Packages of summer bulbs just waiting to be planted. Lindsay Chung photo

Gardening FAQs with Richbar Golf and Gardens – Part 2

Tips on how to get rid of moss and ants and how deep to plant your summer bulbs

This is the second half of a roundup of the most common questions asked each spring at Richbar Golf and Gardens.

How do I get rid of moss in my lawn?

Moss grows in areas with poor soil aeration, poor drainage, low fertility, high acidity, or heavy shade. It is a common problem of neglected turf but cannot compete with a vigorous, healthy lawn. Chemical treatment using moss killers provides only temporary control, and growing conditions must be improved to prevent the re-establishment of moss.

The following steps can be taken to improve growing conditions. Aerating your lawn will reduce compaction and improve drainage. A good slow-release turf fertilizer high in nitrogen will increase fertility. Lime may be applied to reduce acidity; however, soils in the Interior of British Columbia tend to be alkaline, and lime should only be applied after a soil pH test has been taken.

If shade is a problem, use a grass seed that is shade-tolerant, such as Fescue.

How do I get rid of ants in my trees?

If you look a little closer at your trees, you will probably find that you have aphids as well. Ants farm aphids by packing their eggs up into the trees and other plants so that they can later eat the sugary honeydew they secrete. A band of Tanglefoot at the bottom of your tree will help prevent ants and other crawling insects from climbing your tree in the spring.

How deep should summer bulbs be planted?

Summer bulbs include Canna and Calla lily, Gladiola and Dahlia.

These bulbs should be planted once the chance of frost has passed. If they are planted earlier, they must be protected from frost.

Each has their own planting depth, but all summer bulbs need to be lifted in the fall, placed in dry peat moss and stored in a cool basement. Calla lilies should be planted 10-15 centimetres (four to six inches) deep in full to partial sun. The Canna lily should be planted 12 centimetres (five inches) deep in rich loose soil, in full sun. Gladiola and Dahlias should be planted 10-15 centimetres (four to six inches) deep in rich, well-drained soil, in full sun.

— Submitted by Jean Atkinson of Richbar Golf and Gardens

READ MORE: Gardening FAQs with Richbar Golf and Gardens

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