Frequently Asked Questions – Grass & Plants 

This month, I thought I would go with some of the popular questions I get asked by clients and neighbours. I hope the questions and answers I have listed here are helpful, feel free to share them with a friend.

grass seed
Grass seed: When is the best time to apply it?
Mid May is the best time to apply grass seed. The key when it comes to growing grass from seed is that the night time temperatures are between 16 and 20 degrees Celsius – any lower and the seed will not germinate overnight. So, before you seed your lawn keep an eye on the overnight temperatures.

What are the roundish patches in my lawn?
These patches are quite possibly a fungus – there are many types but treatment is basically the same for all types.
To re-grow grass in these dead areas, you must rely on the expansion of surrounding healthy grass but that is very slow. These patches often fill with weeds or with stunted new turf plants. This appears to be because the lawn disease leaves a toxin in the area of dead grass which makes regrowth challenging.
The damage actually starts in the fall but becomes more apparent in the spring.
To control the fungus, it is important to not over-fertilize as excess nitrogen encourages spread.
As with many lawn issues, it is easier to prevent than to cure, and I’d recommend implementing the following ideas:
  • Yearly Core Aeration
  • Deep Infrequent Watering in the early morning
  • Mowing lawn at a high height
  • Proper fertilization routine

Moving on to Frequently Asked Plant Questions…
Questions about, my favourite, the Hydrangea:
How to take care of Limelight Hydrangeas shrub or standards: 
Here are my large Limelight Hydrangeas in the fall:
  • Deadhead the old flowers from last year
  • Cut back 1/3 of the branches closer to the base of the plant
  • If a mature shrub that is getting a little too big, cut all stems closer to the base to control size. This may delay bloom but is necessary to control size.
Here is a picture of my hydrangeas that I just cut back all the way:

Annabelle Hydrangeas tend to be a little on the “floppy side” but that is directly related to the pruning.
Notice how thin the new growth stems are?
It is important not to cut these stems back to the grown as the new growth makes is hard to support itself.
Deadheading in the spring is all this variety needs. It is important for the branches to mature and “ thicken up” to support the summer blooms and not be as floppy.
Here’s a picture of mine where I leave the stems long and you can see how much thicker they are:

How to take care of Euonymus:
I will confess that this is not my favourite plant but most gardens come with it and it is a tough plant that does not require a lot of care so many homeowners keep it around. It comes in a variety of colour foliage:
euonymus3 euonymus2 euonymus

Unfortunately, it is prone to something called scale which means that the plant is slowly dying but you may not notice till the very end. It will start to lose its leaves and bare spots will increase, making it very woody.
There is no saving it and it is best to dig it out and replace it with something else. Please do not plant another Euonymus in its place.
Did I cover all your questions? Comment with a question you want to be covered in a future issue! 

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