Food Gardening

Fruit-Bearing Cherry Trees – Viability in Atlanta area

Q: I am looking for fruit-bearing cherry trees. What is your advice? A: I don’t know of anyone who has successfully grown sweet cherry fruit in the Atlanta area. Temperature swings in winter cause freeze damage to the trunk and...

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Blueberries – Cross Pollination

Q: I’m very confused about which varieties of blueberries I must plant together to achieve cross-pollination. I bought ‘O’Neal’ and ‘Chippewa’ from big box stores. Will they cross-pollinate? A: My smartphone is my best resource when I see a plant...

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Fruit Trees – Pruning

Q: I have two apple, two peach, and three cherry trees. I have never pruned any of them. I didn’t realize I had to cut them down so much. Now that they’ve grown big, what should I do? A: While...

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Bradford Pears – Winter Pruning

Q: Can Bradford pears be safely trimmed in November? These are 20-year-old trees which were trimmed three years ago. A: Pruning Bradford pear trees is a great winter job. You can see the limb structure of the tree after leaves...

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Abyssian Banana – Winterizing

Q: I have three Abyssinian banana trees in my yard. One of them is now ten feet tall alongside two smaller sprouts. I have a greenhouse that will hold the smaller two but not the tall one. How can I...

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Kiwi Fruit – Ripening

Q: I have male and female kiwi vines and there’s a lot of fruit! How long does it take for them to ripen? A. The kiwi fruit you see in a grocery reach almost full size in August but are...

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Crapemyrtle – Aphids (Black Leaves)

Q: What ails my crepe myrtles? The leaves are already falling and those left on the trees are covered with a charcoal powder that stains everything underneath. A: You have crapemyrtle aphids. These tiny insects slowly build their population during...

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Sweet Potato – Curing After Harvest

Q: For Christmas, my eighty-year-old dad wants a bushel of sweet potatoes that have been laid out in the sun to dry after being dug up, like his family in Alabama did. According to him, sweet potatoes are now kiln...

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Leaf Spot – On Turnips and Mustard

Q: I have these spots on my mustard and turnip leaves . I ‘d appreciate if you could help me get rid of what is causing them so I could get some in the freezer. A: I think it’s cercospora...

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Pecan – Shellers

Q: I have more than fifty pounds of good looking pecans I picked up under my trees. Where can I get them shelled by machine? A: There are several companies scattered across Georgia who will shell your pecans for a...

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Pecan Varieties – Identification

Q: I have several different types of pecan trees. Do you have a chart that shows the types of pecans and their names so I can easily identify my pecans? A: I don’t have a chart but what this site...

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Blackberry – White Cells (Dry Cell Syndrome)

Q: I have three blackberry plants that have been growing for three years. This year my crop has been great, but I have a problem with the ripe fruit. I have looked online, and the closest photos I find say...

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Spinosad – No Use on Collards, Kale, Mustard

Q: I called your radio show about the holes in my collard plants. You suggested I use B.t. for the caterpillars. The local nursery didn’t have B.t., but sold me a garden insecticide containing spinosad. When I read the label,...

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Avocado – Care After Sprouting

Q: I’ve been growing an avocado plant over the summer. I was advised to prune the original plant. Once I did, the stem stopped growing. The leafy branch pictured grew out of the original stalk after I pruned it. Should...

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Tomato – Cracking Fruit

Q: I have a cherry tomatoes plant that about 80% of the fruit has cracks. Anything I can do ? A: Fruit cracking is usually caused by hot dry weather followed by heavy rain or irrigation. The skin gets hard...

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Possum Grape – Identification

Q: This plant grows by our lake and has three colors of berries in September. What is it? A: It’s possum grape, Ampelopsis cordata. It’s cousin, porcelain vine, Ampelopsis brevipendiculata maximowiczii, has the same sort of fruit. Birds and other...

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Tomato – Fruitworm

Q: I have several of these on my tomato plants and have no idea what they are. They don’t look like cutworms and they only seem to be eating the leaves. Can you help? A: You have a tomato fruitworm....

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Walnut Leaves – In Compost

Q: I read recently about walnut toxicity. There is a black walnut tree twenty feet from my garden and some of the leaves are in my compost, maybe 5% – 10%. Will I be able to use it in my...

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