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Oklahoma County Cooperative Extension Service

The Determined Gardener October

OSU Extension Center

Freddy Hill, Oklahoma County Extension Master Gardener

Freddy Hill at dg@yahoo.com

2500 NE 63rd Street

OKC, OK  73111

405-713-1125

10-9-2018

 

Ask the Determined Gardener

When should I move my cannas?    The best time for separating or removing depends on your winter temperature.  In Northern Oklahoma, some may not make it through the winter.  If this is so where you live, dig them after the tops have died down.  Remove the whole clump, separating if needed, and store them in a cool environment, keeping them above freezing.  Transplant after the last frost 5 to 6 inches deep.  If yours survive winters, dig up at first leaf break.  Divide and remove damaged or rotten sections, allow them to dry for a few days, then transplant at the same depth.   In winter, you can cut down frosted stalks, lay them down over the crowns, and add some additional mulch.  My simplest solution is to blow fall leaves to cover your cannas.  Leave them until your daffodils reach 8 inches in height.  Save your stored leaves to add into your compost as you begin mowing your yard.

My pyracantha has white stuff on its stems.  This is probably soft-bodied scale.  Wiping these off will leave, a sticky honeydew residue.  Apply horticultural oil when plants are in dormant season.   Adult scale is hard to control.  If you see red crawlers, young scale bodies, apply pesticides to the foliage and stem.  Garden Tech Sevin Concentrate Bug Killer works on scale crawlers.  A systematic insecticide containing Dinotefuran can be used, BEE CAUTION; do not treat when bushes are blooming.  Insecticidal soap or Malithion are labeled for scale insects.

What are the negative effects of too much potassium in the soil?  The most common cause for excess potassium in residential lawns is continuous use of a “Balanced” fertilizer.  Take a soil sample and only use this nutrient of test shows it is needed.  High levels of potassium are not toxic but can reduce uptake of nitrogen and other positive ion nutrients such as calcium or magnesium.  If your potassium levels are too high, add fertilizer without this nutrient. Try adding humus or compost to the soil to speed up depletion of potassium levels.                                                          

What should I keep in mind when pruning my butterfly bush?  While in bloom, the flowers can be deadheaded, allowing new blooms to carry throughout the summer.  Before buds break, prune back for desired shape and size.  Many growers prune back to 12 inches high.  This eliminates damaged or weak branches and will usually result in a large globular shape through the next year

What are good tips going into winter with my landscape?  Pull up annuals, trim back and mark perennials, and carry out any hardscape work so your projects will be settled and stable by spring.  You may wait to cut back ornamental grasses just before new leafs appear. These are great habitats for ladybugs and other beneficial insects.  Cutting these after leafing out will leave all cut leaves prominent in your growth.  Prepare and install fences, trellises or other supports for the following year.  Continuing regular walks through your landscape gives rise to new ideas and inspirations for your future gardens.  Remember, gardening can be a 12 months of the year endeavor

Plan now to attend the 2019 “Home Gardening 101” workshop.  Presented by OSU Extension Master Gardeners of Oklahoma County, the 3-day workshop will take place Feb. 16, 23 and March 2.  

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