Week of November 12, 2001
Q. I was listening to your radio show last week. You told someone that it was too late to plant Bermuda or buffalo grass seed. I missed part of the discussion and do not understand why it is too late. Please provide your reasoning. I had just planted my buffalo grass and did not want to hear that it would not germinate!
A. Buffalo and Bermuda grass are hot-weather grasses. They germinate when soil temperatures are high. If we have a warm spell you may get germination, but the seedlings are susceptible to cold because of insufficient development. Use rye grass to cover erosion-prone soil for the winter and seed Bermuda and buffalo grass next May.
Q. Are there any vegetables that can still be planted? We visited our neighbor's garden the other day and we got inspired.
A. Plant broccoli, cabbage, and cauliflower transplants. Carrots, radishes, beets, rutabagas, onions, mustard, and chard can be planted by seed.
Q. We live in a sandy area. How do we improve the water-holding capability? We water the lawn to apply one inch and it is dry in three days! The bills are killing us!
A. Incorporate two to three inches of compost or other organic material into the soil before planting when possible. Top-dress the established lawn with one half inch of compost every fall or winter and leave the lawn clippings on the lawn. When you have a sandy soil apply less water more frequently. Instead of .75 of an inch every week during the summer like we do for grass on heavy soil, divide the amount in half and water twice per week.
Q. We tried your trick for collecting sand burs and it worked. Instead of a riding mower, my two teenage boys pulled the carpet remnant. They thought it was great fun. Thanks.
A. Sand burs are bad in many neighborhoods this year.
Dragging a carpet remnant over the yard will pick up many of the burs.
Better the carpet than your clothes or the dog's coat.