Lawns & Grass

Jacaranda Roots Under Artificial Turf

Gardening Question From Sue: Is there any way to lift the turf and prune the offending roots. The turf has been there for quite a few years and the true is doing fine. It is in a large raised planter surrounded by concrete, yet the roots are galloping under the grass. What do you suggest […]


Gardening Question From Gambriella: Long time fan. I have all your books and I can’t find any info on your month by month book or on your website as to how to care for lemongrass in Southern California (Orange County) on the coast side (Zone 24). Do I cut it down completely in the fall […]

Adding Gravel To Lawn

Gardening Question From Jeff: Hi, I’ve read your article stating that adding sand to clay is a bad idea.  Recently, I came across advice about adding gravel to clay to improve the drainage, as described below, do you have thoughts on that?   Answer From Pat: I live in a Mediterranean climate. Topping a lawn […]

Best Time To Water Lawns

Gardening Question From Debbie: I live in So California, inland valley in Temecula, and with the extreme heat I need to know when the best time to water Cool Season lawns. Mainly Fescue I believe. I was watering in the mornings, however, someone told me I should only water in evenings. When and for how […]

Artificial Grass

Gardening Question From Tom: Is there any city of Pasadena prohibition to replacing lawns with artificial grass? Answer From Pat: From what I have read in newspapers, the City of Glendale has banned artificial turf in front yards but not in back yards. This is due to fears about public health due to run-off of […]

Planting Sweetgrass

Question from Chana: Hi: Organic gardens here, Wanting planting sweetgrass.  Choices…few…best found…sweetgrass plugs…they raise in greenhouse and use “basic fertilizer” non organic…would this affect gardens, if plant sweet grass plugs from here? Thank you for your help. Answer from Pat: No, the fact that some greenhouse-grown plants were fed with a non-organic liquid fertilizer will […]

Aurea Koi Bamboo & Ants

Question from Brigitte: Got a Koi Bamboo,  the ants are farming the aphids  (black) and living in the soil.  How can I get rid of the ants without killing them, and try and take care of the pest?  Live in a mostly wooden apartment building that has termites, and believe the ants are using their […]

Killing Lawn to Replace with Trees and Mulch

Question from Trinidad: I need to kill approsimately 2,000 square feet of old lawn and weeds. Since it is a large area, is my only choice to use Round Up? Please send your suggestions. After lawn is gone, the area will be designed with trees and planters. Property is located in Escondido. Thank you so […]

Lawn Tree for Interior Zone

Question from Len: Where can I buy a white birch tree? The local nursery trees look unhealthy. Which white birch is best in my area in north Los Angeles county? Answer from Pat: The reason the white birch trees in nurseries near you look so bad is because North Los Angeles County is too hot […]

A Lawn with Weeds and Mowing Lawns Without a Catcher

Question from Linda: I live twenty yards from a golf course fairway. They mow it without catchers. For years now I have tried to grow grass in my front yard only to be infiltrated with weeds. I have heard it is the golf courses mowing and blowing of stuff that makes my yard such a […]