Gardening Q and A

Pruning Okra

Q: In last year’s garden the okra did well but grew way too tall. Can it be pruned to keep it lower and still produce well? A: You sure can! As common okra varieties age, the top of the plant...

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Magnolia – Leaves Stripped by Hurricane

Q: I have a magnolia tree in Florida that was damaged by Hurricane Michael. The top of the tree is broken as well as most of the side branches. It has begun to put out a few small leaves. Will...

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Ants – Harmful to Tree?

Q: I have an Autumn Glory maple that we planted two years ago. I see ants on the trunk during the year. I have treated the ground with some ant killer but still I see these little holes that ants...

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Yaupon Holly – Severe Pruning

Q: We have twenty-year-old weeping yaupon hollies that are getting too tall. We prune 2-3 times a year but they are getting harder to prune. Can we cut them back to below window height? We’ve already had to remove two....

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Tulip Poplar Seed Identification

Q: I get a gazillion of these spinning seeds each year and wonder what tree they are from. A: I believe they are tulip poplar seed. Spinning seeds are called samaras. Many trees produce single-wing samaras. Maples form two-winged, two-bladed...

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Camellia Wilting After Transplanting

Q: I moved three camellias that were four feet tall because I read it was good to transfer them in winter. Now the leaves are wilting and the white flowers are turning brown. Should I be concerned? A: I was...

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Holes in Ground – Squirrels, Not Voles

Q: I have an evergreen clematis plant on a fence and saw three holes around the base. I think it is probably voles. What are your thoughts? A: I think these are more likely holes made by squirrels. Vole tunnels...

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Elberta Peach Blooming Early

Q: I have several Elberta peach trees that are growing like crazy but they want to bloom in January. I read that mulching them would keep the soil cold to slow blooming. A: The air temperature around trees is what...

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Flowering Tree Or Shrub That Can Take Full Afternoon Sun?

Q: Is there a dogwood or any other small/medium flowering tree or shrub that will tolerate full afternoon sun?  A: Kousa dogwood or any of its varieties grow great in full sun. It is one of my favorite trees to...

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Vegetable Plants Not Affected By Bacterial Wilt

Q: Can you give a list of vegetable plants that are not affected by bacterial wilt. I had this disease diagnosed in my tomatoes last year. A: There is only a very narrow selection! I have never heard of sweet...

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Life Span Of St. Augustine Lawns

Q: Recently I was told that St. Augustine lawns have a natural life span of less than fifteen years. My own experience refutes this. A: I agree with you! My own St. Augustine lawn has been here for twenty years....

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Killing The Root Of Bradford Pear Bushes

Q: I am trying to eliminate obnoxious volunteer Bradford pear bushes. Is there a way to kill the roots without waiting for regrowth and using weed killer. A: You could dig the roots out, but I’m guessing that’s not what...

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The Right Fertilizer For Pansies?

Q: The University of Georgia recommends feeding pansies with a soluble 15-2-20 fertilizer in the winter but I can’t find this available for purchase. Is there something else to use? A: University fertilizer recommendations are based on detailed research, but...

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To Compost Or Not To Compost?

Q: I am new to rural living but we have recently moved to a big forested lot. The house is surrounded with typical plants for which I have no great love. I want to compost all of the plant material...

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Will Peonies Survive Bloom In A Large Pot?

Q: I have a twenty-year-old bed of peonies. I’m going to be moving in February. Any suggestions? If I can’t plant immediately in my new location, will peonies survive and bloom in a large pot?  A: If your peonies will...

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Planting Rainier Cherry Trees In Atlanta

Q: I’d like to plant several Rainier cherry trees just to see what happens. I LOVE them. A: So, I see you are a gambler! Sweet cherry trees have a tough time bearing fruit in metro Atlanta. Temperature swings in...

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No Acorns On My Oak Tree This Year

Q: Last year I had a bumper crop of acorns on my oak trees. This year I haven’t seen a single one. Was there a crop failure? My squirrels would like to know. A: That’s funny…I got a different question...

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Cutting Extending Roots Of A Pine Tree

Q: Is there a safe distance out from the base of a pine tree to cut extending roots? A: I am sure there is one but I can’t tell you how to determine it. Much depends on the height of...

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