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Archives for April 19, 2017

Design students to build community garden on site of former “Sister Cities” building

Press release from the Asheville Design Center:

Asheville, NC – The Asheville Design Center is excited to announce our Summer 2017 Asheville Design Build Studio. Design students are invited to apply to the studio, which will be partnering with the City of Asheville this summer to design and install a community garden at the former “Sister Cities” site located at 33 Page Ave. The installations are intended to inspire and inform components of other community garden sites in the city.

The hands-on, multi-disciplinary, eight-week studio will run from June 5 to July 28. The program will be led by Clemson architecture professor Doug Hecker. In 2013, the City of Asheville created the Food Policy Action Plan in support of the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council to advise City Council on policies and goals to identify the benefits, challenges and opportunities for a successful, sustainable local food system in Asheville.

The Asheville Edibles Community Garden Program’s goal is to allow usage of city properties for the cultivation of plants, herbs, fruits, flowers, or vegetables; increasing local food production and providing community benefits. Raised garden beds was also a concept generated by a group of citizens appointed by City Council to determine the future uses of that and adjacent city-owned sites.

This summer students will work with community members to explore how design can address issues of community sustainability and support a successful model for building and maintaining garden sites. Students will define, generate, and explore conceptual solutions while integrating technical, financial, legal, and social constraints to complete a built project.

The Design Build Studio is open to collegiate and graduate level students who are interested in learning more about the built environment and how it interfaces with individuals and local communities. The Design Build Studio will be an equivalent of six credit hours. Each participant will be responsible to coordinate the transfer of credit with their host College or University.

Past Design Build Studio projects include:

2016: UNC-Asheville Bee Hotel
2015: U-LEAF Mobile Performance Stage
2014: YWCA Beehive Pavilion
2013: River Arts District Pedestrian Bridge
2011: Burton Street Peace Garden Pavilion

Interested students can visit ADC’s Design Build Studio ( to submit an online application (PDFs of applications are also available to download).

In addition, students can inquire with Chris Joyell ( to receive additional information re: project description, tuition, scholarships, housing, application and selection process.

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Virtual technology can make landscaping easier

Just as virtual technology has become a common tool for anyone planning to repaint or redecorate a home, a growing array of apps can make landscaping easier too.

But know when to use them, and when it would be easier to pull out an old-fashioned pencil and a sheet of graph paper — or to seek out a professional.

“We’ve seen an increase in virtual interior design services within the last two years, so it’s only natural that this functionality would make its way to the exterior of the home as well,” said Stephanie Sisco, Real Simple magazine’s home editor.

A few of the more popular DIY gardening apps include Garden Designer ($9.99, from Artifact Interactive), Design your New Surroundings ($9.99, from Home Revivals), Garden Plan Pro ($9.99, from Growing Interactive), and Perennial Match ($4.99, from Harmony systems, Inc.).

“We have seen several hundred thousand downloads,” says Patrick Pozzuto, founder of the iScape app ($9.99, from Home Revivals LLC), aimed at both professional and home landscapers. Based in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, Pozzuto worked as a contractor before launching his app.

“Arranging plants using a touch screen is way easier than using your lower back to do it,” he says.

“But while the pros have been using apps for a long time now, home gardeners do encounter some hiccups sometimes,” he admits. “They don’t necessarily know what plant goes with what, and what areas it’ll grow in. And some people don’t have an artistic mind, and get into trouble.”

Dave Whitinger, executive director of the National Gardening Association, based in Jacksonville, Texas, warns that while some tech-savvy gardeners quickly get the hang of landscaping apps, the learning curve is steep, and they may be impractical for most home gardeners. The association, founded in 1971, helps put out the “Gardening for Dummies” book series (published by For Dummies) and hosts the website

“The reality is that while the virtual tools are great for a minority of gardeners, many more people find them far too confusing, and they get really frustrated,” he says.

Many home gardeners, he says, would be better off using a pencil and graph paper, with each square representing 6 inches, or whatever scale is appropriate for the particular garden.

