Q. When is the best time to fertilize by bluegrass lawn? How much should I apply?

A. Autumn is the best time. Apply 40 pounds of 5-10-5 fertilizer per 1,000 square feet about mid-September and 20 to 40 pounds about mid-October. After applying the fertilizer, water it in. Do not fertilize when the grass is wet -- it may stick to grass blades and burn them. Burn is much more likely to occur when the weather is hot than when cool. Fall fertilization causes roots to thicken and new rhizomes to develop. c

Q. I sheared my yew and discovered it was almost all dead inside. What would cause it and is there a cure?

A. Repeated shearing of yews and other evergreen plants results in a dense outer surface that shuts out light. There is little hope for new growth to develop now even if light is provided.

Q. Two of by bearded iris plants have seed pods on them. I'd like to plant them but don't know how. Can you help?

A. Plant the seed soon after maturity just deep enough so the surrounding soild will not dry out during the period of germination. It often takes two or three months for the seed to germinate. Unless it is a planned project with selected parents, bearded iris from seed usually have little value.

Q. When is the best time to transplant rose bushes? I have two good ones in the front and would like to put them in the back.

A. Old roses do not transplant easily. Early spring, before the roses break dormancy, is one of the best times to do it. Prepare new holes beforehand so the roses will not be out of the ground very long.

Q. How can you tell when a watermelon is ripe?

A. When the underside of the melon changes from white to yellow, it's usually ripe. If you re not sure it's ready to pick, plug it. Be careful not to bruise the skin of the melon when you harvest it and do not leave it in the sun.