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Garden Q&A: Don’t let this perennial grass get a foothold in your lawn

What’s going on here? It’s like my lawn has chicken pox. Small patches turn light brown in winter, like zoysia grass does, and really look spotty against the normal green grass. But it’s not dead, because it turns green in the spring and blends in. More and more of my lawn is doing this.

This is nimblewill, a perennial grass. It spreads by seeds and stolons, greens up late in spring and goes dormant early in fall. Its color is lighter green than tall fescue, sometimes with a slightly blue cast. As more seed sprouts, winter lawns become flecked green and brown. Patches grow together. Nimblewill gets a foothold in thin, underfertilized lawns. Renovate or overseed your lawn. (Fall is the prime time.) Get on a regular fertilizer schedule. Nimblewill can be pulled or hand-dug, but all the root must be removed. There are limited chemical options. Search “nimblewill” and “lawns” on the HGIC website.

We’ve had bland tomatoes for two years. We realized that the produce stand where we bought our transplants in the spring sells bland tomatoes in the summer. Does tomato flavor depend more on the seed from which the plants are grown or the growing conditions?

The variety of tomato, the growing conditions and even one’s taste buds can affect the perception of flavor. In tomatoes, acidity levels actually fall into a narrow range; however, there is variation. We encourage you to keep trying different varieties of transplants or seeds to find ones that suit your personal taste preferences. Study the helpful flavor descriptions in seed catalogs. And be sure to grow using good management practices by searching “tomatoes” on the HGIC website.

University of Maryland Extension’s Home and Garden Information Center offers free gardening and pest information at extension.umd.edu/hgic. Click “Ask Maryland’s Gardening Experts” to send questions and photos.

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About Mary Ellen Bellusci

Mary Ellen Bellusci is a longtime resident of Baltimore, Maryland... A foodie, traveler, writer, and pursuer of happiness.