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

"Getting Weedy Plants Out of Desirable Ones"

Q. I have a border of azalea bushes about 20 feet long and they have become invaded by wild blackberry canes. I think they are blackberries, if not, very similar. I have actually never seen fruit, but the birds could be eating them. Some of the canes are very thick. I cannot pull the canes out with even my full body weight and spent all afternoon this past Sunday cutting them down and pulling them through the bare branches (whew!). Is there any way to get rid of those canes without damaging the azaleas?

A. I'm sorry to hear your azalea bushes were overtaken by wild blackberry canes, but I have some ideas that will help and will save your azaleas without harming them or your aching back!

What I'm about to explain will work with any plant and whatever undesirable weed that has grown into it. The idea is to kill off and get rid of the weedy plant with the least amount of disturbance to the desirable plant.

The best way to do that is to apply a weed killer (Herbicidal Soap Spray) to just the weedy plant. The safest way I've found to do that is to brush the Herbicidal Soap Spray onto the weedy plant. First pour the Herbicidal Soap Spray into a bucket then get an inexpensive, disposable paint brush and dip it into the Herbicidal Soap Spray and carefully brush it onto the leaves of the weed and make sure none of the Herbicidal Soap Spray gets on the desirable plant.

The Herbicidal Soap Spray will be absorbed through the leaves of the weed and will get into the plant killing its roots. However, it won't affect the desirable plants nearby. In a few days you can cut away the dead weedy plants at ground level and you could even brush more of the Herbicidal Soap Spray onto the stumps.

Since the Herbicidal Soap Spray kills the root system of the weedy plant, you won't need to - and don't have to - pull up its roots. That's good because you don't want to run the risk of accidentally pulling up your desirable plants.

Keep an eye on the area throughout the season and if you see new shoots of the weedy plant growing out of the ground you should repeat this treatment. Whenever you see the weeds popping up brush the Herbicidal Soap Spray onto their leaves. Vigilance is key, especially if you are dealing with a large clump of a weedy plant. Eventually you will win the war with the weeds.

Click here to read more about Herbicidal Soap Spray and order it from Pernell Gerver's Online Store.

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

Click here to read previous online columns in the archives.

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