Yet even for amateurs, he notes, the information on some online sites can mean the difference between failure and success with gardening and landscaping projects., for example, features a database for the entire country, searchable by zip code, to tell home gardeners what the frost dates are for their area, when to plant which vegetables and flowers, and what kinds of plants will encourage, say, certain varieties of butterflies or bees.

“Knowledge like that is crucial to whether a person’s gardening project succeeds,” he says. “Lettuce and spinach and tomatoes all have different dates when they should be planted for best results, and planting dates vary depending on where you live. Just because you see the plants for sale in the nursery doesn’t mean it’s the right time to plant.”

And even if you haven’t figured out all the features of the gardening apps, they can be a good way to show professional landscapers what you have in mind, Pozzuto says,

Richard Heller of Greener By Design, a firm in the New York area that uses 3-D software to help with both landscape design and communication with clients, says the software makes a huge difference.

“Three-D software is still not very common, and it gives us an amazing competitive edge. It allows people to see what’s not planted, so they start expanding on projects they have in mind,” he says.

“The software is accessible to anyone, but there’s a steep learning curve involved. And you need a high-end gaming computer to use it.”

Heller says home gardeners might want to check his company’s website which, for a small fee, allows you to create a landscaping “design book.” It’s a good starting point, but most home gardeners would still want to work with a professional who knows plants well, he says.

And there’s always graph paper and a pencil if the learning curve proves too steep.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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lines design reveals urban garden through mesh screen of cube house

please don’t ask me again

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Home and Garden Show returns Thursday

Despite a shake-up in leadership at the Boone County Chamber of Commerce, the annual Boone County Home and Garden Show will begin tomorrow with more vendors and the usual lineup of dinners.

About 70 vendors have signed up to participate in the show, which highlights home improvement, landscaping and gardening products and ideas. New vendors include The Wind, a Whitestown-based etching company; String Green Foam Insulation of Indianapolis; and Sherriff-Goslin Roofing; among others.

The show will take place from 4 to 8 p.m. tomorrow through Saturday in the Witham Health Services Pavilion and Centennial Hall at the Boone County 4-H Fairgrounds, said April Reece, administrative coordinator for the chamber.

Reece said the show was moved from the commercial building to Centennial Hall because the hall is connected to the Witham Pavilion via a tunnel and has heating and air conditioning.

Because of recent staff changes at the chamber, Reece said that this year’s show will mimic last year’s in its schedule and activities. But that doesn’t mean people shouldn’t attend the free event.

“Come out, have a good time and meet our new venders,” Reece said. “This will give you an idea of what you can add to your spring projects.”

This year’s raffle prize is a Weber Grill, along with a $50 gift card to Saint Adrian Meats and Sausage and a gift pack of barbecue sauce and seasoning from Shoup’s Country Foods. Attendees can enter the raffle by getting a sign-up form in The Lebanon Reporter; at Arni’s Restaurant, 202 W. Washington St., Lebanon; or at the show.

Lebanon Utilities will provide free transportation to and from the show.

This year will also include the regular schedule of nightly dinners at the Farm Bureau Community Building.

The Lebanon Kiwanis Club pancake supper will be held from 4:30 to 8 p.m Thursday. Tickets are $7 for all-you-can-eat pancakes and sausage. On Friday, the Knights of Columbus will host the fish fry from 4 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children at the door. Advance tickets are $1 less. The Boone County 4-H Chicken and Pork Chop Barbecue is 4 to 8 p.m Saturday. Tickets are $8.50 in advance or $9 at the door.

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Landscaping with Natives and Eradicating Invasives

Posted: Tuesday, April 18, 2017 6:25 pm

 Landscaping with Natives and Eradicating Invasives


MICHIGAN CITY — Northwest Indiana Green Drinks in Michigan City will be presenting “Landscaping with Natives and Eradicating Invasives” 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Shoreline Brewery – Reserved Room, 208 Wabash St., Michigan City.

