Food Gardening

Preserves – Finding Recipes

Q: You mentioned on radio that your mother made pear preserves. Could I get the recipe? My mother died when I was very young, and she made the best pear preserves. A: I well remember my mother’s steamy kitchen filled...

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Potatoes – Planting A Fall Crop?

Q: I’m looking at putting in a fall crop of potatoes and I can’t find white and red seed potatoes this time of year. Do you know anyone? A: I don’t think you’ll be successful planting potatoes in fall. The...

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Grapes – What Will Grow In Georgia

Q: I have a Riesling grape and was wondering what conditions are needed for growing one. A: Riesling grapes do not grow well here. Summer heat and various fungal diseases wipe out the vines before one gets a harvest. Recommended...

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Pears – Managing Height

Q: I want to keep my nine foot tall Bradford pears no larger than fifteen feet tall. Is this possible with regular pruning each spring after flowering? A: Bonsai artists prune and maintain trees that are normally a hundred feet...

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Pawpaws – Looking For Ripeness

Q: I have pawpaws for the first time, they are five inches long, much bigger around than bananas, green, and hard. How do I know when they’re ripe? A: The fruit probably won’t ripen until September but keep an eye...

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Guava – Preparing For Freezing Nights

Q: I just planted two pineapple guava trees. Do you think they will make it through our winter? A: During our current heat wave, it’s hard to remember the freezing nights that will surely test your plant in north Georgia....

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Vegetables – Small and Unproductive

Q: I love to grow vegetables but am not very successful. This year, I have prepared a raised-bed and filled it eight inches deep with Miracle-Gro Garden Soil. The plants are small and not productive. A: Despite what the label...

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Peppers – When Do They Change Color?

Q: My bell peppers are supposed to be red and yellow. I’m getting a lot of fruit but they are all green. Are they going to turn color? A: Bell peppers change color depending on how developed the seed inside...

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Squash – Sunlight Concerns

Q: I have very healthy squash plants. An older farmer said the best way to get healthy squash plants to continue to produce is to cut off some of the biggest leaves to allow the sun to get to the...

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Lemon Trees – Pollination and Fruit Bearing

Q: I have a Meyer lemon tree in a pot outdoors for the summer. When we bought it had one lemon. But it has produced flowers twice and when the lemon reaches pea size they fall off. A: I think...

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Thyme – Planting Tips

Q: I’m moving from Florida to Athens and I’m interested in putting in a thyme lawn. Do you have any tips to help it be more successful? A: I don’t see why thyme wouldn’t work if you have full sunshine....

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Rosemary – Edible Leaves?

Q: I planted a creeping rosemary last fall and it has little blue flowers on it. Are they edible? A: Joyce Cotter, president of the Chattahoochee Unit of the American Herb Society, says rosemary flowers are quite edible. She advises...

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Tomato – When To Start Planting

Q: I like to put heirloom tomato seeds directly into the ground rather than starting plants indoors. When’s the earliest I could sow the seed this year? A: Tomato seeds like 70 degree soil before they readily germinate. Checking www.georgiaweather.net...

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Vegetables – Container Gardening Tips

Q: I am planning to do some container gardening this spring due to an over-active digging puppy. What can I plant and on what schedule? A: Container gardening is much easier now that smaller varieties of vegetables are available. Pepper,...

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Fennel – Growth and Harvest

Q: What tips do you have on growing fennel? A: There are two kinds of fennel: herb fennel is known for its aromatic seeds and tender, fragrant leaves. It has a wonderful anise-like flavor. Florence fennel, commonly called finocchio, develops...

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Scuppernogs – Fertilization and Care

Q: Can you advise me as to a good fertilization schedule for scuppernongs? A: For established vines apply three to five pounds of 10-10-10 per plant in March of each year. Apply one-half pound of ammonium nitrate in June. Grapes...

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Berries – Management and Growing

Q: I recently started purchasing food from our local farmer’s market. Now I’m inspired to start my own garden. What kind of blackberries and raspberries would you recommend for southeast Georgia? A: ‘Kiowa’ and ‘Gem’ are good blackberries. ‘Caroline’ and...

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Bees – Mason Bees For Vegetable Garden Use

Q: Do you know a source for mason bees in Georgia? I have a friend on the West Coast who swears by them for increased crops. A: Mason bees are a terrific substitute for honeybees when you have a fruit...

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