Gardening Q and A

Lilac – Brown Spots

Q: What is the best way to care for a lilac bush? The leaves have brown spots now. A: Lilacs can be affected by several leaf spot diseases but they don’t seem to be fatal if the plant is kept...

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Maple – Killing Roots

Q: Is there a product that will kill a big maple tree and its roots? The roots are ruining my walkway. A: Once you cut down the tree, roots won’t continue getting bigger or elongating. But they may send up...

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Fertilizer – Veggie Garden

Q: We recently had a University soil test done for our veggie garden and they recommended 15-0-15 fertilizer. I found it, but only labeled for use on lawns. Is it okay for a vegetable garden? A: It’s tough for the...

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Birch Chips – Usage

Q: We had a huge river birch removed so now we have a huge pile of wood chips from the stump grinding. Can that be used in our yard for anything? Will it attract termites? A: Yes, you can use...

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Red Maple – For Shade

Q: Would an Empress tree be good to make shade for my grandchildren while playing outside? Is there another tree you would recommend? A: Empress tree a.k.a. Princess tree, Paulownia tomentosa, is too coarse and weak-wooded to be a good...

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Bermuda – Optimal Watering

Q: A simple question: what is the best time of the day to water an established bermuda lawn? A: The answer is unequivocal: lawn watering is best done in the morning. This allows two things to happen: the grass blades...

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Kudzu – Growing and Cooking

Q: I’m an alcoholic using kudzu powder to help prevent cravings. How hard would it be to grow kudzu myself in a vacant field? A: Kudzu isn’t particularly hard to transplant and cultivate but first be positive you have a...

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Penoies – Planting Temperature

Q: I was wondering when is the best time to plant peonies. What do you recommend I put in the hole with the dirt? A: For best results, plant peonies in fall when daytime temperatures are reliably below 80 degrees....

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Hummingbirds – Spiderwebs

Q: Back in late spring I noticed my first hummer of the year. It seemed to be concerned about a spider web near my feeder. I removed that web but saw it closely examining another spider web nearby. Why? A:...

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Zoysia – Mowing

Q: My wife and I are having a discussion about our Meyer zoysia. I have always mowed it one inch high. My wife believes that I should mow it at two to three inches high. A: Mowing at one inch...

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Bermuda Sod – November Planting

Q: Our new home will be finished by December 1. This means the builder will be laying bermuda sod in November! Is this a problem? A: If the lawn area is thoroughly tilled and is limed and fertilized beforehand in...

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Crapemyrtle – Unpruned

Q: Everywhere I look there are crape myrtles that are regularly trimmed back in various manners. What would happen if one is just allowed to grow? How tall would it get? A: It’s fine to leave crapemyrtles unpruned. As long...

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Roundup – Controlled Spray

Q: Can Roundup be used on weeds between rows of corn? The plants are six feet tall. A: You may not be able to see it but most garden sprayers deliver heavy droplets that can be seen with the naked...

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Nutsedge – Removal

Q: I’ve inherited a small farm. I want an income-generating crop that we can plant and harvest. I’m thinking about growing garlic. However, there is lots of nutgrass there. What should I do? A: You have a tough situation. Nutsedge...

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Air Conditioner – Collected Water

Q: I have always used air conditioner condenser water for my flowering plants and bushes, but never for vegetables. Can I use this water on my tomatoes and squash? A: Yes, the water that drips out of your air conditioner...

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Crapemyrtle – Shoots From Trunk

Q: I arrived home a couple months ago to find my two big crapemyrtles had been butchered by my husband. He thought it might help them bloom better this summer. Now lots of crape myrtle shoots have come up near...

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Fall Garden – Suggested Crops

Q: I am a volunteer for a community garden. We currently have a summer garden but would like to plant a fall garden. What would you suggest? A: You’ll be surprised what can be planted in fall. Not only cole...

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Pole Beans – Too Tall

Q: Can I trim pole beans if I can’t reach the tops? My theory is that the growth will return to bottom of plant and produce more beans lower and easier to pick! What do you think? A: The vine...

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