Gardening Q and A

Tomato – Saving Seeds

Q: I grow organic heirloom tomato plants. How do I save the seeds? A: The “jelly” that surrounds each seed can inhibit germination. Save an unblemished ripe fruit, scoop out the seeds, and cover with water in a glass jar....

READ MORE

Butter Beans – Few, Flat Beans

Q: For many years I’ve grown pole butter beans but this year the vines look great but there are few beans and they are flat. A: Flat beans usually indicate poor pollination. Butterbeans are self-pollinating but produce enough nectar to...

READ MORE

St. Augustine – Times To Plant

Q: I read where you sprigged your yard with St. Augustine grass. Is now a good time of year? A: You can sprig St. Augustine grass either by half-burying 12″ long runners in early summer or by planting rooted pieces...

READ MORE

House Plants – Using Fertilizer

Q: Is it OK to use 10-10-10 fertilizer on house plants? A: I suppose you could but it would have to be a tiny amount each time. This quickly-soluble fertilizer would have a high chance of burning plant roots confined...

READ MORE

Hydrangea – Treating A Gift Plant

Q: I received a beautiful White Robe hydrangea as a gift. I would like to plant it where it will be happy. A: Hydrangea expert Gene Griffith (www.hydrangea.com) says the company that introduced ‘White Robe’ is known for florist hydrangeas,...

READ MORE

Sod – Proper Watering

Q: Three weeks ago I had bermuda sod installed. The landscaper set up the irrigation timers so each zone came on twice a day for five minutes. I noticed a brown patch in one corner of the yard after four...

READ MORE

Grasshopper – Big And Black

Q: A huge black grasshopper settled for a rest on my Japanese maple. Any idea what it is? A: It’s a lubber grasshopper. Their “skin” varies in color as they grow from nymph to adulthood. Black ones are not unusual....

READ MORE

Rat Snakes – Caught In Netting

Q: We have a garden that is surrounded by deer netting. Black rat snakes keep getting stuck in the netting and strangling themselves to death. Is there anything I can do to prevent it? A: This is not uncommon. The...

READ MORE

Apple – GMO Modification?

Q: I ate a Honeycrisp apple that was not organic so I’m assuming it’s probably GMO. Seeds inside had tiny sprouts so I planted to see what would happen. Will these produce fruit that is GMO? A: I know of...

READ MORE

Hens n Chicks – Hens Are Dying?

Q: I received a plant from my grandmother called “Hens n Chicks”. Some of the hens seem to be dying and the chicks are still going strong. What should I do? A: Hens and Chicks, Sempervivum tectorum, is native to...

READ MORE

Planting – When To Plant What

Q: When is the correct time to plant turnip, mustard, beet and radish seeds? A: You can start thinking about it around Aug. 15, completing the effort by mid-September. Wait for a day when rain is in the forecast so...

READ MORE

Greenhouse – Pollination Without Bees?

Q: I’m thinking about attaching a greenhouse to my home. I’d like to grow some citrus (lemon, orange, kumquat). But how do they get pollinated if no bees can get to them? A: Good news! They don’t require insects for...

READ MORE

Sweet Potatoes – Proper Fertilization

Q: I’m growing Beauregard sweet potatoes. One source says they are light feeders but another says they are heavy feeders. How should they be fertilized? A: UGA gardening expert Bob Westerfield says he would class sweet potatoes in the medium...

READ MORE

Plant – Interesting, Pretty and Attractive

Q: I need something to plant in a space that’s quite long; part is shady and some is in full sun. I’d love the plant to have year round interest and maybe attract wildlife. What do you think about Oregon...

READ MORE

Fulton County – Vegatable Growing

Q: What are the rules on urban farms or gardens in Fulton County? How much of our property can we dedicate to growing vegetables? A: Becky Griffin, UGA urban agriculture specialist, says that in June the Atlanta City Council passed...

READ MORE

Snakes – Finding Eggs

Q: We were spreading a pile of mulch and came across eggs that are as big as chicken eggs, but more slender. Our neighbor’s lawn man killed a timber rattlesnake in their yard a couple of weeks ago. Hope these...

READ MORE

Topsoil – Finding Good Product

Q: Do you know of any business that sells quality topsoil by the bag rather than the woodchip-filled debris presently available? A: Like you, I’ve been disappointed by the “dollar-a-bag” topsoil products I find at big-box stores. You can make...

READ MORE

Tomatoes – Ripen All Togther

Q: I grow Roma tomatoes every year. How can I get them to ripen all together? I make my own marinara sauce, but it’s difficult to do when I can’t get all the tomatoes to ripen together. A: As you...

READ MORE