Gardening Q and A

Newspaper – Mulching Tips

Q: We have ten mature blueberry bushes and have just gotten all the spring weeding done. Can we use newspapers as a mulch? A: Newspaper makes a fine mulch. Stack 5 – 10 sheets on top of each other and...

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Bees – In The Ground

Q: There is a bank of red dirt near my barn. There are hundreds of holes in the bank with bees coming in and out. They look like honey bees but smaller. A: You have a colony of mining bees....

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Azaleas – Pruning

Q: Is it too late to prune azaleas? You’ve said now is the time. Just wondering when “now” becomes “too late”. A: It’s too late when the plants start making flower buds on branch tips. I think you’re safe to...

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Cherry – Sprouting Roots

Q: Underneath our large flowering cherry lots of shoots sprout up from exposed roots. How can we control these long term? I’ve heard you can stop it by spraying the cut off roots with diesel fuel. A: No diesel! You’ll...

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Pumpkin Sprouts – Thinning

Q: I am growing pumpkins this year for the first time. Right now my pumpkin sprouts look great Each hill has three to five plants coming up. Do I need to thin them ? A: Yes, thin the seedlings so...

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Blooming – Good Conditions

Q: We own property in Suches. This spring we have mountain laurel, flame azalea, Carolina allspice, fox grapes, and lady slippers blooming in profusion. They have never bloomed in the five years we have owned this property. Why? A: I...

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Deadheading – Purpose and Practice

Q: I was always taught that if you want your petunias and geraniums to continue full blooming, you should remove the wilted flowers regularly. A friend told me recently that this is not true. Can you settle our little dispute?...

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Liriope – Dog Damage

Q: A neighbor’s dog has made repeated visits to my lawn and has killed the border of liriope. How can that soil be reconditioned so that I can replant with grass or replace the liriope? A: There’s nothing particularly dangerous...

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Oak – Frost Bitten Leaves

Q: Our ancient oak has not leafed out like normal. About half of the lower leaves look like they are burned or frost bit. None of our other oaks look like this. A: You need a visit from a consulting...

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Centipede Grass – Seeding Tips

Q: We have centipede grass with some bare areas. We are considering planting centipede seed. Should we put the seed down before or after aerating? A: I think it works best to do it after the aeration. Scatter 1/4 pound...

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Compost – Fire Ants

Q: Fire ants have invaded our compost bin. What do we do? A: Just turn the compost with a pitchfork. The ants will likely move due to colony disruption. Or you can just spread the compost in your landscape. You...

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Soil – Too Wet

Q: Can you recommend plants that will grow in extremely wet conditions? The water table in my back yard is about an inch below the surface. Can I just plant bunches of stuff there to sop up all the water?...

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Peach – Planting Tips

Q: I am completely new to gardening. We purchased a Bonfire peach tree in a pot. Can I plant this tree in the ground? A: Yes, plant it; the peach will be lots happier in the ground. Use a shovel...

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Crabgrass – Removal Methods

Q: I have been having an issue with crabgrass in my vegetable garden. Can you recommend any tricks that can help me win this fight? A: Since crabgrass is an annual, killing the top will kill the whole plant. Consider...

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Collards – Bolting

Q: On Good Friday, I planted collard plants. I have just noticed they are going to seed. What have I done wrong? A: Bolting (producing flowers rather than more leaves) is usually caused by fluctuations in air temperature when a...

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Sweetshrub – No Sent

Q: My sweetshrub’s flowers have absolutely NO scent! What’s wrong with it? A: I’ve never smelled one with an appreciable scent. Maybe our noses are impaired? The yellow-flowered variety ‘Athens’ is said to be reliably fragrant. I enjoy the pretty...

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Elderberries – Identification

Q: Do we have wild elderberries around here? I’d like to harvest the berries to make something edible. More importantly, how do I identify the blooming plant? A: You have a great local resource: the Georgia Native Plant Society (www.gnps.org)....

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Squash – Preventing Vines

Q: On a recent radio show you talked about placing cheesecloth over squash plants until flowers appear to keep squash vine borers at bay. Where can I buy cheesecloth big enough to cover the plants? A: I was wrong to...

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