Gardening Q and A

Yaupon Holly – Severe Pruning

Q: We have twenty-year-old weeping yaupon hollies that are getting too tall. We prune 2-3 times a year but they are getting harder to prune. Can we cut them back to below window height? We’ve already had to remove two....

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Tulip Poplar Seed Identification

Q: I get a gazillion of these spinning seeds each year and wonder what tree they are from. A: I believe they are tulip poplar seed. Spinning seeds are called samaras. Many trees produce single-wing samaras. Maples form two-winged, two-bladed...

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Camellia Wilting After Transplanting

Q: I moved three camellias that were four feet tall because I read it was good to transfer them in winter. Now the leaves are wilting and the white flowers are turning brown. Should I be concerned? A: I was...

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Holes in Ground – Squirrels, Not Voles

Q: I have an evergreen clematis plant on a fence and saw three holes around the base. I think it is probably voles. What are your thoughts? A: I think these are more likely holes made by squirrels. Vole tunnels...

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Elberta Peach Blooming Early

Q: I have several Elberta peach trees that are growing like crazy but they want to bloom in January. I read that mulching them would keep the soil cold to slow blooming. A: The air temperature around trees is what...

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Flowering Tree Or Shrub That Can Take Full Afternoon Sun?

Q: Is there a dogwood or any other small/medium flowering tree or shrub that will tolerate full afternoon sun?  A: Kousa dogwood or any of its varieties grow great in full sun. It is one of my favorite trees to...

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Vegetable Plants Not Affected By Bacterial Wilt

Q: Can you give a list of vegetable plants that are not affected by bacterial wilt. I had this disease diagnosed in my tomatoes last year. A: There is only a very narrow selection! I have never heard of sweet...

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Life Span Of St. Augustine Lawns

Q: Recently I was told that St. Augustine lawns have a natural life span of less than fifteen years. My own experience refutes this. A: I agree with you! My own St. Augustine lawn has been here for twenty years....

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Killing The Root Of Bradford Pear Bushes

Q: I am trying to eliminate obnoxious volunteer Bradford pear bushes. Is there a way to kill the roots without waiting for regrowth and using weed killer. A: You could dig the roots out, but I’m guessing that’s not what...

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The Right Fertilizer For Pansies?

Q: The University of Georgia recommends feeding pansies with a soluble 15-2-20 fertilizer in the winter but I can’t find this available for purchase. Is there something else to use? A: University fertilizer recommendations are based on detailed research, but...

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To Compost Or Not To Compost?

Q: I am new to rural living but we have recently moved to a big forested lot. The house is surrounded with typical plants for which I have no great love. I want to compost all of the plant material...

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Will Peonies Survive Bloom In A Large Pot?

Q: I have a twenty-year-old bed of peonies. I’m going to be moving in February. Any suggestions? If I can’t plant immediately in my new location, will peonies survive and bloom in a large pot?  A: If your peonies will...

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Planting Rainier Cherry Trees In Atlanta

Q: I’d like to plant several Rainier cherry trees just to see what happens. I LOVE them. A: So, I see you are a gambler! Sweet cherry trees have a tough time bearing fruit in metro Atlanta. Temperature swings in...

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No Acorns On My Oak Tree This Year

Q: Last year I had a bumper crop of acorns on my oak trees. This year I haven’t seen a single one. Was there a crop failure? My squirrels would like to know. A: That’s funny…I got a different question...

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Cutting Extending Roots Of A Pine Tree

Q: Is there a safe distance out from the base of a pine tree to cut extending roots? A: I am sure there is one but I can’t tell you how to determine it. Much depends on the height of...

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Christmas Cactus Buds Are Falling Off Without Opening Up

Q: My Christmas cactus had many buds, but lots of them fell off without opening up. What am I doing wrong?  A: In my experience, there are three things that could cause Christmas cactus bud drop. If the plant is...

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How Long Does It Take Rock Salt To Dissipate – When Can I Plant?

Q: I used half of a box of rock salt two years ago to kill a big pyracantha climbing up my home’s wall. Has there been enough time to plant a tree near this same location? How long does it...

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Suggestions About Where To Plant Gyoku-ryu Mondo Grass

Q: I want to plant Gyoku-ryu mondo grass in a large shady space beneath trees. Any suggestions?  A: Common mondo grass, Ophiopogon japonicus, spreads easily from individual plants. But the variety you have chosen is extremely dwarf and spreads very...

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