Gardening Q and A

Squirrel – Chewing on Deck

Q: We installed a new cedar deck about a year ago and sealed it with an oil-based sealant two weeks ago. This week I noticed what looks like scratches and droppings in an area near the patio door. The deck...

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Oak – Wooly Leaf Gall

Q: I found this leaf with the fuzzy elongated growth stuck to it in my yard. Can you tell me what the growth is? A: It’s a wooly oak leaf gall. It’s caused by an insect that lays eggs on...

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PeeGee Hydrangea – Pruning

Q: I’m having trouble with my hydrangea trees. The branches sag too much. This past spring I pruned them down to practically nothing.They continue to grow massive flowers, causing branches to sag and break. Any ideas how to maintain a...

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Locust Tree – Root Sprouts

Q: My neighbor had several locust trees cut down last year. This year there have been a huge number of sprouts coming up from the roots. I’ve used Brush-B-Gon a couple of times but new sprouts come up weeks later....

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Tenacity and Poa Constrictor – Use on Annual Bluegrass (Poa annua)

Q: What do you think about Tenacity or Poa Constrictor to remove annual bluegrass from my lawn? A: Both products are used by professionals and both are available to homeowners, though they are expensive. That said, you have to be...

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Tree Limb – Sudden Breaking

Q: I have a beautiful 65-75 feet tall tree in my yard. Over the last year, it has dropped 3 significant-sized branches. Big enough that I have to get the chainsaw out to be able to move them. These branches...

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Bird – Avian Pox

Q: What disease does this bird have? I found him in a large container of water. A: Local birding guide Georgann Schmalz (birdingadventuresinc.com) says it’s a juvenile American robin and probably has avian pox. Mockingbirds, thrashers, crows and robins are...

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Deer – Droppings from Rich Diet

Q: I’m trying to find out who left this gift in my yard in Sandy Springs. Could it be a bear? Any ideas? A: UGA wildlife expert Mike Mengak wildlife expert says since this is on dry pine needles with...

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Iguana – Droppings in Pool

Q: For the past six months poop like this has been in our South Florida pool. It’s very skinny, probably 1/4″ wide. Everyone said it was raccoon but it just doesn’t look like any raccoon feces pictures I have seen....

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Crapemyrtle – Lots of Sprouts at Base

Q: How can I prevent the massive leaf growth at the bottom of my crepe myrtles? A: Severe winter pruning is almost always the problem. When you remove the top of a crapemyrtle it automatically tries to make new growth...

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Yellowjacket Nest – Structure

Q: I have dug up yellow jacket nests, after killing them, but they usually get torn up in the process. A friend sent me this picture of a nest which was under an AC unit. They didn’t see any insects...

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Potatoes – Cooking in Pine Rosin

Q: Have you heard of using pine tree rosin for cooking potatoes? Is there a local source to purchase the rosin? A: At first I thought you were joking but people do endorse this cooking method! An entrepreneurial family down...

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Schefflera – Pruning

Q: We need to trim this schefflera back. What is best? A: A schefflera can usually recover nicely from severe pruning but needs to be in bright shade, probably outdoors, in order to sprout new limbs faster. The best time...

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Golden Digger Wasp – Identification

Q: These are all over my back yard flying just above the grass. What is it? A: They are golden digger wasps. They feed on crickets, grasshoppers and katydids and are considered beneficial insects. They are not aggressive so I...

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Pond Bank – Weed Control

Q: We recently had stones placed on the bank of our detention pond to prevent erosion. Many animals and birds live there. Weeds are growing between the stones. We need an environmentally safe herbicide to kill the unwanted plants. A:...

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Watermelon and Squash – Do Not Cross-pollinate

Q: I think I have a watermelon/squash hybrid in my garden. This came up this year where I planted squash. I didn’t plant watermelons this year but had planted watermelons in the spot last year. A: It’s probably not what...

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Raised Bed – Filling With Bagged Products

Q: I’ve built my raised beds but I don’t have a lot of soil to fill them. What should I use? A: I have had good success with Big Yellow Bag,  Scotts Premium Topsoil, Kellogg Raised Bed Mix,  Nature’s Care...

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Pollen Analysis – From Honey

Q: I am interested in matching pollen granules that my honeybees collect with the plant of origin. A: The best help I can find is from a professor at Texas A&M University in Austin. Although Austin is a bit warmer...

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