How would you go about including more welcomed native plants in your yard? How could you deal with pesky invasive plants? Join regional plant expert Nathanael Pilla, Save the Dunes project coordinator, on a biological journey through the Indiana Dunes flora and what people can do to minimize their impact where they live. You’ll learn about the importance of native plants and how to deal with the invasive ones.

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Tuesday, April 18, 2017 6:25 pm.

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Reap Many Benefits of Community Gardens in Stafford

With Earth Day coming up and summer right around the corner, what better way to celebrate the beauty of the Earth and warmer weather than to visit, or even volunteer at, a local community garden? Two particular gardens in Stafford Township are flourishing with the help of gardening enthusiasts. With benefits such as networking, helping other people and even gathering fruits and vegetables to take home, there’s really no downside to gardening.

The Manahawkin Community Garden on Bay Avenue is in its second full year at Manahawkin Lake. Under the direction of Reynolds Landscaping, and benefiting the Hunger Foundation of Southern Ocean, the garden produces not only vegetables and fruits for the community, but also events, activities and social gatherings for members of the community, such as yoga classes on Sundays and Tuesdays (starting in June) and story time for children.

None of this is possible without the help of volunteers from the community. “We’ve had some people who have been really instrumental in helping us,” Peg Reynolds of Reynolds Landscaping explained. “But it’s something we really need help with.”

With the community garden, volunteers come and are able to work on the garden leisurely. They are able to receive vegetables in exchange for their work, regardless of the job they choose to help with. Other than gardeners, the community garden is in need of volunteers for a variety of activities, including woodworking, story time and public speaking, during the summer – about gardening, the bee population or anything else involving the environment.

The benefits of volunteering don’t end with vegetables. The garden attracts different people, and there is always an opportunity for networking with the other volunteers. Giving back in free time is also rewarding in itself. Like elsewhere, Southern Ocean County experiences a hunger problem, and basic food needs might not always be met.

The Hunger Foundation of Southern Ocean is a nonprofit organization located in Manahawkin. Donating to eight different food pantries from Forked River to Tuckerton, so far the foundation has donated over $800,000 to these pantries since 1995 and strives to educate the public on basic food needs and hunger issues in the community.

While the community garden at Manahawkin Lake does not donate the food grown to the Hunger Foundation, it does raise money for the cause. For instance, yoga classes in the garden, while technically free of charge, are offered for a suggested donation of $5. Volunteers at the garden keep up to date on community gatherings and events and help raise money for the foundation.

“It’s so rewarding knowing that you’re helping other people. It’s so relaxing,” Reynolds said about working in the garden. Volunteers don’t need to devote a whole day to the garden to reap the benefits. Whether it’s watering, planting a couple of plants or weeding, the garden is always accepting of new volunteers, regardless of the time they can spend. “Even if it’s one or two hours a week,” she said.

For Earth Day, Reynolds is giving away one free plant to everyone, as well as raffling off a tree. “We’re trying to promote people planting trees for Earth Day.”

When asked about future plans for the community garden, Reynolds said, “We want to make it better, not bigger.” The best way to get involved is through Facebook (search Stafford Community Garden at Manahawkin Lake), or by visiting Reynolds Landscaping, Garden Shop and Garden Center on East Bay Avenue in Manahawkin.

*   *   *

The community garden on Mill Creek Road in the Beach Haven West section of Stafford, while somewhat young, is lively. When Robert “Farmer Bob” Walker of Surf City first started at the Mill Creek Garden, there were only two plant beds. The garden was first established with those two planters 15 years ago. Now, the garden has eight beds, a greenhouse, a tool shed and a compost pile and is starting to see its first blooms on the fruit trees. Most of the equipment used at the garden has been recycled or bought by Stafford Township. The insecticides used at the garden are organic and not harmful to the environment.

