Frankie Answers Your Winter Gardening Questions

Frankie answers your winter gardening questions on Breakfast Television.

1. How do I get rid of clover in my lawn?

The clover isn’t a bad thing. It fixes nitrogen from the air, into the soil making it self-fertilizing. It also stays green in a hot dry summer when the grass as gone dormant (yellow), is a good pollinator plant for our bees, is easy to maintain and is nice to walk on. It makes a great alternative for grass.  If you still want to get rid of it, here is how; it is too late to worry about weed control and reseeding now, so you will have to wait until the spring.  For now make sure there are now matted leaves on your lawn and give it one last mow so it is short  (1.5-2 inches high) for the winter. Next spring you can start hand pulling any clover you see and apply corn gluten to prevent any additional clover seeds from germinating. Apply just before the Forsythia start to bloom, around mid April. Make sure to wait 4-6 weeks before over seeding with grass seed after you have applied the corn gluten.

One of our team members had success using Scott’s Weed B Gon on clover, even though they do not list that on the label as one of the target weeds. You will need to do repeat applications (2 maybe 3). Once the clover has died off, y overseed your lawn so you grow grass in the spaces where the clover used to be, before the clover comes back. In general, practice good lawn care to build a strong lawn that defends against weed invasion or clover. Here is a link to information on how to do that:

2. Why did my Impatiens die this summer?

Impatiens are being hit with downy mildew, which causes them to die off fairly quickly. The disease stays in the soil for years, so avoid planting them again in the next few years. Growers are trying to grow a resistant variety, so keep an eye out for those. In the meantime, try a few alternatives like portulaca, wave petunia, lantana,  marigolds, sunpatiens, or zinnias.  If you have part shade, here is a link to Frankie favorites:

3. Should I wrap my Cedars for the winter?

Cedars can be wrapped if they are exposed to wind, sun, or road salt to protect them from drying out. To protect the branches from breaking under the weight of snow, you can bind them with wire that is spiraled tightly around the tree to keep the branches upright but not squished. Burlap can be staked as a windbreak to protect the trees from wind, salt and sun.

4. Should I bring in my Calla Lilies for the winter, and if so, how?

Calla lily tubers need to be brought in for the winter. Remove them from the soil and gently remove as much soil as possible. Let the remaining soil dry inside and remove that too.  The tubers can be placed an empty shoe box with some vermiculite to keep them dry and sprinkled with a bit of sulfur to prevent disease. Place the tubers in a cool, dark place for the winter, making sure they are not touching each other.

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