Two FAQs Revisited: April 18, 2019

Holly leaves dropping cause gardeners concern.

Question: “Why are my hollies dropping all of their leaves?”

A former resident of North Texas who is now in Tennessee called my radio program last Sunday with this question. It was about her Nellie R. Stevens hollies. I told her people back here in Texas have been asking about them as well.

My answer: This is absolutely normal leaf drop. It’s last year’s leaves that are being shed to make room for new growth for 2019. It is nothing to worry about. Your only calls to action: apply an all-nitrogen fertilizer to help those new leaves form, and keep the plants moist. It’s the very same answer I’m giving for people with magnolias that are dropping their leaves.

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Weeds and feeding would seem to go together. But, do they?

Question: “Is this a good time to use a weed-and-feed plant food?”

That question also came into my program on WBAP last Sunday, but it’s one that gets asked many times every spring. I believe I answered it here just a week or two ago.

I am not a proponent of combination “weed-and-feed” products. I believe in herbicides and I believe in fertilizers. However, I also believe that they need to be done at separate times so that you can do the best possible job with each task. It’s rare that you’ll need to apply a weedkiller to every square foot of your lawn, and it’s usually better if you fertilize first to give broadleafed weeds a head start on growing. Weedkillers are more effective when applied to active new growth.

Posted by Neil Sperry
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