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

"Clematis Have Different Pruning Methods"

Q. Please tell me how to make clematis bloom. I don't know which ones to cut back. Any help would be appreciated.

A. Clematis are one of the most beautiful of the flowering vines. Spectacular flowers, many large, star-shaped, come in a rainbow of colors and markings in hundreds of cultivars and species. There are varieties that bloom in spring, summer, and fall. All clematis share cultural conditions of full sun (they like their tops in sun and their roots in cool shade) and moderately moist soil that is humus-rich, drains freely, and is slightly alkaline. Clematis should be planted so that a few inches of stem is buried under the soil level. If the vine is damaged or succumbs to disease, new shoots will emerge from below the soil line.

Clematis are grouped according to pruning technique. Each cultivar or species of clematis falls into one of three groups.

Group one: This group of clematis blooms in late spring on the previous year's stems. Flowers are produced on short flower stalks borne in groups of two or more. The flower stalks grow from a leaf axil bud. Because this group blooms from old stems, pruning is done right after flowering. Pruning is limited to cutting away any dead or weak stems. Group one clematis include alpina, armandii, chrysocoma, cirrhosa, macropetala, montana, and vedrariensis.<

Group two: This group of clematis also produces flowers on the previous year's stems and includes early- and mid-season large-flowered hybrids and double and semi-double types. Flowers are produced on single stems that have grown out of last year's leaf axil buds. Pruning is done in late winter or early spring and involves cutting away dead and weak stems and the rest of the stems to right above the last pair of strong buds at the tip of the stems. Group two clematis include 'Beauty of Worcester,' 'Bees' Jubilee,' 'Corona,' 'Countess of Lovelace,' 'Duchess of Edinburgh,' 'Henryi,' 'Miss Bateman,' 'Nelly Moser,' 'Niobe,' 'Proteus,' and 'The President.'

Group three: This group of clematis blooms in midsummer, on current season's growth. Pruning is also done in late winter or early spring. Prune severely to just above the bottom of last year's growth. For a bushier base and more stems, cut back to just above the first pair of strong buds above the ground. Group three clematis include 'Comtesse de Bouchaud,' 'Ernest Markham,' 'Gipsy Queen,' 'Hagley Hybrid,' integrifolia, jackmanii, 'Lady Betty Balfour,' maximowicziana or paniculata (sweet autumn clematis), orientalis, tangutica, 'Ville de Lyon,' and viticella.

Click here to order clematis from Pernell Gerver's Online Store

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