Gardening Q and A

Gardening – First Steps

Q: I am writing for advice on the fundamentals of gardening. I am about to purchase my first home in LaGrange and I hope to dedicate a substantial amount of time to my lawn and garden. I am hoping that...

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Possum – Control

Q: I have noticed a possum climbing a tree in my yard for the past week. I swear he is as big as my Standard Poodle. Do I ignore him–encourage him–discourage him–get rid of him? Is he dangerous or harmless?...

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Lantana – Allelopathy

Q: This year I tried to grow some gladioli in a spot where I had lantana last year. The results were tortured looking. After researching on the Web I find that lantana is allelopathic but I could not find how...

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Spider – Control

Q: Q: We have tiny spiders that spin webs on the inside of the window and between the window and the screen. We have tried spraying insecticide on the sills but that does not seem to work. I think you...

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Tree Hole – Filling

Q: I just purchased a home with two very old Japanese maple trees in my front yard. I noticed that one of them has a hole in the base of the trunk large enough for a small adult fist to...

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Nutsedge – Control in Landscape

Q: I think you dodged the really hard questions in your series on fighting lawn weeds. Anybody can put on the pre-emergents to get those pesky, but controllable weeds. I have a more difficult problem: nutgrass. Tell the truth……is there...

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Pond – Fertilizer

Q: Is there a fertilizer made specifically for lakes? I’ve heard of lawn fertilizer and garden fertilizer and houseplant fertilizer but is there a special product for lakes? Please respond soon – a colleague and I have a twelve-pack of...

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Ammonium Nitrate – Applying

Q: I have a five-year old fescue lawn. For the first time I had a soil analysis done by the Extension service. The report I received said that the only thing I need to add to my yard is ammonium...

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Hydrangea – Leaf Spot

Q: I planted two hydrangeas a year ago. The leave are now covered in round brown spots and they are not blooming. What should I do? A: Hydrangeas commonly get a leaf disease called Cercospora leaf spot. It usually infects...

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Paulownia (Princess Tree) – Identification

Q: This plant popped up (and how!)and is still growing. What in the world is it? A: In a “Biggest Leaf” contest, the prize almost always goes to either your tree, the paulownia (Paulownia tomentosa) or the Chinese parasol tree...

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Damaged Tree – Arborists

Q: I have two damaged trees. One looks like it got struck by lightening and the other just has a hole in the bottom that seems to tunnel up into the tree. Is there anything I can do to save...

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Springtails – Collembola

Q: My friends showed me a very mysterious purple-ish spread on their concrete driveway after a warm rain in December. It is made up of tiny bugs and they are moving slowly. We are concerned about this invasion. A: Can...

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Leyland Cypress – Repairing Vandalized

Q: I planted 12 Leyland Cypress trees approx 3 years ago to grow as a privacy hedge between me and my neighbors. They have done very well and were approx 8-10 ft tall. Today, I found 2 of them vandalized...

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Tomato – Hornworm Wasp Parasite

Q: I put what I believe was a tomato hornworm in a jar with plenty of tomato plant foliage to chew on so my 7-year old could witness the transformation to pupa and then into moth. After a couple of...

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Velvet Ant – Identification

Q: I have discovered a new insect around my yard and it doesn’t look nice. It looks like a big, red ant with a black stripe around the middle. My neighbor said they are “cow ants”. A: The insect you...

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Honeysuckle – Control

Q: I have some Japanese honeysuckle growing among a large stand of forsythia. The honeysuckle covers some of the branches so heavily that the forsythia bloom display in spring is less than it should be. When the forsythias drop all...

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Plum – Early Blooms

Q: For the past few years, my plum tree has started to show its blooms in the middle of January. Prior to the snow this January it began to do the same thing. I know that it has a lot...

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Ants – On Houseplants

Q: I had a nice jade plant but ants came in and made their home in it so I threw it away. I have since bought a smaller jade plant; so far it is thriving. Now ants have gotten to...

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