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Ask the Patch Pro: Experts Answer Your Lawn and Garden Related Questions

Our panel of experts are waiting in the comments to answer your questions about gardening in the latest installment of Ask the Patch Pro.

It's time for another edition of Ask the Patch Pro, where each week we tackle a different topic and open up the comments section for questions. Our team of experts stop in to help you out and answer your questions.

This week we're talking about lawn and garden. It's fall, and that means it's time to prepare your yard for cooler weather. Whether you want to know which plants to take inside, or what you can do to prepare for next year's garden, Patch wants to help you get your questions answered, but we needed some help.

We've compiled a team of experts to help us out. Meet the experts:

  • Jason Clayton:Turf Perfect, LLC
  • James Duncan: Outdoor Precision, LLC
  • Sean Aden: Landscaping 
  • Kim Duly: Gardening for 30 years 
  • Elaine Fix: President Fleur de Lis Garden Society
Heidi L. October 04, 2012 at 12:24 PM
What to prune for fall? I have: Variegated Hydrangeas? Iris? Magnolia Bush?
Fred Gattas October 04, 2012 at 02:20 PM
When is the best time to dethatch, aerate, and seed? Fall or Spring or another time? Also, should they be done together or separated out?
James Duncan October 04, 2012 at 04:12 PM
Fred. The best time to aerate is in the fall because you have all winter for you grass to take root. You can do it in the spring, but if we have a summer like this year the new grass will not survive without a lot of water. Our process is to dethatch then aerate , over seed and fertilize. Do this all at one time in succession. We normally start this process the beginning of September. James
Kalen Ponche October 04, 2012 at 04:56 PM
I have Black Eyed Susans that have finally died and look sad. Should I cut them down? I wouldn't mind if they spread a little bit.
stacey October 04, 2012 at 08:57 PM
My husband does aeration and will be home shortly from work to answer some questions. Just an FYI, I love this new Patch Pro segment!!
Jordan Lanham October 04, 2012 at 09:29 PM
Thanks Stacey! We look forward to hearing from Sean!
dan October 04, 2012 at 09:57 PM
I have a stump from a bush I cut down a few months ago... It was still growing after so I drilled some holes in the stump and poured a bunch of weed b gone in the holes to kill it... It needs to go.... Best way to get it out... I have been trying to dig around it, but no luck so far
James Duncan October 04, 2012 at 10:13 PM
Fred. The best time to aerate is in the fall because you have all winter for you grass to take root. You can do it in the spring, but if we have a summer like this year the new grass will not survive without a lot of water. Our process is to dethatch then aerate , over seed and fertilize. Do this all at one time in succession. We normally start this process the beginning of September. James
James Duncan October 05, 2012 at 02:31 AM
Dan I believe that you are going to work on getting it out. If you have room to get a big pry bar in there. We dig those out all the time. It isn't easy but it can be done. Are you planning to plant some thing else there in its place?
James Duncan October 05, 2012 at 02:36 AM
Kalen Black eyed susan can be trimmed now if you would like to clean them up. They will not spread as much if you trim them back now. We are getting into the native planting season very soon. If you leave them up they will reseed and you will see them come back with more next year.
Elaine Fix October 05, 2012 at 03:58 AM
Kalen, Black Eyed Susans, Rudbeckia, can self seed very heartly. Deadheading, or cutting off the seed heads can be done now. These are in my garden and also spread by the roots. Why not snip them now and bring them to our 3rd Annual Mud Ball Party, to add to the 5 gallon bucket we collected today on Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012, 11 am at the end of the Clean Stream event in St Peters at the South Parking Lot by the South Rec-Plex!
Kalen Ponche October 05, 2012 at 03:59 AM
Good ideas! Thanks James and Elaine!
Elaine Fix October 05, 2012 at 04:01 AM
Dan, if the stump grows some leaves, apply Roundup following the instructions on the lable. Weed-b-Gone is only for weeds.
Elaine Fix October 05, 2012 at 04:34 AM
Heidi, here is some basic information from the horticulture area at MU. http://extension.missouri.edu/p/G6870 For Iris, I pull off all old leaves in the fall. If the rhizomes are crawling all over themselves, they need to be divided or they won't bloom. Reblooming Iris give you more bang for the buck. Let me know if you would like some of my "Immortality" Iris. I have more than I could ever need. "Immortality" is a white iris and is one that is very fragrant and blooming now for me!
dan October 05, 2012 at 05:57 PM
Elaine... You are right that's what I poured on the stump... Thanks James I was hoping you were gonna say do this and it will be out in a jiffy ha ha... Since it just trained should I wait for the soil to dry out or get to digging while still saturated with the rain... Yes I know the wet dirt will be much heavier
Fred Gattas January 21, 2013 at 04:23 AM
When is the best time to trim trees? Does it matter which kinds or can they all be trimmed at the same time (spring, summer, fall)?
Dale De Vine January 21, 2013 at 01:19 PM
Prune or trim trees in early February prior to budding. Do not top off, thin out old and unwanted branches.
Elaine Fix January 23, 2013 at 02:01 AM
We have listed great articles from the Master Gardener program at MU on our website www.fleurdelisgardensociety.org Feb. and March calendars will be the most help to you regarding fruiting tree pruning. Click on MU Newsletter.

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