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Q & A with Our Experts

Q.Why is my crapemyrtle not blooming?

A.If your crape myrtle is otherwise green and healthy, you may need to apply the nutrient phosphorus to promote blooming.

Q.Is Fall a good time to prune back my shrubs and trees?

A.Fall is not the best time to prune these plants, especially plants that are evergreen (they keep their green leaves through winter). These plants keep their leaves for a important reason and removing them in the fall is not a good thing. They continue to conduct photosynthesis and make food all through the dormant winter period. The best time to prune all plants is in the spring. For plants that bloom only in the spring, prune them right after they are through blooming, but do not prune them after mid-July. Plants that bloom only in the summer (crape myrtles, butterfly bushes, etc.), prune back in early spring (March-April).

Q.When should I plant the Fall bulbs that bloom in the Spring?

A.The bulbs are available for planting from September to the New Years Day. They need to be in the cool ground early enough to receive 12 weeks of “chill”, that is a consistent period of soil temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. This is absolutely necessary so the bulbs can received the proper stimulus that tells them winter has occurred and they may put out blooms in the spring. I highly recommend that you plant these bulbs as early in the fall as possible, as planting fresh bulbs is always better and waiting too long means that the selection of desirable types and colors of bulbs is much more limited.

Q.Why should I think about mulch levels in the fall?

A.Before the weather turns really cold, go out and check the depth of the mulch in your garden beds and around trees. Don’t replace old mulch; just put new mulch on top of it. The thickness of the mulch as winter insulation is important and you should maintain a minimum depth of 2 inches, maximum of 3 inches. And remember to keep the mulch pile away from base of tree trunks and shrubs.

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