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Mid-Atlantic Gardening: Gardening Tips

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How to deal with grubs, Japanese beetles and other pests. Plus tips on weeding and harvesting.

tiny grub bug

Don't Get Bugged

  • Grubs: Treat lawns for grubs in early summer using a season-long grub killer. For an organic alternative, spray beneficial nematodes.
  • Japanese beetles: Repel mild attacks of this menace with neem oil. For large populations, grab a traditional insecticide. Beetle traps lure nearby beetles to your yard. Don't hang them unless everyone else in the neighborhood does, too.
  • Woolly adelgid: Spray dormant oil on hemlock trees infested with woolly adelgid in late winter or early spring to kill egg-laying females. Spraying works best on trees less than 30 feet tall. Nitrogen fertilizers enhance infestation; avoid using them near infested trees.

Water and Weed

Weed after rains when soil is soft, making it easier to remove roots. Zap weeds in gravel paths and driveways with a glyphosate application or flame torch. Keep on top of weeds by spending 20 minutes a day weeding. If you don't let them go to seed or set roots, you'll have a lot less to contend with as the season progresses.

Harvest Savings

Sow self-seeding annuals. When you let these penny-pinching plants set seeds, they'll sow themselves, year after year. Good choices include cleome, sweet alyssum, bachelor's buttons, cosmos, nicotiana, portulaca, and larkspur.


See more Mid-Atlantic gardening articles.