Gardening Q and A

Holly Shrubs – Produce Different Leaves

Q: I have a row of holly bushes along my front porch. There are two different types of leaves on these bushes. Most are the smaller one you see in my photo. The larger grows faster but I prefer the...

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Tomato – Cracks on Top

Q: Last year and again this year our tomatoes have this “wood grain” look on the top of the fruit. What can we do to correct this? A: This distinctive look is caused by alternate wet and dry days. After...

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Oak Leaf Spots – Tubakia

Q: My red oak has lots of brown spots on the leaves. Should I do something? A: I think you’re in the clear. The spots look like Tubakia Leaf Spot. Some years will be worse than others, and many leaves...

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Oak Leaf Blister

Q: Our large oak tree’s leaves are dying. Can you tell us why and what should we do? A: This is a disease called Oak leaf Blister. It is common when we have cool, wet springs. Diseased areas grow slowly...

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Dantana Caterpillar – Feeding on Oak Leaves

Q: My pin oak in my front yard has caterpillars eating the leaves. Should I be worried? A: It is a hungry gathering of contracted dantana caterpillars, Datana contracta. The orange-striped oak worm, Anisota senatoria, is a very similar caterpillar....

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Crapemyrtle – Black Leaves

Q: I have eight large crepe myrtles that have a black fungus and tiny insects on nearly all of the leaves. A: You have a beautiful example of crapemyrtle aphids. The white things on the leaves are their cast scans....

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Basil Leaf Spot – Identification

Q: This week I noticed black spots on the leaves of my basil. Today, I saw these weird dots/bumps on the stems. Are they eggs of a bug or maybe a plant disease? A: At first I thought the brown...

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Lawnmower Wheel Compaction – Weeds

Q: While walking in my neighborhood, I saw a weird stripe pattern in my neighbor’s lawn. What do you think caused it? A: I posted this on Facebook and received many guesses. The correct answer? The neighbors report that they...

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What To Use To Cover Red Clay Area With No Sunshine?

Q: What suggestion do you have to cover an area under our deck that is red clay but has no sunshine? What grass or ground cover could we use?  A: All plants must have sufficient sunshine to photosynthesize. I will...

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Dwarf Peach Tree – Brown Sap Oozing From Branches

Q: I noticed brown sap oozing from my three-year-old dwarf peach tree. An arborist told me this is caused by peach borers. I sprayed insecticide but recently I have noticed a few areas around small branches where the sap is...

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White Oak Tree – Leaves Are Turning Brown

Q: We have a large white oak tree in our back yard. This week we noticed all the leaves are turning brown, top to bottom. Any idea what is causing this?  A: This has been a terrible summer for white...

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Does UGA Test Soil For Weed Killer Chemicals?

Q: You recently responded to a question about wilted vegetable leaves that might be caused by weed killer. I had the same symptoms in a new garden bed I planted with top soil from a nursery. Does UGA test soil...

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Hibiscus – Something Is Eating The Leaves

Q: My hibiscus is growing beautifully but something is eating the leaves. I can’t see any bugs. A: My guess is that your hibiscus has been chewed on by hibiscus sawfly larvae. These caterpillar-like creatures feed on the bottom side...

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Crape Myrtle – White Substance On Leaves

Q: I have a crape myrtle with a white substance on the leaves and no blooms. What do I have? How do I treat it?  A: I’m almost certain you have powdery mildew. Cool nights and warm, humid days provide...

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Pecan Tree – Ways To Treat Pecan Scab

Q: I have a pecan tree that is suffering from pecan scab. I read where the only way to treat it is by spraying the whole tree. I can’t accomplish that. Is there an alternative?  A: There is not an...

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Staghorn Fern – Do Deer Eat This Fern?

Q: We have a very large staghorn fern in Jacksonville that we’ll be taking to an area where there are deer. Do deer eat this fern?  A: I can’t be 100% positive about staghorn ferns but most ferns are deer...

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Effect Of Wheat Straw On Vegetable Plants

Q: If I have been using wheat straw to mulch around my vegetable plants. Will the chemicals that may have been used on the wheat crop affect my vegetable plants? Things just don’t seem to be growing as vigorously as...

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Tomatoes – How To Combat Blight

Q: I and many others had a terrible tomato season because of early blight. Are there any tomatoes that are resistant to blight? Is there any successful treatment? Conversely, I have several volunteer cherry tomatoes that are disease free!  A:...

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