All About Gardening and Gardening Q & A by Pernell Gerver

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"One-Step, Organic, Easy Spring Lawn Care"

 In spring each year when people are doing spring cleaning outdoors to get their yards in shape, I’m often asked about an alternative to buying a four-step program for their lawns. They don’t want the hassle of having to do so much work on their lawns to make them look good. Many also say they are unhappy with the results they get from the four-step programs. Also, a growing trend is to not use chemicals on their lawns anymore and instead use natural and organic lawn care products. What’s more, many people want a combination of both organic and easy, one-step all in one product which wasn’t doable until lately.

Each spring I apply my Organic Lawn Weed and Feed, a new lawn care product that’s easy, one step, and 100 percent organic. It’s a two-in-one product that’s all you need. The first part of the two in one is a slow-release organic lawn food that fertilizes the lawn and makes it green up fast without burning it. If your lawn is thin or has bare spots, Organic Lawn Weed and Feed will fill in bare spots so overseeding is unnecessary.

The second part of the two in one is a safe and natural pre-emergent that prevents weed seeds from growing before they even have a chance to sprout so you don’t even see any weeds. It controls all lawn and garden weeds including dandelions, crabgrass, nutsedge, wild violets, ground ivy, clover, quackgrass, barnyardgrass, curly dock, green foxtail, giant foxtail, creeping bentgrass, shattercane, wooly cupgrass, purslane, annual bluegrass, lamb’s quarters, black nightshade, orchardgrass, black medic, redroot pigweed, velvetleaf, catchweed bedstraw, buckhorn, and all other lawn and garden weeds.

This product is safe for people, pets, wildlife, and the environment. What’s also nice is the lawn can be walked on right away after applying it and children and pets can play on the lawn as well.

Organic Lawn Weed and Feed can be used on all types of lawns and grasses. I apply it myself using a spreader and you can use any type of spreader or do it by hand. Apply it anytime now through spring.

As well as being my once-yearly weed and feed for the lawn, I also use it on bare ground or on top of mulch in my flower beds, vegetable gardens, and around trees and shrubs in the landscape. After I’m done applying it to my lawn with my spreader I grab handfuls of it and scatter it throughout all my plantings. It’s safe if it touches the leaves of the plants. With it I no longer have to weed any more or mulch any more.

Click here to order my Organic Lawn Weed and Feed 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

"Prune Rose of Sharon before Transplanting"

Q. I transplanted a rose of Sharon from my front lawn to a nice sunny spot in front of the wooded area in back of my house about 15 years ago. In the meantime, the then little trees have grown and now just about shut out the light from the poor rose of Sharon. However, it has dropped a number of seedlings. Now these seedlings are from three or four to about six to eight feet tall. I have promised a couple of people some of them, but don't know how to get the saplings to them. They are too tall to fit into a car. Can I cut them down to about three or four feet without hurting them badly or even killing them by doing so? Thanks.

A. Rose of Sharon (Hibiscus syriacus) blooms late in the season in late summer. It's a shrubby hibiscus and the only pruning it needs is to control its overall size. If left unpruned, rose of Sharon forms a wide shrub with age and grows 12 to 15 feet tall.

The time to do pruning on rose of Sharon is anytime between winter or early spring, so now would be a good time to prune it and at the same time thin out any overcrowded stems.

The most you would want to prune away is one third of the top growth. Overcrowded stems can be cut back to the ground.

You mentioned you want to transplant some of the shrubs. It's actually a good idea to cut back top growth when doing transplanting. The reason for this is that when the plant is dug up, many roots are cut from the plant's root system. By trimming off some of the top growth you are helping the plant to compensate for its loss of part of its root system. This should be done when transplanting other shrubs as well.

Remember that rose of Sharon is late to leaf out in spring. New growth often doesn't appear until late May. Rose of Sharon blooms on new wood each year, so new shoots will produce flowers this year towards the end of the season.

Other than controlling its size, rose of Sharon doesn't need regular pruning except to make it produce larger flowers. This is done by cutting last year's growth back down to two buds. This results in fewer flowers, but the flowers will be much larger than if it wasn't pruned at all.


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