Located by the park and water tower on Mill Creek Road, the community garden is handled and cared for by volunteers in the community. Volunteers are able to take vegetables, fruits or herbs from the garden when they need it. There are no specific plots for individuals – everyone works together and everyone shares.

All seven days of the week, Farmer Bob can be found at the garden. He has also received approval to maintain the island surrounding the garden to enhance the image of the garden. “A farmer works 12 months of the year, and it takes a lot of preparation to get it where this is,” Walker said of the garden, which is up and running all year long, varying in vegetables and herbs throughout the year.

Everything and everyone at the garden has its place, he explained. At Mill Creek, many volunteers are consistent. In the last year, Walker and his fellow volunteers have put in great effort to establish and improve the garden. The fence that was just recently put up around the garden was received at a discount. “I’ve been volunteering for 15 years. I know how to work it. I know how to get bargains and everything,” he said. The garden has its own bank account, too, where funds are added to maintain and enhance it.

There are many benefits, besides produce, to volunteering. “It gives a lot of camaraderie to the people,” Walker said. “People love to get involved.” Along with a sense of community, there’s a health aspect, too. The volunteers stay active and are social with each other. While most of those who volunteer at this garden are seniors, it’s not just for them. Volunteers of all ages are accepted to help with the Mill Creek garden, and Walker encourages it.

Eventually, he would like to see the garden be self-sustaining financially. After the volunteers get their share, the excess produce is sold to visitors in the park. All proceeds go directly back to the garden. “They will buy seeds, fertilizer, insecticides and different things we need here in the garden,” Walker explained. “Eventually, there won’t be maintenance type of things we don’t need to buy again.”

To get involved at the Mill Creek garden, just stop by. Most volunteers are aware of it due to word of mouth, while others have just walked by and noticed it. Those who are unable to donate time to the project may still want to donate recycled material for the compost pile, such as coffee grounds and eggshells. To donate financially, send to – or visit – 1199 Mill Creek Rd. in Beach Haven West.

— Kimberly Bodine

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Made in the shade: plants for a shaded yard

GREEN COVE SPRINGS – If you have trees in your yard, you most likely have those areas where plants just seem to struggle because of the shade. Whether it is the area of your lawn that you need to re-sod every few years, the bed where some of your plants just never seem to grow or a completely bare spot, shaded places can be a challenge in the landscape. However, with proper choices you can have a beautiful garden with little sunlight.

First of all, while some varieties may have the ability to tolerate some shade, no turfgrass is able to truly thrive in these areas and will likely never perform as well as it would in full sun. Consider adding more landscape beds where you can plant a diverse array of plants that will flourish. Vegetable gardens will also likely fail with less than 6 hours of sun during the day.

Another item to consider is that shade does change during the day and during seasons. Note how it may shift during the day or throughout the year. Afternoon shade is usually preferable to morning shade for most plants.

Shaded areas can also sometimes be poorly suited to any landscaping if they are too wet or dry, have many tree roots or have an extremely thick canopy. If the tree canopy is too dense, you can consider thinning out some branches to allow more light through but this should be completed by an ISA Certified Arborist to ensure it is done correctly.

One option for shady spots under large trees are understory trees. These species evolved to grow in dense forests so are well-suited to survive in the shaded yard. Some options include Eastern Dogwood, Red Buckeye, Redbud or Dahoon Holly. Shrubs such as Camellias, Azaleas, Florida Anise, or Beautyberry can also be planted. There are many other options available as well. These can be planted as single specimens or in striking groupings.

For lower growing plants, River Oats can be an effective ornamental grass and most ferns can also do well. If you are looking for groundcovers, consider Asiatic Jasmine, Ajuga, Cast-Iron Plant, Lilyturf, Asiatic Jasmine or Mondograss. Color can also be found in the shade garden by utilizing Gingers, Kaffir Lily, Walking Irises and shrimp plants. If you are looking for a palm like plant, Coonties, Palmettos, Lady Palms and Needle Palms are well suited to the shade. For more plants and ideas for your shade garden you can read the UF/IFAS fact sheet on shade gardens found at

Just like with any landscape, you should never use any invasive plants. Stay away from Nephrolepsis cordifolia, also known as the tuberous sword fern. Other invasive, shade tolerant plants to avoid include Wedelia, Coral Ardesia, and Nandina.

