The Daily Southerner, Tarboro, NC

Garden Tips

April 5, 2013

"Ask A Master Gardener"

TARBORO — J. Winslow (Tarboro) asks-  I want to put some half rotten logs around-and in-my garden but wonder if the combustion process involved in their further decomposition would damage or detract from the growth of the surrounding plants.

Answer: Just like the forest floor, the decomposing wood will likely enrich your garden soil and should not impede the growth of your plants.  It's always a good idea to use natural materials in your garden.

Jamie E. (Tarboro) Asks: What should I use to control white grubs in my lawn and when do I apply it?

Answer:  Grubs can be very damaging to lawns if the population is high, but there are now effective, safe-to-use products available that have low toxicities, fairly long residuals, and less adverse effects on beneficial insects. So timing is not as critical as it used to be with the traditional grub products. The effectiveness of both products is more than 90 percent, topping the list of insecticides used in home lawns for grub control.

Imidacloprid is one of the insecticides that came on the homeowner market in 1996. This is available as a granular product as well as a ready-to-spray product. It can be applied from mid-May to mid-August for control of Japanese beetle and masked chafer grubs. If applied mid-May to early June, several other lawn pests are also controlled, including billbugs and the first generations of both chinch bugs and sod webworm. Imidacloprid has to be applied BEFORE the new generation of grubs is discovered in August, and is therefore useful in lawns with a history of grub problems.

DO NOT apply earlier than mid-May, or it might not be effective by the time eggs hatch in late July to early August.

Another new grub insecticide came on the homeowner market in spring of 1999: halofenozide (molt-accelerating compound halofenozide). Wait to apply this insecticide until early June. This will control both white grubs and billbugs. An advantage of this product is that it can be applied after the new generation of grubs is discovered in August, mid- to late in the month.

This is a more integrated pest management approach, targeting the pest population directly once it is discovered and after determining that control is needed. Read and follow all pesticide label instructions.

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Garden Tips
  • Ask A Master Gardener

    Judi L. (Tarboro) Asks: My azaleas are just about finished blooming and some of the blooms are turning brown.  Am I supposed to cut them back now?

    May 10, 2013

  • Worm.jpg Ask A Master Gardener

    Ben B. (Tarboro) Asks: Is the Cooperative Extension Center planning a workshop about rain barrel irrigation?  I hear it’s a great way to keep a ready supply of free water for the garden and I think there are a lot of folks in this area that would want to learn more about it.

    May 3, 2013 2 Photos

  • poa annua.jpg Ask A Master Gardener

    Millie H. (Pinetops) Asks: I’ve attached a photo of a weed in my lawn that I’ve always called “pee grass.”  What should I do to control this weed in my lawn ?
    Answer: It’s called Poa Annua, or Annual Bluegrass  -  an annual weed that looks similar to a regular lawn grass for a short while. It has shallow roots, and develops a short seed head early in the season. By the time summer heat hits, the weed goes dormant, leaving big brown areas in the lawn.

    April 12, 2013 1 Photo

  • GARDENER-hosta.jpg "Ask A Master Gardener"

    J. Winslow (Tarboro) asks-  I want to put some half rotten logs around-and in-my garden but wonder if the combustion process involved in their further decomposition would damage or detract from the growth of the surrounding plants.

    April 5, 2013 1 Photo

  • 10158.jpg What's Eating My Potatoes?

    Potatoes are a fun crop to grow, especially when it comes time to dig for those buried treasures. Unfortunately, there are numerous pests that are also fond of potatoes. Here are the most common and what to do about them.

    May 17, 2011 1 Photo

  • 10520_aUSE.jpg Pest Prevention: Three Easy DIY Tips


    (Family Features) Each year, uncontrolled bugs, including, beetles, cockroaches, ants, centipedes, sow bugs and box elder bugs, are a relentless annoyance that homeowners across the country fight to keep out of their homes.

    May 11, 2011 1 Photo

  • 10236.jpg Planting a Rain Garden

    (Family Features) Storm water runoff can be a big problem during heavy thunderstorms. As the water rushes across roofs and driveways, it picks up oil and other pollutants. Municipal storm water treatment plants often can't handle the deluge of water, and in many locations the untreated water ends up in natural waterways. The EPA estimates as much as 70 percent of the pollution in our streams, rivers, and lakes is carried there by storm water.

    May 4, 2011 1 Photo

  • 10551.jpg Planning an Outdoor Oasis

     If it's time to think about making some improvements or additions to your home, outside may be the best place to get started.

    April 26, 2011 1 Photo

  • 10561.jpg Controlling Annual Weeds

    (Family Features) Now that the vegetable garden is all planted, not only are your seeded squash, cucumbers, lettuces, beans and carrots coming up, so are the weeds.

    April 21, 2011 1 Photo

  • 10588.jpg Get Your Garden Growing Four Tips for Starting a Garden

     The popularity of gardening is growing. In fact, according to the National Gardening Association,* more than 70 percent of all U.S. households participate in one or more type of do-it-yourself outdoor lawn and garden activity - with flower and vegetable gardening topping the most popular activities.

    April 19, 2011 1 Photo

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