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My Day Lilies?
Dew- Ptaat Doctor: Please help
me. Many yean ago my daylilies
grew and bloomed along the border
of my carport This year they did ncx
bloom and the leaves turned partly
yellow. I can see very small white
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? yg ?w u?c icaves ana
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ttinu uu jrvti icwmmcnG
ANSWER; The dayiily (Hemero
caltis spp) is one of the most dis
ease- and insect-tolerant flowering
piar.ts grown in eastern North Car
olina. Leaf spot or russet spot (cause
unknown) causes superficial leaf
spotting or decoloration, but hardly
ever causes plant loss. Flower thrips
(Frankliniella tritici) have been re
ported to severely injure flower buds
and tips of new growth, eventually
causing the flower cluster to wither
and die in development Slugs have
been very damaging to the daylilies
in my garden but have not prevented
I must see the damage before pos
itively identifying the problem. You
can send samples in the mail or tati?
a damaged plant into the county
Cooperative Extension Service. If
the horticulture agent is unable to
identify the problem, then request
the sample be sent to the N.C State
Plant Disease and Insect Clinic.
Control will depend on the pest.
Dear Plant Doctor: Could you
please tcit iiic ibc proper iype,
amount, and time to fertilize my red
tips? My plants are not growing
healthy and I believe fertilization
would be helpful.
ANSWITB. Tk? ?_
- ?? ? ? ? ? IU
fertilize any ornamental or vegetable
plant is to take soil samples and soil
N.C Department of Agriculture
soil analysis kits can be obtained
from any N.C. Cooperative Exten
sion office. If soil tests cannot be
conducted, then try 2 to 3 pounds of
8-8-8 or 10-10-10 per 100 square
feet of plant bed (evenly distributed
under the dripline of the plant) in the
spring or early summer. Be sure the
fertilizer you use contains slow re
lease nitrogen source. Fertilizer
"stakes" also do an excellent job for
Dear Plant Doctor: I have 7 rose
bushes and 2 gardenia bushes, and
assorted azaleas. What is the best
time of the year to cut-back these
ANSWER: In general, most ros
es are best pruned in February prior
to bud break. Different cultivar* of
rose require different pruning, so
check your roses before "firing up"
G^rdCuioS SmOwiS uu ufw jpOwiu.
Prune in late winter or early spring
before new growth is initiated. Since
gardenias are susceptible to winter
damage, I usually wait to early
spring to assess winter H?mag? and
Azaleas are best pruned immedi
ately after flowering in the spring.
Pruning after July IS may cut out
next years flower buds.
Dear Plant Doctor: To bag or
not to bag is the question.
I have centipedegrass and I am
confused about taking care of it In
the past years or so, I have read that
you should let your grass clippings
fertilize your lawn rather than bag
In a previous column you state it
is prudent to thatch the lawn. But if I
do not bag the cuttings, is not it a
way to build-up thatch? It sure is
essy to mow without worrying about
the clippings but again, I am con
fused. I ccrtainly would appreciate
your guidance. Thanks.
ANSWER: Don't bag it
If you cut 30 percent or less of the
turf height when you mow, then
leave the clippings. Clippings do not
contribute to thatch build-up when
the lawn is mowed properly. Thatch
buildup is a function of grass vigor,
environmental and soil conditions,
pest load and many other factors.
Heavy (or improper) fertilization and
incorrect mowing height is the most
coiiifiimi cause of thatching. Hybrid
bermudagrass mowed at 2 inches
will thatch more rapidly than hybrid
bernrndagrsss mowed at 0.75 inches.
Bermudagrass, zoyiagrass and St.
Augustine grass are prone to heavy
thatching. Fertilize, cultivate, de
thatch and mow according to N.C.
Cooperative Extension recommen
dations. I am sending you a copy of
" Carolina Lawns," the best lawn
management publication in North
Carolina. Send a SASE to me for a
copy or contact your county Co
operative Extension office.
Send your questions and com
ments to the Plant Doctor, PO Box
109, Bolivia NC 28422.
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