am using on spring weeds is a herbicide containing 2-4-D. Make sure the product you buy is cleared for your specific type of grass and apply according to label directions. That should clean it up, except for Poa annua (common name annual bluegrass), which it does not control. If the Poa annua is sparse, you might want to hand pull it.
Candidly, the weather is so odd right now, who knows, if you depend on the weather. I think it is fine to prune blueberries, figs, and crepe myrtles, if they need it.
Yes, it is fine to use as mulch, but it may contain some weed seeds. If you can spread a very thin layer of pine straw over the leaves, the look will be nice, and it will help with decomposition. Buy pine straw at any big-box hardware store or garden center.
I cut mine in a fan shape in late fall. If you did not do that last fall, remove dead and damaged leaves now. Leave the new leaves coming out of the rhizomes now.
I really don’t have a solution for you. I have a friend that has an electrified fence, and that does not seem to work either. My only suggestion is that over time you select deer resistant plants to replace the ones you lose from those pesky deer.
It should be ok in the container but remove the dead stalks. Then, in the spring, when new shoots appear remove any bad looking shoots. It always grows better in the ground vs a pot.
Tough questions – I think if the azalea’s leaves are shriveled and then turn brown, chances are poor. Scratch the bark and see if there is any green under it; if not, my guess is they are dead. As for hydrangeas, even if they die back, oftentimes they will come back from the roots (hopefully). As for the pachysandra, I must declare it is dead unfortunately. With it being so dry now, I think many of our plants will be severely damaged.
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Broom rake the area where you killed the worms, or try removing with a blower. Instead of soil, I would use sand if the holes are severe. When I have had infestations in the past I would clean the area of dead worms the best I could, and then water the area well. Generally it filled the holes, and the yard returned to normal. As for the armadillos, removal from the area is the best solution.
The moles are looking for grubs. I don’t really have a solution except to try to contol the grubs, and granular Sevin, applied according to label directions, will help with the grubs. As for Tinkerbell, I have no idea.
That really depends on the plant. Most plants enjoy being fertilized in spring, but many can be fertilized several times a year. If you have specific plants you are wondering about, let me know.
They should do fine, but I am not sure they will reseed on an annual basis.
I would wait and prune in early spring after the plants finished blooming. I think pruning anything but stray branches now might cause you to loose some of your flower buds.
It is no question I would plant them in late winter or early spring. The real problem is the red clay soil. It can hold water in the planting holes in the winter and dry hard in summer. Since it is on a hill, dig extra big holes. Fill around the plants with a good organic matter that contains at least 25% sand. After planting, put a raised ring of soil around the edge of the hole to catch water. Mulch heavily. This method should encourage good root growth, and thus allow them to cover well.
Yes, it does well here as a ground cover. If using small potted plants, most landscape folks plant them any time of the year. I would say now is not a good time. I would wait until the weather cools this fall to plant. Of course, the best time is late spring, and that will advoid any cold weather damage its first year.