Birds & Blooms

My yew shrubs are planted in landscape fabric that’s covered with small stones, but they are yellowing. How can I fix it?

- Laura Marcantoni­o WINNECONNE, WISCONSIN

Melinda: Check your soil moisture and drainage. A few years of wet weather in many parts of Wisconsin resulted in waterlogge­d soils. Excess moisture causes the yellowing, decline and death of plants. We can’t change the weather, but we can avoid overwateri­ng. Consider replacing the fabric and using an organic mulch such as wood chips, shredded bark or evergreen needles. As mulch breaks down, it adds nutrients and organic matter into the soil, feeding the plants and increasing drainage. If the soil moisture doesn’t appear to be the problem, look for signs of black vine weevils. Their larvae feed on the roots, which also results in yellowing.

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