Trumpet Vine Stop Blooming & Reseeding Bare Spots

Question:

I have a problem with my three-year-old trumpet vine. It has never bloomed. It is planted in a ten foot by two-foot trellis box and watered frequently. On a weekly basis, I feed it an organic plant food. The plant is thriving and producing abundant, healthy leaves but no flowers. What do I need to do to get it to flower?

Answer:

  • You’re being too generous with the fertilizer and overfeeding the trumpet vine.
  • Although most organic fertilizer is low in nitrogen your frequent application rate is escalating the nitrogen level, so all your plants want to do is produce vegetation that is leaves and no flowers. 
  • So you’ll need to reduce the nitrogen level by stop feeding it for rest of the year.  Next year I’d feed it every other month, April through October.
  • I wouldn’t expect any flowers this year as the days are getting shorter and nights colder.  Depending on the variety I would look for flowers starting in June.
 

Question:

I planted a Fescue lawn from seed, and it's germinating, but it is a little spotty in certain places. Should I wait until next spring to fill in the bare spots or do it now? Also, when should I mow it for the first time?      

Answer:

  • Fescue is a clumping grass that is slow to fill in, unlike Blue and Ryegrass that repairs itself sooner by sending out rhizomes. So, it’s beneficial to reseed the bare spots instead of waiting for it to naturally occur.
  • Bare spots are common in newly seeded lawns.
    • They develop from poor seed distribution or more than likely from the seed floating from water puddling. You should decide quickly whether to reseed now or wait until next spring as the growing season is coming to an end.  This is a judgment call on your part.
    • Whenever this occurs, I’d use Scott’s EZ Seed or Pennington One Step to repair the bare spots.  Both of these products combine the seed, mulch, and fertilizer in one product, so the repair job is quick and straightforward. 
    • I’d mow the grass for the first time when it reaches a height of three inches and mow it down to two inches.
    • Before you mow, have your mower blades sharpened. The grass is very young so that it can be easily uprooted with a dull rotary mover and you want a nice clean cut. If possible, I’d use a push type mower for the first couple of cuttings.
  •  As a standard rule of thumb, you don’t want to remove more than one-third of the grass blade per mowing. A mowing height of two inches is appropriate for the late fall, winter, and early spring. When the temperatures rise over eighty degrees, raise the mowing height. Fescue is the predominate grass variety being planting today either from seed or sod. For it to look it’s best during the summer and fall, it needs to mow at three inches or higher.