If you have any questions about the Master Gardener program, landscape and garden topics, or need plant or pest materials identified, contact the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Office online at, follow us on Facebook, or call by phone at (904) 284-6355. Also, we will be holding a class on landscaping using the concept of Right Plant/Right Place on May 22 from 6-8 p.m. Visit for more details and to register.

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Good plans put outside space to work

Spring is here, and many businesses look to invest in outdoor spaces, helping properties gain value and look attractive at the same time.

Professionals advise planning ahead is a key part of the process, while observing that a growing trend in the business of outdoor spaces is sustainability.

“The first thing you need is to have a plan,” Charles Daniels, a Georgia Certified Landscape Professional and manager at Herb Creek Landscape Supply’s Sandfly location, said. “The plan needs to be drawn by a landscape architect who has expertise in residential or commercial, depending on what you’re doing.”

It’s important that the landscape architect knows the vision for the project, according to Daniels. “You want the landscape architect to listen to you,” he explained. “Are you looking for an English Garden look? Or do you want something less structured?”

Once the plan is drawn by the landscape architect, the homeowner needs to walk through a nursery and look at the items selected for the yard or commercial project. “You may not like all of the things the landscape architect puts in the plan,” Daniels explained. “You need to walk through the nursery with a Georgia Certified Landscape Professional, who will know other materials you can substitute if you don’t like things chosen by the landscape architect.”

Utility planting

Hester and Zipperer, a garden center and landscaping business, specializes in vegetables, perennials, annuals, and trees. The company’s owner, Meredith Zipperer, said. “We’re seeing a trend in outdoor spaces of gardens going back to edible. Our biggest selling items are vegetables and herbs. Citrus trees are huge right now too.”

Zipperer explained that because of Hurricane Matthew, many people are looking to buy and plant trees this spring. “A lot of plants got destroyed because of the hurricane. Trees are big for us now. It’s good to plant them now before the heat kicks off. Right now in general, there are trends in trees. It’s just like clothing. People lost so many trees because of the hurricane, they just want big trees. They want shade.”

Zipperer added Hester and Zipperer is also seeing a lot of shrubbery, such as boxwoods and azaleas, being used in outdoor spaces.

Organic farmer and owner of Victory Gardens Kerry Shay agreed with Hester with the trend going towards edible gardens.

“We’ve been doing a lot of raised bed gardens, container gardens, and using fruit and citrus trees,” said Shay. “Citrus trees are trendy right now.”

Victory Gardens is a Savannah landscaping company whose founders believe that landscapes should be beautiful, bountiful, and ecologically sound. Shay explained that the company does conventional projects, but has recently been focusing more on detail-oriented projects that are unique and special.

“We’re doing historic courtyards downtown, and high-end custom pavers with brick and rain gardens. It’s more skilled and artisanal than just your basic landscape. I like this direction we’re moving in,” said Shay.

Victory Gardens created a large, modernist style patio in which the patio was circular and the joints between the pavers are grass. “People are using geometric pavers and patio designs where they’re set in the grass and grass grows around the pavers. That’s one style popular now.”

Updating in context

Shay continued that with Savannah’s historic residences, locals also ask for landscapes more traditional and formal.

“We’ll do rustic gardens that match the house – not so rustic that it’s like a barnyard, but more fitting of the historic feel of Savannah. For one client, instead of using concrete material, we used reclaimed brick from Southern Pine. It’s durable and meets the same requirements, but looks like it’s been there for 100 years.”

It’s crucial when working with clients to know what their dream spaces look like, explained Shay. “This is one of the fun parts of my job: taking our clients’ ideas and seeing what will work and what won’t.”

