Ask Bogie

Bogie

Bogie is a loud, cranky, old parrot who has seen his fair share of plant problems in his 35 years in the nursery business.
We’ve trained him well enough to repeat correct answers, but we can’t guarantee he won’t squawk at the silly questions!
Be sure to say hi to Bogie when visiting the nursery and feel free to go ahead and ask him a question, if you dare!

Q: Can you tell me how to fertilize my Queen Palms correctly?

A:
We recommend using our Treeland All-Purpose Fertilizer which contains the major nutrients all palms require as well as a few minor nutrients. However, Queen Palms often become very deficient in micronutrients so we recommend supplementing our fertilizer with a micronutrient product. These micronutrients come in a few different forms, spikes, powder, or liquid. We carry each form but we prefer using a liquid fertilizer as a supplement to our fertilizer not only because is it easier to apply, but it also contains all the crucial micronutrients in one product, saving you from buying three or four different products. You simply mix the liquid Palm Food with water and pour around each tree, no more digging holes for spikes or powder that will stain your rock. Another advantage is the palm tree immediately pulls the fertilizer in because it is a liquid. The combination of a slow release granular fertilizer and a quick release liquid fertilizer has produced great results for many homeowners.

Q: How do I kill Bermuda grass in and around my plants?

A:
Bermuda grass can be very difficult to control and kill. We carry both a liquid and a granular herbicide that can be used in and around most plants in your yard without damaging existing plants. You will want to be sure and use these products during warm months while the Bermuda is actively growing.

Q: How do I kill weeds in my lawn?

A:
We carry a few different types of lawn weed killers depending on the types of weeds that you may have. We ask that you bring in a sample of the weeds you have in your yard so we can better recommend the right product for you.

Q: How much mulch should I use when transplanting?

A:
We recommend mixing one third mulch with two thirds of your native soil when transplanting most plants. If the plant prefers a more acidic soil we recommend mixing 15% peat moss, 15% mulch, and 70% native soil.

Q: How often should I fertilize my vegetable garden?

A:
We recommend fertilizing every four to six weeks with a water soluble fertilizer that is well balanced for example a 20-20-20 would work well. Also use gypsum periodically when fertilizing. The high calcium content in gypsum aids plant growth for your vegetables and helps prevent common diseases on your produce.

Q: How often should I water my vegetable garden?

A:
After the garden has been planted for two to three weeks, you will want to water every two to three days during the summer and every four to five days during the fall and spring and every five to seven days in the winter. Vegetables will typically show a daytime wilt during the summer which causes many people to overwater because they think the plant is in need of water. The best way to gauge if the plants need water is by checking them in the morning. If the plants are still showing signs of wilt then you know they need a drink.

Q: Is it best to leave the existing stake on the tree after planting or remove it and double stake it?

A:
On most trees we recommend removing the nursery stake and double staking the tree. The reason for this is it allows the tree to have more leniency or sway on its�۪ own, which in turn develops a larger trunk faster.

Q: Is it necessary to paint or wrap the trunk of my citrus tree?

A:
It is vital to the health of the tree to protect the trunk with paint or a wrap. The purpose of the wrap or paint is to protect the trunk from sunscald or sun burning. You will want to be sure the trunk is protected at least until the canopy of the tree is shading its�۪ own trunk, only then should the wrap be removed. You will want to periodically remove and replace the wrap to be sure it is not girdling the tree or repaint as the trunk grows year to year. We also advise wrapping most varieties of Ash trees while the trees are younger.

Q: Should I break up the root ball before I transplant?

A:
No, we do not recommend disrupting the root ball when transplanting any tree or plant. Doing so increases the chance of the plant failing to grow. We recommend leaving the root ball intact. The only exception would be a plant or tree with circling or matted roots in which case you can shave the roots off the edge of the root ball.

Q: Should I let the sucker growth grow at the base of my citrus tree?

A:
Any growth you notice growing at or below the graft should be removed. The graft is usually located at ground level or up to a foot up the trunk. Citrus are grafted onto a completely different rootstock than the fruit of the tree.

Q: What causes citrus to have deformed new growth?

A:
Thrip is an insect that damages new growth on trees and shrubs. Citrus are affected quite regularly and can vary from year to year. The deformed growth is the result of thrip feeding on the new growth before it appears. The scaring is the end result and causes more aesthetic damage to the tree. Systemic controls can prevent thrip damage but DO NOT use any systemic insecticide on any fruit bearing citrus as it poisons the tree. One option homeowners have for preventative treatment is a product called Spinosad. This is naturally occurring bacteria that is harmful to most pests but not to humans or pets.

Q: What is the best way to remove the plant container when ready to transplant?

A:
The first step is to cut the bottom circular piece off of the container with a sharp utility knife. Examine the bottom of the root ball for any circular or matted roots and cut them if needed. Before placing the plant into the hole you will want to check the depth of the hole and be sure it is no deeper than the root ball. Once you have determined your depth is right, you will pick up the root ball with the side of the container still on and lower it into the hole. Be sure to not let the root ball fall through the bottom of the container when handling. Straighten out and situate the tree to your liking, then use the utility knife to slice up the side of the container in the hole and remove it carefully. It is beneficial to back fill the soil as you slide the container out to ensure the root ball stays together. Once you have backfilled completely, it is best to build a well or basin around the tree for watering purposes. These instructions should be followed especially when planting Citrus and Bougainvillea.

Q: When is the best time of year to prune my trees?

A:
The best time to prune deciduous trees is during the dead of winter while the trees are dormant. Spring and fall would be the best time to prune most other trees. During the summer try to avoid any major pruning. Only trim when absolutely necessary during the summer.

Q: When should I fertilize my established plants and what should I use?

A:
There are three times a year we recommend to fertilize, spring, early summer, and fall. The three holidays that make it easier for you to remember are Valentine�۪s Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day. If you fertilize around these dates you will get the best results. For most plants in your landscape we recommend our Treeland All-Purpose Fertilizer which is formulated for Arizona soils. Some plants do require supplements to our product, such as Queen Palms, Hibiscus, and Bottlebrush.