September 2, 2014
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The Magic Garden
Old must give way to the young - it is all natural
Morton White

My hydrangea did not bloom this year. It has brown edges on the leaves. I gave it 10-10-10 fertilizer. What happened?
James,
Wilmington, NC


Excessive water or fertilizer will cause brown edges. Do not fertilize at all next year. Cut the plant back to 11 inches, when the oak leaves begin to fall. If it is in the sun, wait until spring, two years from now, use a small handful of bonemeal on the soil and around the roots. Excess nitrogen is the root of your problem. Do not cut back, if the plant is the white P.G. Hydrangea.

My pumpkins did great with a lot of dark green leaves. We used 10-10-10 fertilizer , when we planted them. Some of them were 25 lbs. and were numerous. Unfortunately, most were rotted in the center. We used a liquid spray fertilizer through the year. What is the problem?
Mike, Westerly, RI

You had too much of a good thing. Either the liquid or granular would have been enough fertilizer. I prefer granular in the spring. 10-10-10 is really potent and should only be used sparingly or on potatoes. Next year use only 5-10-10 and no liquid.

My blackberries did well with a lot of fruit this year. They do have
a bronze color to the leaves. Is this a problem?
Jim, Taylorville, IL

I would not worry about this. Blackberries naturally develop color in the fall. Many areas of the midwest experienced dry conditions this summer. You obviously mitigated this short fall. When plants are stressed they are genetically triggered to produce more fruit for seed. Remember to leave only one year stalks for fruit bearing next year. Tag them and cut the rest to the ground in the winter, when they are easier to prune.

My lawn has circles of light brown dead grass. What is it and what
can I do?
Gale, Lincoln, RI


Dollar spot fungus usually appears in August and September. It generally follows a wet summer and excessive feeding of lawns. Benlate fungicide will arrest the fungus. Follow directions on the package. I would stop the fertilizer program until next spring. You will need to seed the area in the spring. You can add limestone to the lawn this fall.


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