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Don’t forget the pollinator class Saturday

We have had a few nice days and then the heat kicks back in. The only thing that has made it bearable is getting to see the beautiful monarchs at the Extension office. Because of the nice weather we have started to receive a lot of calls about lawns, butterflies and ponds.

Question: What is the butterfly that is outside your office on the orange flowers?

Answer: We have a few flowers blooming at the office so it took me a little bit to figure out which one the client was referring to, but it was of course the beautiful monarch on the milkweed. It was perfect timing, too. The client was signing up for the last Do It Yourself (DIY) class which is being held this Saturday from 9:30-11:30. This is the last of the DIY series and it is focusing on the very popular topic of gardening with pollinators. Registration is free but we do request that you RSVP. Call the office at 704-216-8970 to register and I hope to see you all this Saturday.

Question: What is this gritty green stuff all over my pond?

Answer: Unfortunately the client had watermeal in his pond. This is one of the most difficult weeds to control. It also requires the owner to know how large and deep their pond is to get optimum control. The biggest issue is that this weed is transported by waterfowl and if you have neighbors that do not control the same weed it can be difficult to have a clear pond. To help understand and manage ponds our office, along with Soil and Water and L.L. Goodnight’s is hosting a Pond Management program Sept. 12 from 5-8 p.m. at L.L. Goodnight’s, 605 Saw Road, China Grove. You can even bring some of the weeds you would like identified.

Question: I am tired of reseeding my lawn every year with fescue, is there anything else I can do? Are there any alternatives?

Answer: Because our weather is so hot and dry during the summer time, many homeowners have their cool season lawns die. This causes major frustration especially when they have spent lots of time and money every year to keep their lawns beautiful and healthy. Because of this many homeowners are converting their cool season lawns to a warm season lawn. Warm season grasses like St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia, to name a few, have become hot commodities in lawns around the county. Many homeowners are at first cautious about warm season because you plant them April-July and many of the cultivars have to be planted as sod or plugs. But after the installation they tend to not have as many problems with their warm season lawns because they establish well, usually outcompete most weeds, and they stay green for longer periods of time. If this is something you are interested in take a look at our Carolina Lawns publication for more details: http://www.turffiles.ncsu.edu/Files/Documents/Publications/2008/carolina_lawns.pdf, it provides great tips on cool season lawns as well!

If you would like to learn more about monarchs, pollinators, how to care for your lawn, or how to identify some of your pond weeds call your local Cooperative Extension agent, Danélle Cutting at 704-216-8970.

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