Frequently asked gardening questions

Q. When do I prune my clematis?

A. There are three types of clematis:

  • Type 1 blooms on old wood - prune after flowers fade.
  • Type 2 blooms on last year's growth - prune in spring above the new growth.
  • Type 3 blooms on new growth - prune hard (8 - 10" above the ground) early spring.

Q. What can I do to get grass to grow under the trees in my front yard?

A. Most trees will fight against lawn grasses and win. A lawn needs a lot of sun and water on a regular basis to be healthy. Trees steal light and moisture. I recommend a large mulched area under your trees planted in groundcover and perennnials that do well in dry shade.

Q. Is there anything I can do to protect my landscape plants from Japanese beetles?

A. As soon as you see the first beetle of the year, start knocking them off daily into a container of soapy water. The more they feed the more beetles are attracted to your property.

Q. What should I use to fertilize my perennial borders?

A. For long term, overall health, apply organic fertilizers, which are derived from plant and animal remains. Organic matter increases the availability of plant nutrients and improves soil structure.

Precautions should be taken to protect yourself after using garden chemicals. I highly recommend always wearing gloves, and wash thoroughly after each use before touching/preparing food or drink.


Plant annuals in your perennial borders to fill in the spaces you have reserved for the mature size of your perennials. Your border will be colorful and look complete in its first year.

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