All About Gardening and Gardening Q & A
by Pernell Gerver

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"Controlling Crabgrass and Other Lawn Weeds Safely and 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.

Click here to order my Organic Lawn Weed and Feed, Herbicidal Soap Spray, 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

"Choose the Right Flowers for Shady Gardens"

Q. I always enjoy reading your articles. I have a question for you. I have two small gardens around six by nine feet and they are both close to trees. They are more shaded than not. I have trouble picking flowers that will grow well because of the shade from the trees. Can you tell me what flowers grow well in a shaded area? It does get sun, but has more shade. Can you give me any ideas? I would really appreciate any advice you can give me. Thank you!

A. There are many flowers that grow well in shady gardens. Some of them are perennial and some are annual. Planting a combination of spring, summer, and autumn-blooming perennials and annuals will ensure blooms all season long.

Christmas RoseLenten RoseFor shade-tolerant perennials, one of my personal favorites is Christmas rose (Helleborus niger). This is one of the first plants to bloom. In my garden it's in bloom by Valentine's Day. Lenten rose (Helleborus orientalis) blooms in late March or early April and can continue to bloom for several months. Both grow well in shade.



Fringed bleeding heart 'King of Hearts'Another shade-loving perennial that is also a favorite of mine is fringed bleeding heart (Dicentra eximia). Unlike the common bleeding heart that dies back to the ground after it blooms, fringed bleeding heart keeps its foliage all season. It begins blooming as early as April and continues until frost. It's one of the longest-blooming perennials and does equally well in sun or shade.


Ligularia 'The Rocket'A perennial that thrives in the deepest shade possible is Ligularia stenocephala 'The Rocket.' This unique plant bears large, heart-shaped leaves with deeply-toothed edges. In summer, five-foot-tall spikes of golden yellow flowers rise high above its two-foot-tall mound of foliage.

Some of the best annuals for shade include coleus, wax begonia, and impatiens. Coleus has brightly-colored foliage that offers as much color as any flowering plant. The colorful foliage brightens up even the darkest corner. Wax begonia has bronze or green foliage with small pink, red, or white flowers. It's a clump-forming annual that reaches 10 inches tall or so. Impatiens forms a tall mound of foliage covered with flowers from spring to frost. Flower color is extensive and includes white, red, orange, pink, coral, lavender, violet, burgundy, rose as well as bicolored and spotted.

Click here to read more about shade perennials and order them from Pernell Gerver's Online Store.

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