Garden Q & A by Kurt M. Jones, Chaffee County Extension Director
Q. My daylilies are two years old and have never flowered. What is the problem?
A. Since your daylilies they are relatively young, it is unlikely they need to be divided. Usually, after five or six years, daylilies do become large enough to be divided.
A couple of more likely reasons are they are not getting enough sun or water in their current location. Daylilies will tolerate partial shade, but prefer full sun to provide a profusion of blossoms. And while they can tolerate poor soils, they are happier in well-drained soils that have been amended with organic matter.
Early next spring, apply a complete fertilizer once, such as 10-10-10. Daylilies like to be watered at least once a week to a depth of eight to ten inches and need even more water during periods of minimal rain. Mulching can be very helpful in maintaining moisture, and is necessary to help newly fall-transplanted daylilies survive their first winter.
Q. Where can I get information on how to adjust my sprinkler system?
A. All major sprinkler system manufacturers have websites that contain instruction manuals for homeowners. Look at the sprinkler head you want to adjust, find the manufacturers name and model number and then you will be able to go to their website and find instructions and guidance.
Simple adjustments to one or two heads of your sprinkler system can be fairly straightforward. However you may want to consult a professional for major or more extensive adjustments, since there may be design factors to consider. Additional information is available from the CSU Extension in Factsheet 7.239, which can be found by visiting www.ext.colostate.edu
Q. I have a shrub I want to get rid of under a tree. What is the best way to do this without damaging the tree?
A. First, you may want to try to kill as much of the shrub as possible in advance with glyphosate, such as Round Up. When applying, be careful not to allow any of the chemical to spray or "drift" onto nearby plants (including the tree), and be sure to follow the directions on the container.
After waiting the time specified on the container to see results, carefully dig around the shrub using a sharp spade or pick, identifying shrub roots to remove. As much as possible, it is important not to disturb or damage the tree roots, in order to preserve the tree. Most tree roots are located in the top 6-24 inches of soil, in an area two to four times the diameter of the tree crown.
When you have removed as many roots as possible, you may also want to consider applying one of a variety of products on the market that speeds up the decomposition of any remaining stump or roots. If any remaining roots send out sucker shoots, these can be killed with another careful application of glyphosate.
Q. Is there any way to get rid of aspen seedlings/suckers in the lawn?
A. There's not much you can do, as suckering to produce new shoots is in aspen's nature. You could try digging up aspen sucker shoots in spring, before the leaves appear, for planting elsewhere. However, more suckering will occur later. You could cut them back or mow them down, but the "stubs" will continue to try to produce leaves and grow, and new suckers will develop. A product called "SuckerStopper" may be useful; follow label directions carefully. A systemic herbicide like glyphosate (Roundup) applied to sucker leaves may result in damage to the "mother" aspen.