Meyer lemon needs lots of light indoors


Q: I have a Meyer lemon and a Key lime tree in a 3-gallon pot. They’re about 2 feet tall. I intended on separating them into different containers but they have started blooming. Should I go ahead and separate the two plants so they have more room to grow? Justin Floyd, Madison County

A: I think the plants would be happier if you went ahead and separated them now. Give each one an 18-inch wide pot in which to grow. When you bring them indoors, give them as much supplemental lighting as you can afford. I put three 100-watt CFL bulbs on my Meyer lemon during the winter months. Remember that the fluorescent bulbs need to be no more than 12 inches away from the foliage.

Q: What is the best tall fescue grass seed to use? D. Garner, Fayette County

A: Your best choice is to use a blend of the improved turf-type fescue hybrids. Pennington Blend, Rebel Supreme and Atlanta Blend are common at garden centers. I don’t recommend Kentucky 31 fescue. It was originally used as a pasture grass and can make a marginally acceptable lawn grass but it tends to become thin and clumpy over a few years time. All of the improved fescue grasses can withstand weeds, shade and drought if they are taken care of properly. None, however, will solve existing fescue management problems. Good care includes tilling the soil before planting, fertilizing at the right time, mowing at the right height, and watering when needed.

Q: I reseeded my fescue lawn and the new grass is coming up really good. There are a lot of weeds coming up with the new grass. How long should I wait to spray weed killer after seeding the lawn? Gene Crump, Lilburn

A: If you disturbed the soil before you reseeded, I can understand why you have weeds now. But tilling or aerating can’t be avoided. Weed seeds lie dormant in the soil for several years and only sprout if brought to the surface. The label on broadleaf weed killers typically says not to use the product on a newly seeded lawn until it has been mowed three times. Be patient; you don’t want your weed-control attempts to harm the grass you spent so much time planting.

Q: A load of topsoil I bought for my flower garden brought in nutsedge tubers as well. This year I covered the soil with landscape cloth and planted zinnias in holes I poked in it. How long do I have to keep the area covered to fully annihilate the nutsedge? Mitzi Wasdin, email

A: According to one university source, nutsedge tubers remain viable in the soil for several years. The weed is impossible to control by pulling because tubers easily separate from the base of the plant when you tug on the leaves. But I got control of the invader in my garden by using a water-powered weeder (bit.ly/h2oweed). It injects water under pressure next to the base of any plant. It is very easy then to pull a nutsedge plant, tubers and all, from the soil slurry the weeder makes. It’s a great tool to use against wild onions, wild violet, and dandelion.

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.



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