Gardening Q and A

Honey Mushroom – Rhizomorphs Under Tree Bark

Q: A few weeks ago we found a vine-like growth under the bark of my old poplar tree, rest its soul. Did you have any thoughts about this? A: They’re the rhizomorphs (spreading roots) of a fungus named Armillaria mellea....

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Red-shouldered Bug – Identified

Q: We have hundreds of insects in our yard and we don’t know what they are. I went to a big box store and stumped their gardening experts with it as well. They congregate in large groups. As far as...

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Cold Weather Covering – When to Remove

Q: I covered my hydrangeas and fig bush to protect them from the cold in February. Is this overkill? When should I take off the plastic? A: I think “overkill” is correct. The only time these plants need to be...

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Shallow Pond – Mosquito Control

Q: I have a shallow pond (100′ x 100′) that occasionally goes dry in summer. I get lots of mosquitoes from it when it dries and leaves small puddles. Is there a way to control mosquitoes in this situation? A:...

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Squirrel Tracks – In the Snow

Q: I found these tracks about 9:00 one morning after it snowed. Any ideas what animal? A: I’m going to say they are squirrel tracks because the front and back feet are just about parallel to each other. Rabbit tracks...

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Dracena – Scale Insects

Q: I think these are definitely not mealy bugs, but they’re very small dots of white on the tops and bottoms of my houseplant’s leaves, along with discolored spots on the bottoms. What are they? A: Mealybugs and scale insects...

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Digger Bees – A Colony in Sandy Soil

Q: What did this? Someone told me it’s a cicada killer but it sure doesn’t look like one to me. Do they sting? How do I get rid of them? I live in central Florida. A: You have a nice...

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Cherry – Saving a Damaged One

Q: We have a Yoshino cherry tree that has done very well for years, but last year we noticed it developing leaf spots and dropping leaves early. Now the trunk is losing bark and producing a fibrous “growth”. Is it...

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Ivy – Removing From a Wall

Q: Our house is clad with synthetic stucco. We removed some climbing vines but the stucco had stuff on it after we removed the vines. It is impossible to pull it off ! Do you have any idea how we...

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Starting Vegetable Seed – Best Timing

Q: When is the best date in north Georgia to start vegetable seeds so as to be ready to transplant into our garden? A: It all depends on which plants you want to grow. Some, like broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, and...

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African Violet – Repotting Offsets

Q: My African violet has produced another stem from the main stem and the new “baby” is blooming! Can I divide them? A: It’s not terribly unusual for a mature African violet to make a “baby” sprouting from the main...

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Monarch Butterfly – Attracting

Q: I’d like to plant milkweed to attract and feed Monarch butterflies. Where can I get seed? A: “Monarchs Across Georgia” is a project of the Environmental Education Alliance of Georgia . They have a great website that lists resources...

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Climbing Spikes (Spurs) – Damage to Tree

Q: I have some large pines in the yard that need some dead limbs taken out. Will the climbing spikes on a tree guy’s boots hurt the tree? A: The consensus among professional tree care companies is that spikes do...

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‘Yellow Delicious’ Apple – Pollination

Q: I recently purchased a Yellow Delicious apple tree. Do I need a pollinator for it? A: You’ll get reasonably good fruit set with a single tree but better pollination will occur if you have a ‘Stayman’ or ‘Rome Beauty’...

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Mole Control – Close the Tunnels

Q: We have moles digging up our yard. How do we get rid of them? A: Mole control partially depends on your own psychological makeup. If you are a Type A person who simply must see a dead mole, use...

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Pre-emergent – Application in Coastal Georgia

Q: I’ve seen your recommendation to apply a pre-emergent on March 1. Is that just for the Atlanta area? When should I apply pre-emergent herbicide on the Georgia coast? A: You’re right. Crabgrass wakes up earlier in warmer sites in...

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Hand Cream – For Gardeners’ Dry Skin

Q: A while back I heard an advertisement for a hand cream for gardeners with dry skin. Do you know its name? A: I’ve used Udder Butter before with good results. It was invented to heal skin cracks in cow...

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Vole – Damage to Base of Cherry

Q: This cherry tree is my favorite and its base is showing this damage. I do not want to lose it. A: I’ve seen identical damage at the base of a flowering cherry that “up and died” overnight. One day...

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