Dog-day cicadas emerging now


Q: What happened to the 17-year cicadas? Are they a no-show? Bradley Shepherd, email

A: We don’t have many of the 17-year or 13-year cicadas around here. But we do have lots of dog-day cicadas, which are a different species entirely. I’m hearing them in my trees right now. A friend tells me that a week ago at the Monteagle Mountain, Tenn, parking lot, the cicadas were so loud she could easily hear them over the rumbling of a dozen diesel trucks assembled there.

Q: I planted my lawn with bermuda seed and covered it with about a quarter-inch of wheat straw. Was this too much? Harley O., email

A: As long as the wheat straw doesn’t completely cover the soil and prevent sunlight from getting to the seedlings, they will grow through it just fine. After the seedlings are a couple of inches tall, you can lightly rake away the wheat straw if it still seems problematic.

Q: What makes the webs that have little worms in them on trees right now? Ann Stewart, Hart County

A: You’re seeing the distinctive webs of fall webworms. They begin to appear in early July on pecan, oak, and other landscape trees. This caterpillar is a native of North America. The caterpillars may defoliate a branch or two but they rarely threaten the life of a tree. They drop to the ground in September to pupate and will emerge next spring as a brown moth. If you want to do something, wrap the webbing onto the end of a long pole to expose the worms to predators and the elements. Hornets, wasps and yellowjackets are major predators of webworms. They will eat most of them in a nest if you pull away the webs.

Q: I caught the tail end of your radio show when you were talking about late-blooming blueberries. Which ones do you recommend? Anne Schaffer, email

A: My neighbor’s ‘Ochlockonee’ blueberry bushes finished fruiting in late July but she has a ‘Baldwin’ that ripens its fruit in early August. If you are planning on planting blueberries, spend some time now digging the bed and adding lots of organic soil amendment. Then have a soil test (georgiasoiltest.com) done to check the soil pH. It should be between 4.5 and 5.5 to make blueberries happy. I have details on growing blueberries at bit.ly/GAblueberry.

Q: I cut down a honey locust tree after I noticed sprouts emerging in my yard from the root system. I want to eliminate the new growth coming up. It’s not a very nice tree: 4-inch thorns! Gene Westbrook, Oconee County

A: A honey locust tree naturally spreads by root sprouts. When you cut down the tree it immediately started trying to make new leaves by other means. It will be hard to do, but your best bet is simply to continue persistently removing the leaf sprouts. You can do this either by mowing or by spraying it with glyphosate (Roundup). Either way, it may take a year to sufficiently weaken the roots so they no longer sprout.

Listen to Walter Reeves Saturday mornings on News 95.5 FM and AM750 WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, follow him on Twitter @walterreeves, on Pinterest, or join his Facebook Fan Page at bit.ly/georgiagardener for more garden tips.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Living

TV/radio briefs: Jim Sciutto, Lisa Hagen, Tommie Lee, Elle Duncan, Wendy Williams, SB Nation Falcons podcast
TV/radio briefs: Jim Sciutto, Lisa Hagen, Tommie Lee, Elle Duncan, Wendy Williams, SB Nation Falcons podcast

With Chris Cuomo moved to prime time, there has been a shift in CNN’s morning shows. Josh Berman has already been placed in “New Day” and Joe Sciutto gets Berman’s former anchor spot on “CNN Newsroom” from 9 to 11 a.m. Sciutto, CNN’s chief security correspondent, will retain that reporting role. He began...
White balls on potted plants are fertilizer
White balls on potted plants are fertilizer

Q: I had three potted parsley plants that suddenly wilted and died. There are white balls next to the stems. They pop when pressed and a sticky liquid comes out. Catherine Caubet, Newnan A: Since no yellow, red, or pink bug guts came out when you pressed the balls, I think these are spheres of controlled-release fertilizer. Manufacturers...
5 ways to enhance your home’s curb appeal
5 ways to enhance your home’s curb appeal

Everyone wants the prettiest home on the block, which is why curb appeal never gets old. It’s that bump of pride you feel every time you pull into the driveway or stroll up the front walk. Curb appeal also adds value to your home, since it will bring in buyers when the time comes to sell. And a lot of projects are DIY-friendly, meaning homeowners...
How to protect yourself against common home improvement scams
How to protect yourself against common home improvement scams

Home improvement, repair and renovation projects represent significant investments. And with that kind of money at stake and decisions often made under pressure, home repairs make an inviting target for scam artists who plan to take the money and run. Protect yourself from fraud by looking out for these common schemes: “Hey, I was doing a job...
Choose natural fixture colors to match your environment
Choose natural fixture colors to match your environment

Q: Dear Ed, my husband and I are lucky to retire in a small house in a seaside community. We plan to remodel the kitchen and wanted to ask about kitchen decorating choices to blend in with our surroundings. Can you please give us some ocean-inspired kitchen ideas? — Dottie, Rhode Island A: It’s a good practice to include a little of your...
More Stories