June 16, 2008
Spanish Broom Likes a Good Trim
By Garden Variety CURTIS SMITH For the Journal
Q: I have an overgrown Spanish broom and I want to cut it down, but I want it to come back up again. When is the best time to do this? -- E. J.
A: The best time to rejuvenate the Spanish broom would be late winter or early spring. In this type of pruning remove all stems to within a few inches of the ground.
But you also can use renewal pruning in which you cut part of the plant. This is safer, and if necessary you can do it now. A healthy, vigorous Spanish broom plant can be cut to the ground every few years and regrow with no permanent ill effects. However, a weaker plant may not regrow.
If you choose to prune more severely, do it now. A healthy plant may survive. But even a healthy one will be more severely injured by drastic pruning during the summer.
If you choose to be less drastic, you can remove onethird of the oldest stems and allow new growth to develop from the base even during the summer. Don't wait until the end of the summer, or the growth may not mature enough to produce flower buds for next year.
Both methods will avoid the accumulation of unsightly dead wood in the plant's center.
Q: My lawn has some brown streaks. These streaks run parallel across the lawn. What could cause such a straight-line pattern of dead grass?
A: The most common cause is overlapping when applying fertilizer. The brown streaks develop in areas where the grass was burned when it received a double dose of fertilizer.
In a few months, the grass may regrow in the burned areas if the crown of the grass plant wasn't killed. Then you may have excessively green stripes where the brown stripes were. Adequate water to keep the soil uniformly moist will help speed the recovery of the grass. But don't overuse this precious resource.
Saturdays to Aug. 30, 10-10:45 a.m. Santa Fe Greenhouses summer tours. Expert gardeners will lead tours through a half-acre Xeriscape Demonstration Garden and Western Cottage Garden. Free. Call (505) 473-2700 or go to www. santafegreenhouses.com.
June 29, 1-4 p.m.
Albuquerque Daylily Society presents Daylilies Around the World. View these flowers and photographs and buy bare-root day lilies. This annual show and sale will be at the Albuquerque Garden Center, 10120 Lomas NE. Free. Go to www. albuquerquegardencenter. org for more info.
June 30, 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Bosque Education Guide for Teachers, Rio Grande Nature Center State Park, 2901 Candelaria NW. Curriculum includes valley geology, groundwater and demands on the river. Participants receive the curriculum and other teaching materials. Bring a lunch, hat, water and sunscreen. $3 state park fee.
The Sandoval County Extension Service Master Gardeners hot line is open Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to noon, and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Call 867-2582.
Valencia County gardeners can call the Valencia County Extension Service office at 565-3002 from 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. weekdays or leave a message.
Send questions to Garden Variety, Attn: Dr. Curtis Smith, NMSU Cooperative Extension Service, 9301 Indian School NE, Suite 112, Albuquerque, NM 87112. Phone, 275-2576; fax, 292-9815; e-mail [email protected]
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