Gardening Q and A

Rose Rosette Virus Cure?

Q: I am heartbroken! My New Dawn rose has contracted rose rosette virus. Watching this wicked disease destroy such a stately speciman is sickening. Please tell me there is a cure on the horizon.  A: There is no breakthrough yet...

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Making Kieffer Pears Palatable

Q: On your website you say that only canning makes Kieffer pears palatable. I’ve found an exception. A few years ago I had a bumper crop of hard pears. I gathered a paper bag full and left it in my...

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Getting Rid Of Stilitgrass

Q: A patch of stiltgrass appeared in our backyard a few years ago. Now it is all over the yard and spreading to the front. How do I get rid of it and prevent further spread? A: Stiltgrass (basketgrass, eulalia)...

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Creeping Jenny- Can I Kill The Oxalis On It?

Q: Oxalis is taking over our creeping jenny groundcover. I’ve tried pulling it out but we have so much of it and it is difficult to separate the two. Is there anything that will kill the clover but keep the...

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Should I Use Weed/Feed Product Under A Tree?

Q: We planted a new fescue lawn that is partially under an ancient oak tree. Is it okay to use a weed and feed product under the tree?  A: The label on most weed and feed products designed to kill...

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Red Tip Photinia Trees – Losing A Battle With Leaf Spot

Q: I have three huge red tip photinia trees. I have been dealing with leaf spot for two years. This year almost every photinia in our neighborhood has been affected. Am I fighting a losing battle? Or should I replace...

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Planting A Native Wildflower Pasture

Q: I remember watching honey bees and rolling in fields of white clover as a child. We have a big back yard, where I’d like a native wildflower pasture. What are your recommendations? A: Don’t forget that our commonplace white...

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Organic Control For Caterpillars

Q: My tomato plants are being invaded by little black caterpillars that are eating the leaves. I am trying to keep my garden pesticide free. I am looking for something pollinator friendly. A: The best organic control for caterpillars is...

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Can I Shave Down Roots?

Q: We purchased a house with a big corner lot. I have Bradford pears on one side of my lawn and five cherry trees around the corner. Some of their roots protrude from the ground. Can I shave them down...

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My Hydrangea Is No Longer Making Blooms

Q: My hydrangea is no longer making blooms. I cut off the dead blooms awhile back and the plant has put on a lot of new leaf growth. I have fertilized but thinking by now I should have seen more...

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Can You Develop Cold Tolerant St. Augustine Grass?

Q: I want you to develop a really cold tolerant St. Augustine grass. We had a cold winter and only half of my ‘Palmetto’ St. Augustine grass survived.  A: My own St Augustinegrass lawn was started from sprigs that were...

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Centipede Lawn – Fertilizer

Q: I’ve been trying to find fertilizer for my centipede lawn. Your web site recommends 16-4-8. Could I use a 32-0-10 fertilizer at half strength?  A: Centipede grass is sensitive to high soil phosphorus levels. That’s why 15-0-15 or 16-4-8...

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Dogwood Leaves Are Curling

Q: I had a dogwood planted in my front yard in mid-April. The leaves are curling and the leaves on one branch have turned brown. I have an irrigation system and have also been watering more on recent hot days. ...

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Our Hibiscus Did Not Bloom This Year

Q: Our hibiscus did not bloom this year after doing so for the last four years. It winters in our home and was fed blood meal once in winter and again in early spring.  A: Tropical hibiscus needs lots of...

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Should I Plant Viburnum Where An Old Tree Was?

Q: I have a fairly large hole where an old tree trunk has rotted away. Can I plant a viburnum in this existing hole or should I dig a new hole?  A: One factor in the successful planting of trees...

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Getting Rid Of Wild Grape Vines

Q: We have wild grape vines growing in our ivy. We tried pulling them up, but they keep returning. Any other suggestions?  A: Your “wild grape” could be muscadine vines but they might also be porcelain berry vine or perhaps...

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Otter Repellant

Q: My friend has a cabin on a lake. Her boat house attracts an otter whose only purpose there seems to be relieving himself. He keeps returning no matter what she does to discourage him. She read that an otter’s...

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Roses – Black Spot Disease

Q: My best rose came down with black spot disease. I removed all damaged leaves and sprayed it but overnight it was on other leaves!  A: You need to start alternating fungicides. When you use one product exclusively, black spot...

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