• 45°

Wet conditions prompting a variety of questions

Familiar fall pest

University of Georgia Fall webworms are making a comeback.

We’ve been experiencing atypical summer weather with scattered showers in the evenings. Drier weather and cooler temperatures are bringing a hint of fall weather to come. Many people have questions about lawns and landscapes with our unusually wet late summer. Below are a few questions from Rowan County residents.

Question: My shrubs have grown quite a bit over the past few weeks with the recent rainfall. Can I prune them back now?

Answer: Yes, light, judicious pruning can occur all during the year, but avoid pruning spring flowering shrubs such as forsythia, azaleas and rhododendron. If you prune these now you will eliminate many of your spring flowers. Prune these flowering shrubs in the spring just after bloom. Wait until early spring to severely prune holly or boxwood to avoid possible winter damage. Ironically, maple and birch trees should be pruned now while they have leaves to avoid excessive bleeding.

Question: I have crabgrass that has completely taken over my lawn. What’s the best way to get rid of this grass before planting fescue in a few weeks?

Answer: Roundup (glyphosate products) will control this grass and other weeds. If you only have crabgrass you can use herbicide blends that contains diquat that will control the annual weed. Most lawns will have both Bermuda and crabgrass, so I would tend to recommend Roundup to be sure of the kill.

Question: I have bagworms in my pecan tree and they are really ugly. I’m worried these bugs will kill the tree. What can I do to eliminate them and keep them from defoliating my tree?

Answer: The insects you’re speaking of are actually fall webworms. Even though it looks bad for the tree, these caterpillars will not kill the tree. These are immature caterpillars of a moth that typically hatch out in late summer and early fall. The caterpillars can be controlled by opening the webs with a stick or pole, exposing them to birds and other natural predators which will control them without using insecticides.

Question: My variegated hydrangea, over the past few years, is starting to produce solid green leaves. I really like the variegated leaves and want them to produce more variegated leaves with more blooms. What can I do to improve my shrub?

Answer: Variegated plants in shady or semi-shady locations do not grow well and need adequate light. Often plants revert to solid green color to increase the production of chlorophyll. Drastic changes in heat or cold also can cause leaves to turn green. Waterlogged plants may also turn green and produce new green shoots.

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired county extension director with horticulture responsibilities with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County.

Comments

Local

Scout’s Honor: With dedication of flag retirement box, Salem Fleming earns Eagle Scout rank

College

North Carolina king, queen of NCAA lacrosse tourneys

High School

High school football: State’s top honor goes to Jalon Walker

Education

Kannapolis seniors walk elementary schools

Local

Local real estate company employees come out in force to build Habitat house

Local

Quotes of the week

Coronavirus

Auditors find oversight lacking for $3 billion of state’s pandemic aid

Nation/World

When will gas situation return to normal?

Local

Rowan native Shuping posthumously receives Concord Police Department’s Medal of Valor, Purple Heart

News

GOP measure on penalties for rioting draws fire

News

Black high school softball player told to cut hair

Coronavirus

State shows 303 COVID-19 deaths in Rowan

Coronavirus

CDC: Fully vaccinated people can largely ditch masks indoors

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18