Gardening Q and A

Peonies-Thrips

Q: My peony plants flower for about a week before something causes the flower buds to not open any more. They are showing some browning around the edges. A: It sounds like a thrips problem. Thrips are tiny insects that...

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pH-Pine Materials

Q: I have access to pine shavings with no manure. I want to use it in my rose garden for weed control but I am worried it will change the soil pH. A: Contrary to popular belief, pine chips, pine...

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Aerating Zoysia Grass

Q: When should I aerate my zoysia grass every year? A: You should aerate when the soil is so hard that air can’t get to roots and the roots can’t expand. How to test? A few days after a rain...

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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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Garden Books Donation

Q: I am looking for a place to donate a bunch of gardening books. Is a library my only option? A: If you think some of your books might be valuable, submit a list of titles and authors to the...

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Transport Cuttings

Q: I’d like to take a few camellia cuttings from the West Coast back home with me and root them. What is your advice for their safe transport by plane? A: Take several ten-inch cuttings from the plant. Strip off...

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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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Magnolia-No Blooms

Q: We have a beautiful thirty-foot tall magnolia tree with beautiful, shiny leaves. The problem is it has never bloomed for the two years that we’ve lived here. A: It’s not unusual for a magnolia to be slow to bloom,...

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Dead Tree Trunks-Soil Amendment

Q: There are dead tree trunks a distance away from our house. They are almost mulch; if you drop one and they fall apart. Is this broken down enough to mix with clay using a tiller? A: I think the...

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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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Bermuda Grass-When to Cut

Q: Our bermuda grass was planted last October. How tall should we let it grow before we cut it? How do you determine height when adjusting the mower? A: You can cut it two inches high when it reaches three...

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Magnolia Leaves Falling

Q: When do magnolia trees normally drop their leaves? Our trees are dropping them fast after turning yellow. A: It is completely normal for magnolia trees to lose lots of yellow leaves at this time of year. They are shedding...

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Pruning Camellias

Q: I have a camellia that needs pruning but I need to know when. It blooms in the fall, then immediately stops. In the spring it puts out profuse growth. A: The best time to prune your sasanqua camellia is...

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Pecan Trees-Zinc Deficiency

Q: I have a twenty-foot-tall ‘Candy’ pecan. There’s a large ‘Stuart’ nearby. Last year the branch tips died back and there were no pecans. They all turned black when small. Does this sound like scab or maybe a zinc deficiency?...

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Flooded Flower Garden

Q: My flower garden was flooded and four inches of sand was deposited over it. It is too much to shovel off. When it dries out should I get someone to blow off the sand or try to dig it...

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Blueberry Types-Northern/Southern

Q: The UGA website lists ‘Legacy’ blueberry as a Northern highbush type. Your website says it’s a Southern highbush. Since I live in south Georgia I need to know what type will grow best here. A: I’ll have to break...

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Tomatoes-Container Growing

Q: What are the best tomatoes for growing in a container? A: Make sure it says “determinate” or “bush type” on the label. Determinate tomatoes grow to a smaller size, although they stop producing in midsummer. Otherwise you’ll have a...

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Holly – Yellow All Over

Q: My hollies have been in the same spot of twenty years and all of a sudden two of them are turning yellow. What should I look for? A: When plants are unhealthy top to bottom and growing beside a...

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