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Garden Q&A: It's not too late to fertilize your lawn this fall

I haven't fertilized for a few years, and my grass is getting pretty skimpy and weedy. I think I may be seeing erosion. Is it too late to fertilize this fall?

It's very possible you are seeing erosion, especially if you have a slope, because tall fescue turf starts deteriorating in a year or two without fall fertilization. Many of the weeds that move in die off in winter or do not produce the thick root system a healthy turf provides. This invites erosion. You can fertilize until Nov. 15. The Home and Garden Information Center has fertilizer guidelines here.

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My boxwoods are covered with webs in the morning. We haven't have rain for weeks, and I am concerned that these spiders will harm my shrubs. All I have on hand is a fungicide, but it doesn't list boxwoods.

Spider webs become very noticeable when morning dew highlights them and when they build up because heavy rain has not washed them away for a long time. Spiders are beneficial to your boxwoods, however, because they feed on problem insects. Don't spray any pesticide on them. If you dislike all the webs, you can brush them off gently with a broom. Also, you should water your boxwoods deeply if you do not get good soaking rains before the ground freezes.

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University of Maryland Extension's Home and Garden Information Center offers free gardening and pest information. Call 800-342-2507 or send a question to its website at extension.umd.edu/hgic.

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