He continued, “If they want to transform a space that’s cluttered or really bare into something beautiful, doing a drawing with a landscape architect adds a level of planning that will deliver a great, cohesive final product.”

Thomas Angel is the owner of Verdant Enterprises, a landscape architect firm that specializes in native plants and sustainable designs. Angel recommends pre-planning for significant garden improvements. “Look at the intended uses and environmental nuances of the space, which will help inform a good plan,” explained Angel. “There are a few tenants: What are the zones on your property from a moisture, sun, and shade sun point? What are the functions within those subsets? Is it a lookout space, a walkthrough space, or a live-in space?”

Angel continued he also sees the trend going towards edible and native landscapes. “There is an increase in the use of edibles, natives, creative storm water, and pollinators. The general goal,” he said, “is to increase the biodiversity of the landscape suggests less use of lawn. Lawn is hungry and thirsty.”

Angel said there is also an emphasis on pollinators – plants that offer nectar or berries, or are hosts for birds and beneficial insects, such as butterflies and bees.

“There is a trend of careful water utilization. The extension of that is creative storm water design. Each property should look at having a passive water collection device like a rain garden or a swale,” he said.

Savannah receives 47 inches of rain annually, he continued. “The notion is use every drop of rain. We’re seeing an increase in people’s consciousness about not just getting rid of the water but keeping it and using it to sustain plants. Since Savannah is mostly flat, you can do subtle grade changes to help direct the storm water to these purposeful low points where the water can infiltrate.”

Getting started

Not everyone can afford a landscape architect, and thus, Angel advised, there are certain things people can do to properly plan their outdoor spaces.

“We suggest the homeowner or business owner sketch the existing conditions by creating a crude base map of the property using measurements,” Angle said. “Then make a sketch of the desired change.”

From this plan, Angel explained the homeowner can develop a plant list, and a list of hardscape or drainage improvements. “You need to consider hardscape and drainage improvements, as well as the plants.”

Anna Dean, a sales representative of Savannah Surfaces, said in hardscapes there’s a trend in using natural stone, such as sandstone, flagstones, blue stones, and a lot of things in grey or natural colored materials.

“We’re also seeing a lot of people do outdoor fire pits, kitchens, and stonework,” she said.

Erin Clay, the marketing coordinator at local lumber yard Guerry Lumber, observed there’s a trend of “bringing the outdoors in.”

“This is where fun meets functionality,” Clay explained. “People are extending their time outdoors and making their outdoor living spaces useful. For instance, they’ll put a new deck outside as an area to entertain friends. People are putting in outdoor kitchens with fully integrated work stations with appliances and storage.”

To prep for an outdoor living space project, Clay advised to do extensive research. “Do you want traditional wood deck or composite decking? Look at composite decking websites, because they have lots of information, and check out Pinterest. At Guerry Lumber we have also have a show room and a show porch so you can see the products on

It’s also important to find a reputable contractor or builder. “Look on or ask your neighbor in Savannah,” said Clay.

Herb Creek’s manager Daniels agreed it’s an important part of the project to find a reputable landscape company to install the project. “Be sure the company licensed and bonded,” he

“Also, find out what the warranty is on the material and on the installation,” advised Daniels. “In other words, we may have a good plant but if it’s installed incorrectly, what is the warranty on the installation? This may come in handy down the line.”

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Gardening Tips From Kelly McGowan

SPRINGFIELD, MO —- If you need to spruce up your garden or yard with some flowers but don’t know where to start, horticulture specialist Kelly McGowan is here to help.

KOLR10’s John Zeigler paid a visit to the University of  Missouri Extension Office, and Kelly gave him a lesson in how to repot flowers into a new containers. A very important part of this process is making sure to choose the right container for you.

“The main thing you want to look for is a container with good drainage. You want to get one that has holes in the bottom,” McGowan tells John. The soil being drained correctly is a key to maintaining a healthy plant.

