Q: Our lawn has been getting worse and worse each year and now there is hardly anything but weeds. How can we kill the weeds so the grass will have a chance to grow?
A: If you have nothing but weeds and you kill them, all you will have left is bare ground. Under these conditions you can be thankful for having the weeds. At least they are green and will keep your soil from washing away.
When you have less than 50 percent stand of a good lawn grass, you need to do a major reseeding or sod planting job. A well established healthy lawn can keep weeds from taking over.
But first of all, you need to find out why your lawn failed, and whether you can eliminate the cause.
If drainage is poor, the weeds can survive where most grasses cannot. If there is too much shade the grass will slowly but surely disappear. If you fail to fertilize adequately and to water during dry weather, the grass is handicapped.
In a hot and dry midsummer period, you may be just as well off to let your grass go dormant (by not watering) if it is a cool season grass such as Kentucky blue. It will revive and give you a lot of pleasure in the cool spring and fall seasons.
When it is hot you will have to put at least 1 to 2 inches of water per week on the lawn if you want to keep it growing. Sprinkling it lightly two or three times a week does no good.
Each lawn grass has an ideal height at which it should be cut. When the grass is regularly cut much higher or much lower than the ideal, it will be less able to compete with weeds.
Q: How deep should asparagus roots be planted? I've been getting some very different opinions on it.
A: Asparagus crowns are usually planted 10 inches deep in the sandy loam and peat soils of California, and 5 inches deep in most midwestern and eastern soils.An experiment was conducted by the University of Illinois to determine whether there would be any advantage to deeper planting.
The shallower plantings (5 inches deep) were ready a week earlier than the deeper plantings (10 inches). They all produced more spears and a heavier total crop when planted 5 inches deep.
While sears were smaller in number from the deeper plantings, the individual spears were much larger and heavier.
Q: In front of our house is a sidewalk next to the road and next to the sidewalk is about a foot where nothing is growing. The soul is not very good, it gets full sun, people and dogs use it in addition to the sidewalk. Is there anything we could get to grow there that would make it less of an eyesore?
A: Your best bet might be Kentucky 31 fescue. If you can it established, it can take a lot of punishment and remain attractive. It needs full sun. Dig up the soil, rake out the stones, etc., mix in some compost or peat, seed quite heavy with Kentucky 31 grass, rope off the area to keep people and dogs off, and in a couple of weeks it should be nice and green, and you can remove the ropes.