We've pulled these questions from our question-and-answer database. Find solutions for the issues in your yard or garden in our database.
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Question: I bought a new house and need to create a lawn. What's the best grass?
Answer: The quick answer is that it depends.
There are several factors you'll need to take into account, including where you live, how much foot traffic your yard gets, and how much sun you have.
- Tall fescue, which tolerates light shade and a little foot traffic, and has good drought resistance.
- Fine-leaf fescue, which tolerates shade and drought, but doesn't like being walked on much.
- Perennial ryegrass, which holds up well to foot traffic, but doesn't like drought or shade.
- Kentucky bluegrass, which also holds up well to foot traffic because it grows fast, but it doesn't hold up well to shade or drought.
- Centipedegrass, which spreads fast and takes foot traffic well but doesn't like shade or drought.
- Bermuda grass, which also takes foot traffic well and tolerates drought and salt, but not shade.
- St. Augustine grass, which grows fast and holds up well to being walked on and tolerates a little shade. It's not very drought tolerant, though.
- Zoysia, which is drought tolerant and holds up to being walked on, but doesn't like shade.
Question: Some of my daylilies have set seed. Would planting them be a waste of time?
Answer: Not necessarily. But keep in mind that hybrid plants, such as named varieties of daylilies, rarely come true from seed (meaning the seeds don't usually grow into plants that look like their parents).
If you want more of the same variety that you're growing, you're best off dividing the plants. If you don't mind getting surprise plants, then plant the seeds and see what comes. Be ready to be patient, though: It can take up to four years before your daylily seedlings bloom for the first time.
Question: I just moved into a house with a spring-fed pond in the backyard. The soil around it is soggy -- what plants will do well in wet soil?
Answer: Some great plants for moist, boggy conditions include:
Cardinal flower (Lobelia cardinalis)
Perennial hibiscus (Hibiscus moscheutos)
Red-twig dogwood (Cornus sericea)
Question: I have two hydrangeas that will not flower. I've had them for five years. Why won't they bloom?
Answer: First off, check to make sure you're growing the right hydrangea for your climate. The pink- and blue-flowering Hydrangea macrophylla types don't always bloom well in areas that are colder than Zone 6.
Also be sure you're growing the right hydrangea for your spot. The pink and blue types like a spot in morning sun and afternoon shade; if they're in too much shade, they may not bloom well.
Another common problem is pruning: Don't prune your hydrangea in fall, winter, or early spring. The plant makes its flowers the year before you see them, so if you prune at the wrong time of the year, you could actually stop them from blooming.
Continued on page 8: May Questions