Home and garden Q&A: Blooming shrubs, over-seeding fescue and spraying weeds

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 21, 2021

Even though we’ve had a taste of warm weather, it is important to remember there may be a chance of frost over the next few weeks; so, keep a close eye on the weather. The last frost-free date for our area is April 15. Whatever the weather, many are moving ahead with their outdoor projects. Home gardeners have posed questions that may be of interest. Below are a few questions recently posed:

Question: What is the unusual blooming shrub at the Cooperative Extension office entrance that has colorful white and extremely fragrant flowers?

Answer: The shrub is an Edgeworthia (edgeworthia chrysantha) also known as paperbush plant. It has a beautiful fragrance, very similar to daphne odora and gardenia. The shrub grows best in partial shade and prefers rich, well-drained soil. It is a deciduous shrub blooms in early spring and eventually reaching up to seven feet in height. In the summer, its growth habit resembles that of our rhododendrons. Go to   https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/edgeworthia-chrysantha/ for more detailed information on this interesting shrub.

Question: My daffodils are in full bloom and look beautiful. What should I do for them after they bloom so they will continue each spring?

Answer: Remove the spent flower heads and be careful and do not cut or disturb the tender foliage. The foliage is absorbing nutrients preparing for next season’s bloom. The foliage will soon turn yellow and unsightly as the spring progresses. Keep them intact and they eventually turn from yellow to brown. You can then clip back the dead foliage and neaten the area.

Question: Can I over-seed my fescue lawn now? I have some bare areas that still need to be overseeded.

Answer: Fescue can be over-seeded now. However, do not wait too late this spring. The quicker the grass becomes established, the better its survival during the warm summer months. Unfortunately, lawns seeded in the spring most likely will need to be seeded again in the fall. Hot, summer weather is not conducive for newly seeded cool season fescue in the spring.

Question: I sprayed my weeds in my lawn last week and they are not dying. Did I do something wrong?

Answer: Broadleaf winter annual weeds, especially if they are in bloom, are difficult to kill because they are in the process of producing seed and not growing and therefore not readily adsorbing herbicides. Broadleaf weeds often become distorted and withered within a few days after application. Multiple applications of broad-leafed herbicides a few weeks apart is an effect solution for your weed problem.

Darrell Blackwelder is the retired horticulture agent and director with the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service in Rowan County. Contact him at deblackw@ncsu.edu.