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Continued: Variegated plants may revert to show true colors

  • Article by: NANCY ROSE , Contributing Writer
  • Last update: July 13, 2004 - 11:00 PM

Hosta (many variegated cultivars)

Variegated Solomon's seal (Polygonatum odoratum 'Variegatum')

Variegated obedient plant (Physostegia virginiana 'Variegata')

'Nora Leigh' and 'Becky Towe' garden phlox (Phlox paniculata)

Frosty Morn sedum (Sedum 'Frosty Morn')

Variegated feather reed grass (Calamagrostis x acutiflora 'Overdam')

Variegated miscanthus (Miscanthus sinensis 'Variegatus')

Q Our lawn is looking spotty and we were told it's because we didn't rake the leaves off the lawn last fall. Could that be the reason?

A Yes. Raking up leaves in the fall can be quite a chore, but it is important to remove leaves from the lawn. Leaves left on the lawn over winter get wet and mat together, which can smother the grass and promote development of turf diseases.

If you have a thick layer of fallen leaves in the autumn, do rake them up. Composted leaves make great mulch for perennial and shrub beds, so shred and compost the leaves if you can.

If you have only a scattering of leaves left on the lawn in late fall, you can probably chop them up finely enough by running your lawn mower over them. Small leaf bits will readily break down, adding nutrients to the lawn.

If you plan to reseed thin areas of your lawn, wait until late August to mid-September. Grass seed planted then should grow readily and be well-established before the ground freezes.

Nancy Rose is a horticulturist, writer and photographer. To ask her a gardening question, call 612-673-9073 and leave a message. She will answer questions in this column only.

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