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Jill, Kansas City, MO asks:

How much rain is needed before the foundation at her house begins to re stabilize and her doors shut properly.

The answer is "it all depends"- or aquifers. What’s an aquifer? Its fer holding your house up. Dirt, sand, bedrock and clay are all examples. Our area has vastly differing aquifers for various reasons, the primary one being glacial deposits from past ice ages ended in our areas, bringing with them all kinds of materials. Thus there is no hard and fast rule as to how much rain we will need, although 6-8" should bring some relief. Even homes with sprinkler systems have this problem because water that perks through their soil will migrate significantly based on aquifers.

Pam H., Brookside, MO asks:

I've got a question for you, since it is unusually warm this week...should we be watering the lawn? It seems pretty wet/saturated from recent rain but will likely dry out in the next few days. Or should we wait until mid-April to start watering?

You should not need to water. There has been very little evaporation so the rain we have had should be adequate. It looks like we will get some later this week as well. I would suggest getting your system activated so if we do hit a dry patch you are ready to go.

Chris Ising, Denver Colorado asks:

We are getting lots of snow tomorrow. Can I still put down winterizer?

Yes, Chris, you can. The biggest benefit you will realize from winterizer will come next spring. The roots will store nutrients and utilize them very early. You may expect early season green up and great root development.

George, Prairie Village , KS asks:

My crabapple looks terrible this year! What is the problem?

Crabs in our area have been losing there leaves because of Cedar Apple Rust and Apple scab. These diseases really take off in cool, wet weather, which is exactly what we have had this year. You are not alone. Take a drive down Ward Parkway and you will not see any crabapples that have more than 50% of there canopy remaining.

Mike Pitts asks:

Kansas City has had a great year for plants- plenty of rain and low summer temperatures. Why does the grass in my yard look so bad?

The great spring and summer weather was good for a lot of plants, especially trees. Whenever conditions are as good as they were this spring, trees put on additional leaves. This is great for the trees, but greatly reduces the amount of sunlight that gets to the grass. When this happens grass does not photosynthesize and the result is a weak stand of grass in shady to semi shady areas. You will really realize how many leaves are on the trees when leaf raking season comes!

Scott Lunceford asks:

I have a really shady area underneath a maple tree. Is there anything I can plant there that will do well? Now it's only a dirt patch.

There are a few choices in this area, Scott. If you want grass I would recommend a shade fescue blend. Even if you get a decent stand of grass you will still need to verticut and overseed once a year as it will still gradually thin out. If you are willing to try a different groundcover I suggest hostas or ajuga. Hostas will grow nicely, however they need lots of water in the summer and slugs can really do a number on them. Ajuga is an aggressive spreader that puts off a nice flower in the late spring.

Amy Glynn asks:

I planted petunias in pots on my deck this spring. Now the foliage looks good but there are no blooms. What do you think is wrong?

Amy you may have tobacco bud worms. These are caterpillars that feast on the buds of your flowers. They are most active around dusk. I suggest checking for the small caterpillars at this time and simply hand picking them. If that does not work try applying Bayer Rose and Flower spray at dusk, reapplying every two weeks. Soon you should be enjoying nice flowers again.

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