Gardening Q and A

Plants With the Name “Walter”

Q: I’m looking for a plant with the name “Walter” to plant in my garden to honor my great-grandfather. Any suggestions? A: I have an evergreen Walter viburnum, Viburnum obovatum, and a Walter dogwood, Cornus walteri, in my landscape. The...

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Silver Maple Tree – Can We Cut Roots To Ground Level

Q: We have a silver maple tree with roots two inches above ground. Would it hurt the tree to cut them to ground level using a draw knife and then cover with soil and grass? A: Slicing into the roots...

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Will Waterfall Japanese Maple Do Well In Zone 7b?

Q: Will Waterfall Japanese maple do well in Zone 7b? A: It should grow perfectly fine, although 7b is the warmer edge of this tree’s range. I would plant it in a spot that gets sunshine until early afternoon and...

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Japanese Maple – How Big Should Planter Be

Q: I bought a Japanese maple and I’d like to put it in a planter since I might sell my home in a few years. How big should it be? A: I think a planter comparable to the size of...

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Topped My Cryptomeria – Will It Get Its Shape Back

Q: My tree company misunderstood my instructions and topped my cryptomeria. Now it looks silly. Will it eventually get its shape back? A: Can you somehow reach the top of the tree? If there is a clean cut above a...

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Rose Rosette Disease – Will It Spread To Other Plants

Q: I was dismayed to discover this morning that three of my rose buses have Rose Rosette disease. The symptoms couldn’t be any clearer – the rose bushes have the telltale excessive thorns, the witch’s broom leaves, & the buds...

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Sorghum And Sweet Corn – Can I Plant Them Together?

Q: Could I plant sorghum in the same area as sweet corn without ruining the corn? A: Though the plants are somewhat similar in appearance, there is no problem planting them together. On the other hand, there could be a...

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Zoysia – When To Cut It

Q: My zoysia sod was put down around the first of March. It has mostly greened up and growing. Do I need to cut it now or wait? A: If the grass is more than two inches high then set...

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Continuous-Feed Fertilizer – Should I Plan A Fall Feeding

Q: The label on my continuous-feed fertilizer says to feed herbs every three months. I’ve done so once and plan to repeat in July. Should I plan on a fall feeding or not? A: You have good gardening instincts! Despite...

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Where Are The June Bugs?

Q: I’m wondering where the June bugs went? We always had so many but over the last ten years they’ve disappeared. I don’t miss them, just curious about what happened to them. A: I have come to wonder the same...

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Peonies – Why Are They Not Doing Well This Year?

Q: Some of us have been comparing notes online and it seems that our peonies are not doing well this year. The plants are not very vigorous and have not produced many blooms. Some think it is because of the...

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Night Blooming Cereus – What To Do With Rootlets

Q: Last year I was given a night blooming cereus. I have to bring it inside for the winter. This year it is sending out long, hairy shoots that I believe are rootlets looking for places to anchor. Since I...

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Lawn Company Sprayed Barricade Pre-Emergent On New Lawn

Q: A lawn maintenance company sprayed Barricade pre-emergent on my new lawn. The grass sod was laid in February. Can I can do anything to minimize the negative impact it will have on my lawn? A: I don’t know exactly...

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Get Rid Of Ants In Your Pots

Q: I have ants in the pots I want to plant tomatoes in. Do have to totally replace the soil? Is there a natural deterrent? A: An easy way to eliminate ants is to dump the soil into a black...

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Gold Medal Plant Program Has Ended

Q: What are the Gold Medal Plant winners for 2017? A: The director of horticulture at the State Botanical Gardens says the competitive market for new plants, along with a lack of funds to promote the program, has ended the...

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How Do I Kill Wisteria?

Q: How do I kill wisteria? A: Killing the main vine is not hard: simply sever it completely and everything beyond that point will die. The problem comes with killing all the little sprouts that will come up from the...

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Moss Pathway – Will Vinegar Kill The Weeds?

Q: Can I use vinegar to kill the weeds in my moss pathway? A: I think the vinegar would be likely to kill both the weeds and the moss. I have had good success lightly misting weeds with glyphosate (Roundup,...

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Straw Bale Garden – Will Plants Survive?

Q: I started a straw bale garden by soaking it with water every day for 14 days and fertilizing with 10-10-10 every other day. When I went to plant it was only 80 degrees inside the bales but I dug...

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