All About Gardening and Gardening Q & A
by Pernell Gerver

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"Controlling Crabgrass, Weeds, & Grubs Safely & Organically"

For many, weeds in the lawn and garden are a common problem. I have a plan that will solve your problems in your lawn and garden. It’s my “one-two punch” that will get rid of the existing weeds you have now and prevent future weeds before they even have a chance of popping up.

Here’s what you need to do: Put down one application of my Organic Lawn Weed and Feed on your entire lawn and garden (only one application per year is needed). It contains natural lawn food that is slow release, and will make the lawn green up fast without burning. This helps the thin lawn and bare spots to fill in themselves without having to reseed – with it overseeding is unnecessary. The organic weed preventer it contains will stop weeds like crabgrass and dandelions from sprouting. You only have to put it down once each spring. I put it down on my lawn with a spreader then I take handfuls of it and scatter it over my flower beds. It is safe for people, pets, wildlife, and the environment and you can safely use the lawn after treatment.

After applying my Organic Lawn Weed and Feed the second part of my “one-two punch” for getting rid of weeds is to spot spray any existing weeds in the lawn and garden with Herbicidal Soap Spray. It is an organic weed killer that kills weeds, algae, and moss within minutes. It’s amazing how well it works on all sorts of weeds like dandelions, crabgrass, moss, wild violets, nutsedge, and ground ivy to name just a few. Simply walk over your lawn and spot spray just the weeds and spot spray any weeds you see in your flower beds. It quickly kills the entire weed, roots and all.

I’ve heard from many people on my Web site and at my workshops who have expressed concerns about using chemicals on their lawn where children and pets play, but with these two organic products there are no worries and you only need to do it once a year.

Controlling Grubs and Other Lawn Insects

Grubs have been a big problem throughout western Massachusetts. They do damage to lawns, creating large dead patches. In severe infestations, the grass can be peeled back like a carpet, revealing the grubs. In addition to damaging lawns, grubs also feed on plant roots in the garden as well.

The best way to get rid of grubs in the lawn and garden is to apply Milky Spore Powder Grub Control. It is a safe, organic, long-term control of grubs. I put it down in my own yard about 20 years ago and haven’t had a problem with grubs since. I heard from a gentleman that put it down once 60 years ago and it’s still working.

The reason the chemical grub treatments often don't work is because the grubs have gotten resistant to the chemicals. Milky Spore Powder Grub Control is a naturally-occurring bacteria that infects only grubs and the grubs do not get resistant to it. Once applied, the bacteria quickly spreads throughout the colony of grubs, constantly “mushrooming” and that’s how you get the long-term control of the grubs. It pays for itself in only two years of conventional grub control and it works.

As a bonus when you get rid of the grubs the moles that have been ruining your lawn go away and the birds and skunks that have been making holes in your lawn will leave it alone. Because beetles come from grubs, you’ll have fewer beetles flying around eating your flowers in summer. Milky Spore Powder Grub Control only affects grubs and is safe for people, pets, wildlife, and the environment. It is non toxic and the lawn can be used safely after treatment.

Milky Spore Powder Grub Control comes in a can (each can treats 2,500 square feet) and is easy to apply and it starts working right away. You simply walk through your lawn and gardens and drop a teaspoon every four feet in a grid pattern throughout your entire yard and then water it in for 10 minutes or put it down before it rains.

You can apply Milky Spore Powder Grub Control any time – it can be applied before, after, or at the same time as my Organic Lawn Weed and Feed and Herbicidal Soap Spray or any chemicals you’ve already applied.

Click here to order my Organic Lawn Weed and Feed, Herbicidal Soap Spray, Milky Spore Powder Grub Control and other organic lawn care products from my Online Store. You can pick up your order free, no shipping charge, at any of my Gardening Workshops or you can have your order shipped.

Pernell Gerver's Gardening Q & Aby Pernell Gerver

"Planting and Caring for Butterfly Bush"

Q. Could you please give me planting and care instructions for butterfly bushes? Thanks very much!

A. Butterfly bush is an easy and fun plant to grow. It is one of the best plants for attracting butterflies and hummingbirds to the garden. In summer, when it's in full bloom, it's covered with dozens and dozens of butterflies. Of all the plants I've grown, it has been one of my favorites since I was a kid.

Butterfly bush grows up to six to eight feet tall. It forms a large, vase-shaped shrub with attractive silvery-gray foliage. It bears long spikes of very-fragrant flowers at the tips of its stems. The flower spikes are made up of hundreds of tiny, tubular flowers. Blue or lavender is the most common flower color, but there are also white, yellow, pink, and rose-colored varieties.

Butterfly bush grows best in a sunny spot in the garden in well-drained soil. It can be planted now. First, carefully take the plant out of its pot. Then loosen the roots a little with your fingers. Dig a hole in the ground twice as wide as the plant's rootball. Set the plant in the ground at the same level it was growing in its pot. Put soil back in the hole around the rootball until it is level with the surrounding ground. Firm the soil around the rootball. You may need to add more soil and firm it again. Take some soil and make a basin in a circle six inches around the plant to catch and hold water. Next, water the plant thoroughly, filling up the basin. Water regularly through the season to help the plant get established. Fertilize every three weeks with Electra Plant Food.

Butterfly Bush 'Pink Delight'

Butterfly Bush 'Pink Delight'

Butterfly bush blooms on new wood and should be pruned in very early spring, before it begins to grow. If you want to keep the plant small it can be pruned hard, down to a foot above the ground. This early-spring pruning encourages larger flowers come summer.

Click here to read more about Butterfly Bush 'Pink Delight' and order it from Pernell Gerver's Online Store

Click here to submit gardening questions for Pernell Gerver's online Q & A column.

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