We have a lot of clover in the lawn. I fertilize regularly and add lime twice a year. How can I get rid of it?
-Matt, Norwich, CT
I wish that you could learn to love it. Clover was added to seed mixes in the fifties for low nutrient lawns. It is considered a martyr grass. It takes nitrogen from the air and adds it to the soil. It usually disappears after sufficient nitrogen is applied. Since your water table is so high in the southeast Connecticut area, you may have either draining of the water with the fertilizer or root rot. I do not recommend a herbicide to get rid of it, You can top dress with a blue grass and perennial rye mix. Both grasses require 30 days to germinate. This will take you to September, when the cooler temps will allow for good germination. This should crowd out the clover.
Earlier this year, while tilling in some of last years leaves into my garden, I included some grass clippings from my newly cut lawn. After I did this, I realized that I had used a crabgrass preventer/fertilizer on the lawn. How long should I wait to make sure that the effects of the lawn application don't show up in the vegetable that I'd like to plant there?
-Wayne, Oakridge, NC
Clean compost is excellent for gardens. Weed killers are growth retarders in the soil. It should not take longer than one year to dissipate the growth inhibitors.
Our flowering Pear has a green brown color to the leaves. It was a prolific bloomer this spring. It does not appear to be a part on top of the tissue but rather a part of it. Should I be concerned?
-John, Franklin, CT
That bronze color is the natural color in the fall. There is some stress to the plant to be prematurely bronze. This year has been hot and wet in southeastern New England. You may have planted the tree too shallow. Soils in your area are subject to hardpan and clay. Clay has a lot of phosphorus and can be a benefit to produce flowers. I would not worry unless you find that the tree is on a rock. Symptoms of being between the rock and a hard place will show lack of vigor and dried branches. This can be remedied by transplanting at the appropriate time to deeper hole in the soil.
I have 8 Emerald Green Arborvitaes in a row. When I planted them they were all the same height. Now some are 3 ft., some 4 - 4 and a half ft. How can I trim them to all be equal in height. I heard if I trim the top they get wider. That is not a problem I would like them to be all the same height. What should I do? Should I trim this fall?
You can trim from the sides to the top. If you do this from all sides, you will reach a point that is common to all plants in height.
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