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Hot landscaping topics

By Blake Carter

UGA Extension agent

1. Can I still prune my azaleas and other spring-blooming shrubs now?

Yes, any time after they have finished flowering and up until about the first week or two of September; that's when next year's flower buds will be produced on stems that grow this summer for next year.

2. Why are the leaves on my camellia plants swollen and puffy looking?

They are infected with a disease called Exobasidium or more commonly, camellia leaf gall. Light infections of leaf gall may be hand-pinched or pruned away; for heavier infections, remove all diseased foliage and then spray your plants with a recommended fungicide, such as Daconil or FungAway.

3. Can I plant my lawn with centipedegrass now?

Yes. Now through early August is the best time to plant centipede seed; centipede sod may be successfully planted now through late August.

4. Why did most of the small fruit drop from my fruit tree?

One possibility is something called “June Drop.” What causes this is pollination issues. When fruit trees produce flowers, they must be pollinated for fruit to grow. Trees have one goal in mind: They need to produce viable seeds to continue their species. There is a short time after the flowers fade that small fruit, both pollinated and unpollinated, begin to develop. Towards the middle to the end of June it becomes apparent to the tree which fruit have viable seeds developing inside. And those that are duds get unceremoniously dumped.

5. Is there a preemerge herbicide that I can use to prevent volunteer woody plants from sprouting in my flower beds?

No, according to Dr. Tim Murphy, UGA weed scientist. Hand removal or carefully brushing on Roundup or Finale are options.

6. Can I fertilize my centipedegrass again??

Always fertilize and add lime or sulfur based on a soil test. Centipedegrass will grow best at a pH of 5.5 to 6.0. Fertilize with ½ to 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet depending on the soil type using a high potassium fertilizer, such as 15-0-15. Make this last fertilizer application before August 15. To determine the amount of granular fertilizer needed to apply ½ pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, divide 50 by the first number on the fertilizer bag. To determine the amount of product required to apply 1 pound of actual nitrogen per 1,000 square feet, divide 100 by the first number on the fertilizer bag.

7. Can fungicides burn if used at rates higher than the label indicates?

They certainly can, especially Daconil and Bayleton.

8. I have had my Bradford pear for eighteen years now and it still does not produce big pears, but only small ones about the size of a dime. Why?

The Bradford pear, Pyrus calleryana “Bradford,”is strictly an ornamental pear and does not produce edible fruit.

9. What is the correct height to mow my centipede lawn?

Mow grass to 1 inch. Do not let grass get taller than 11⁄2 inches. NEVER burn off centipedegrass to remove excessive debris.

10. How much water does my sweet corn need?

Sweet corn needs ample water from germination to harvest, but the most critical period for water is about 2 weeks before silks form. Aim for 1 inch of water per week, and supplement natural rainfall with irrigation as needed. Silks begin to elongate from the ovules 10 to 14 days prior to growth stage R1 or approximately at the V12 leaf stage.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or want further information, please give me a call at or stop by the Effingham County Extension Office, (912)754-8040, 501 N. Richland Avenue, Rincon Ga. 31326.