What are these leafy things in my lawn this summer?

A: Good news! The small, wispy tufts in the lawn are completely natural. Lawns in Northern climates are composed mostly of Kentucky bluegrass and its cultivars, and once a year, in early June, bluegrass sends up seed heads, which are the tufts you’re seeing in your lawn.

The seed heads are Kentucky bluegrass’s natural method of filling in blank spots between grass plants, or expanding the grassy area. The seed heads will disappear on their own as the grass grows and is mowed.

The seed heads do sometimes look curious as they’re dotting the lawn. Seed heads are more prolific some years versus others, probably due to weather conditions.


Q: Some of my strawberry leaves are yellowish. Can you tell me what’s wrong? Do they need more nitrogen, or do they have some sort of disease? — Eileen H.

A: There are several possible causes for strawberry leaves that are yellow-green. Strawberries prefer moist, cool soil, which is the opposite of weather conditions this spring. High temperature stress and heat-baked soil can cause leaves to turn from a rich green to a yellow cast.

If the veins of the leaves remain green, while the area between veins is yellow, iron deficiency chlorosis is often the cause. Most garden centers stock iron compounds that can revive anemic strawberry leaves, when applied following label directions.

Low nutrition is also a possibility. Water-soluble fertilizers often produce faster results than granular types, so you might apply Miracle-Gro or similar fertilizer, following label mixing instructions. Good fertility can not only make the leaves healthier in appearance but can also increase berry size and quantity. Plentiful moisture is also necessary for a healthy berry patch.


Q: Is it too late to transplant and move a hosta plant? — Jean H.

A: The preferred time to divide or transplant a hosta is in spring, just as the hosta shoots are emerging from the ground. At that stage, you can be certain which parts of the hosta plant are alive, and it’s less stressful for the hosta versus transplanting when the leaves are expanded and large.

Although many plants like hosta have preferred transplant times, it doesn’t mean these are the only times that will work, but risk and transplant shock often increase. To minimize risk and increase likelihood of success, transplant with extra care. Prepare the new planting site ahead of time. Dig and move the hosta quickly, not allowing air to contact the roots any longer than necessary.

Move the hosta with soil around the roots, and replant as quickly as possible. Water immediately to eliminate air pockets and assure good soil-to-root contact.

If you have a gardening or lawn care question, email Don Kinzler, NDSU Extension-Cass County, at [email protected] Questions with broad appeal may be published, so please include your name, city and state for appropriate advice.