Gardening Q and A

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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Camellia – Multi-colored

Q: I have a multi-colored camellia in my back yard. You wrote that you cannot purchase one like it. I definitely did no grafting. As you can see, a lot of the petals have fallen to the ground but there...

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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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Mistletoe – No Control With Herbicide

Q: Now that my oak tree is dormant, can I spray 2,4-D on the mistletoe while being careful not to wet other plants under the tree? The mistletoe is high up on the tree but I may be able to...

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Pull-Behind Aerator – Evaluation

Q: I’m considering buying one of these pull-behind aerators. Do they work well? A: Well, let me pull out a calculator and check. The goal of aerification is to have approximately 10 holes per sq. ft. This machine looks like...

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Zoysia – Weeds After Dog Arrives

Q: I’ve always had problems with winter weeds in my zoysia. Last year we got an active dog that runs around a lot. This is what my lawn looks like now. I do not like using chemicals much. A: The...

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Why Do We Use Poisons?

Q: Why do we have to use so many poisons on our lawns, gardens, and landscapes? Why not use organic things to kill pests? A: As with most things in life, I think it comes down to personal choice and...

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Meat – Composting

Q: Why can’t I put meat in my compost pile? A: You can…but it’s not really practical. Rats, possums, and raccoons will be attracted to the pile and they will make a mess. Smell is also an issue. On the...

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Homemade Mosquito Repellent – Useless

Q: Why don’t you tell folks about the mosquito-repelling recipe using beer, mouthwash and Epsom salts? A: I don’t recommend the recipe because it doesn’t work. Mosquito repellents work by blocking the insect’s “smell” sensors. The materials you list are...

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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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Deer – Ultrasonic Repellers Useless

Q: Is there a product that repels deer with ultrasonic sound? A: Ultrasonic repellers are ineffective at detering deer, rats, squirrels and mosquitoes. The University of Vermont says: “Deer quickly become used to stationary objects and sounds. If ultrasonic or...

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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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Sunflowers-When They Bloom

Q: We are planning an outside wedding for this October. The bride wants sunflowers, and we need to know what type of sunflowers to plant that will bloom during September into October. A: It’s really tough to predict the planned...

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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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Wheat Plants on Lawn

Q: I recently had a landscape company seed my yard with centipede grass. They scattered wheat straw over it. Now I have a yard of wheat plants rather than centipede grass. A: It’s time to mow the wheat low to...

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Azaleas-Blooming Times

Q: I have an azalea bed with at least four different varieties of azaleas. For the past two years, the azaleas all bloomed at different times. Is there any way I can get them to bloom at the same time?...

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