Food Gardening

Bumblebees-Honey?

Q: Do bumblebees make honey? They are all over my lavender and I’m sure that would make good honey. A: Bumblebees don’t make honey because they don’t have perennial nests. Like yellowjackets and hornets, all the bumblebee workers die in...

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Mulch for Fruit Trees

Q: I have several fruit trees. What would be the best mulch around the base of the trees? A: Any mulch (bark chips, woodchips, pine straw etc) will be fine. The main thing is to pull it away from the...

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Climbing Watermelon Vines

Q: I have limited space in my garden and plants with long vines like cantaloupe, watermelon and cucumbers take up too much room. Will they do okay climbing or is it best for them to spread across the ground? A:...

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Limes-Different Types

Q: Limes have always been a favorite fruit. When I was growing up, the limes I ate had seeds. They also were not smooth like the limes today. Did the lime of my childhood become extinct? I would love to...

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Weeping Mulberry – Pruning

Q: On one of my weeping mulberries I have thinned out some dead bark and on a second I have not. They are both about 8 feet tall. How should I prune these? There is a lot a dead, “knotty...

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Asian Ambrosia Beetle – On Fig

Q: Earlier this spring I thought my fig tree was budding out. Now it looks dead and has those white things on it. Any idea what is the problem? A: You have an Asian ambrosia beetle infestation. Cut the limb and...

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Cabbage Aphids – Control

Q: I picked cabbage from my garden this morning and the substance is on the underside of the outside leaves. Is it safe to eat? A: I think they’re cabbage aphids. Our winter cold wasn’t enough to kill them this...

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Apple – Saving an Old One

Q: I bought an old farm that has two apple trees left on it from an old orchard. I’m trying to prune both back to health, but discovered a rotting wound at the base of one of them. I dug...

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Effects of Cold on Fruit Trees

Q: My back yard peach trees have already blossomed. They are 4 years old and 6 feet tall. How should I protect them from the upcoming freeze? A: Not much can be done. Your trees are too big to cover....

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Pear – Grafting

Q: I want to save a pear tree belonging to my grandparents on a small farm. I know for sure that it is at least 100 years old. The tree has not received any attention in years, yet it hangs...

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Drip Irrigation for Vegetable Garden

Q: I have a vegetable garden consisting of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. The soil is mostly clay. I use a drip irrigation system and was wondering what rate of water you would recommend? A: This is hard to answer because...

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Killing Yucca Plants

Q: I have a few yucca plants in my yard I want to get rid of. I need your expertise on how to kill them. A: My expertise is that it’s really hard to kill a yucca! I got rid...

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Crapemyrtle – Fragrant

Q: You claim crapemyrtles are not fragrant. I have to disagree! I planted several in my garden and I was surprised when I discovered the crapemyrtles were the most heavenly fragrant plant I have! A: I wish you were right...

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Figs-Are They Ripe?

Q: I’m not sure how to determine when figs are ripe. What’s a rule of thumb? A: Brown figs, like ‘Celeste’ and ‘Brown Turkey’ are ripe when the fruit turns from yellow to brown. The skin will have little cracks...

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Garlic Chives – Killing

Q: Many years ago in a momentary lapse of reason I planted garlic chives in my herb garden. Now I am finding garlic chives popping up all over my new landscape and they are no longer welcome. What can I...

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Growing Ginger

Q: Will ginger grow in Decatur? A: Ginger lily (butterfly ginger), Hedychium coronarium, is a beautiful, fragrant perennial that graces many Southern gardens. It’s usually winter-hardy if covered lightly with mulch. This plant is not the same as edible ginger,...

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Corn-Crow Problem

Q: My wife and I spend the winter in Georgia but live in Virginia for the summer, where I plant a large garden. Last year I planted 1700 corn kernels but only 17 came up. I dug into several hills...

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Pollinating Apple Trees

Q: I have two five-year-old apple trees, Granny Smith and Fuji, from a big box store. I have only seen one apple on these two trees in all this time. They do produce flowers in the spring so each year...

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