When purchasing your flowers, Kelly emphasizes that you need to know your patio. “You want to match the flowers up with the type of site you have. Some flowers do well in shade, some do well in full sunlight,” says McGowan. Once the soil is in, make sure that a hole is made to put your

flower in. The key here is that the hole should not be too deep. Make sure that your flower will fill in flush with the top of the soil. Kelly offers a couple more tips for this process as well. “Your new containers will need regular watering. So make sure to check them regularly, two or three times a week,” McGowan explains.

She also offers advice on your soil selection.  “Make sure you have nice soil. There are nice, loose soil blends you can buy. If you use the soil from out of your yard, it can become too compact causing it not to drain properly.”

For more tips from the University of Missouri Extension, click here

Good luck, and good gardening!


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Daffodil weed control begins after foliage fades

Q: I have a daffodil plot, but over the years it has been taken over by grass and weeds. Would it be best to dig everything up, spray, and put down fabric? Debbie Johnson, email

A: I think your best option is to wait a few weeks until the daffodil foliage has begun to turn yellow. Then you can dig everything up and separate the daffodil bulbs from the weeds. Set the bulbs aside in a cool place while you hand-pull weeds or spray with glyphosate (such as Roundup® for example). Wait a few weeks and deal with new weeds similarly. Replant the bulbs, then install some pretty summer annuals, like petunias or Mexican heather for color. Don’t use fabric weed cover. A layer of pine chip mulch is better.

 Contributed: Walter Reeves photo
For the AJC

For the AJC

Contributed: Walter Reeves

RELATED: Floral magnificence: 7 of the South’s great public gardens

Q: What is the downside of using diatomaceous earth to control whiteflies on gardenias? Thomas Palmer, email

A: It probably won’t control whiteflies on your gardenia. Whiteflies live underneath plant leaves, and it’s extremely difficult to get this insecticidal powder under the leaves of your shrubs. If you can figure out a way to spray under the leaves, commercial insecticidal soap—not homemade—will control whiteflies if you are persistent. Otherwise, imidacloprid (Bonide® Systemic Granules, Bayer® Tree and Shrub, etc.) works well. Use it after your shrub blooms to avoid honeybee damage.

Q: I have a small zoysia grass bed I use as a source of plugs for replacing my fescue. I want to put out pre-emergent to cut down on goosegrass and crabgrass in the lawn, but the label of prodiamine and Dimension® products say the chemicals inhibit root development. Will this affect the already slow-establishing zoysia? Bryan Garber, email

A: This is exactly why reading product labels is important. You are correct that pre-emergent chemicals might inhibit rooting of the zoysia plugs. Zoysia grass spreads slowly, so you don’t want to inhibit it with anything. One option is to mow the area you’re plugging frequently at a 2-inch height. This will inhibit the fescue but allow the zoysia to spread easily. If you are careful you can spot spray clumps of crabgrass or goosegrass using glyphosate (Roundup®, etc.) to kill them and further cut down on competition.

VIDEO: More gardening tips

Q: I have a colony of mining bees under some shrubs. These bees are always on the move, hovering over the soil and under the shrubbery. Should I get them exterminated? I do not want to hamper the pollination of plants in the area, but I do not want to get stung either. John Gladney, Winder

A: Don’t kill the bees! Mining bees are considered a beneficial nuisance, like caterpillar-consuming yellowjackets. But unlike yellowjackets, mining bees perform great feats of pollination. The ones you see are mostly stingless male bees. The females fly quickly in and out of their soil tube homes, bringing in pollen to deposit with their eggs. They ignore intruders. Mining bee lives are short. The adults are usually all gone by late April. Leave them alone (or stand nearby) and marvel at their industry. There are more than 500 native bee species in Georgia. The Georgia Native Bee Biodiversity Assessment Project maintains a terrific website devoted to their identification at

Listen to Walter Reeves Saturday mornings on News 95.5 FM and AM750 WSB. Visit his website,, follow him on Twitter @walterreeves, on Pinterest, or join his Facebook Fan Page at for more garden tips.

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