Home & Garden

On the garden hotline (Aug. 11)

Here are some of the questions the Extension master gardeners have received this week on their hotline. They answer questions from 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m. weekdays at 316-660-0190. “You can see people’s frustration with lawns when in the same week we are getting calls on how to kill Bermuda and plant fescue, and how to convert from fescue to Bermuda,” extension agent Bob Neier points out.

Some of my peonies have scorched and hardly have any green leaves, while others look fine. What is wrong and what shall I do?

This is scorch from the excessive heat. Some varieties tolerate this better than others. Go ahead and leave the scorched leaves if they have any green left in them. Peonies will not put on any more leaves this year, but go ahead and water them with a good soaking every 10 days to keep the root system/crown hydrated. Watering more frequently could cause a root rot.

How do you kill Bermudagrass to prepare for planting fescue in the fall?

If the Bermuda has been watered and is dark green, go ahead and spray it with a product containing glyphosate at label rate and then vertislice and overseed in early September with fescue. If the Bermuda is partially to fully dormant (browning), then water it regularly until it is lush and growing well before applying the glyphosate. Treating partially dormant to dormant grass will not successfully kill the Bermuda.

I’m tired of trying to keep fescue growing in this drought. When do I kill fescue and then plant Bermudagrass?

Treat the fescue with glyphosate in early May, followed by vertislicing and overseeding with Bermuda in mid-May. Instead of seeding, you can prig, plug or sod Bermuda starting in late May. Bermuda does survive with less water and needs full sun to grow well.