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  • March garden tips & tasks

    If your fescue lawn looks a little skimpy, overseed early this month. Fescue grows best when the weather is still cool.

    Clip dead stems from perennial herbs – thyme, sage, lavender, rosemary. Pruning encourages vigorous new growth.

    Prune nandinas, flowering quince and other airy shrubs by reaching in and removing about a third of the branches at ground level.

    Remove mulch or leaves that may be covering perennials in garden beds.

    Prepare a new garden bed: Have the soil tested (check with your county’s Extension service). Remove grass and dig or till soil 8 to 10 inches deep and mix with soil amendments and organic matter to improve drainage.

    Add fertilizer lightly to perennials as soon as you see new growth. Too much fertilizer may result in lanky growth.

    Herb transplants that don’t mind cool weather -- parsley, cilantro, sage, oregano – can go in the ground now.

    When you cut daffodils to bring inside, cut the stems at an angle and place them in water right away. Change the water in the vase daily to keep them fresh longer.

    Save the date - Middle Tennessee garden events

    The Perennial Plant Society's annual Plant Sale will be April 8, opening at 9 a.m. at The Fairgrounds Nashville. The sale offers newly released and hard-to-find perennials from top local nurseries -- more than 450 varieties of perennials, vines, grasses, shrubs and annuals. The event supports local scholarships for Tennessee horticulture students and monthly gardening programs, open to the public, at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens. For information visit www.ppsmtn.org.

    The Herb Society of Nashville's annual Herb Sale will be April 29, 9 a.m. - 2 p.m. at The Fairgrounds Nashville. The sale will offer heirloom vegetables, rare varieties of perennial and annual herbs, handmade pottery herb markers and more. To learn more, visit herbsocietynashville.org.

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The bamboo dilemma

QUESTION: We have a big patch of bamboo growing in our yard that is taking over the lawn. How can we get rid of it?

Bamboo can shoot up several inches overnight in spring. Mowing can keep it under control

Some gardeners may plant bamboo because they’re intrigued by the exotic touch this giant grass can lend to a landscape. When it’s settled in, it grows quickly and provides a good screen for privacy. But a few years later, they may begin to wish it would go away. Bamboo has thick, tough roots and stout underground runners, and is so aggressive it can quickly get out of hand.

University of Tennessee  Extension agents note that controlling bamboo can be a years-long process. If you want to get rid of it, cutting down the canes is only the first step – and if your bamboo stand is thick and unruly, that can be a daunting task. Make the cut as close to the ground as possible, then digging up as many of the roots as you can. Some Extension agents suggest treating any new-growth with non-selective herbicide (such as Roundup).

You may never get rid of all the roots – especially if it has migrated to the neighboring yard and the neighbor does not follow the same control methods. So if you replace the bamboo with lawn, be prepared to mow frequently as the bamboo begins to grow again in spring. The shoots seem to shoot up several inches overnight, but mowing them down before they get too tall (or breaking them off with a swift kick) will keep them under control.

 

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One Response

  1. […] gardeners plant bamboo not knowing that some cultivars can be invasive! How to control bamboo: http://j.mp/K0kIHI TwitterFacebook […]

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