Gardening Q and A

Oak – Gouty Gall

Q: I would like to know what these potato-looking things are. They fell from an oak tree in my brother’s backyard in New Jersey. They look like a honeycomb inside and the tree is full of them. A: It’s a...

READ MORE

Gardening – Allergies

Q: I’ve been told that people who have severe allergies should plant only female trees and shrubs because they produce the fruit but not the pollen which is produced by the male plants. If this is true, how do I...

READ MORE

Composting – Fruit Flies

Q: I am a recent convert to composting. I began my compost pile during the summer and the material is now looking good for fall planting. My challenge is my covered kitchen waste receptacle. I put in fruit and vegetable...

READ MORE

Trifoliate Orange

Q: Walking in the woods a few days ago I found a small rangy tree with which I’m not familiar. It has a small yellow fruit about the size of a golf ball. When cut open it looks like citrus...

READ MORE

Iris – Flowers Turn White

Q: I have planted many types and colors of iris over the years. However, a problem arises after I have separated the roots. The next year when these flowers bloom, they have lost their color and bloom white. Do you...

READ MORE

Annual Bluegrass (Poa Annua) – Control

Q: How do I control annual bluegrass? A: The annual nature of this weed supplies its most noxious habit: it re-seeds itself prolifically! Annual bluegrass is outwardly attractive in the winter but just wait until spring! The thick mat of...

READ MORE

Dog – Repellants

Q: My neighbors allow their dogs to defecate in a front yard nature area we put in last year. Could you tell me something I could use to keep them from doing that? I don’t want to hurt the dogs,...

READ MORE

Grape – Recommended Varieties

Q: What grapes varieties would you recommend growing in the Atlanta area for eating, jellies, and jams? Also, where can they be purchased? A: There are two types of grapes from which to choose: muscadines and bunch grapes. Muscadines are...

READ MORE

Poinsettia – Care After Winter

Q: I have successfully held over three poinsettia plants in a window greenhouse for four years. Every year they get bright red bracts. Needless to say they are now very leggy. When is a good time to cut them back...

READ MORE

Poinsettia – Forcing

Q: I have three poinsettia plants which I’ve kept for four years. Last year, they changed color in the summer. How can I get them to change color at Christmas? A: Your poinsettias were only doing what comes naturally when...

READ MORE

Aucuba – Wilting

Q: We live on a shady lot and have a lot of aucuba plants around our small lawn. Some of the aucuba have leaves that are turning black and wilting. Does this mean they are dying? A: If it makes...

READ MORE

Velvet Ant – Severity of Stings

Q: The velvet ant question in one of your recent newspaper articles brought back a wonderful memory, and I thought you might enjoy it: When I was five years old, we visited my great-grandparents on their farm a few miles...

READ MORE

Fritillary Butterfly – Identification

Q: Recently my son noticed some orange, spiked caterpillars in our backyard. He wanted to see what they would turn into so he set up a habitat for them and then waited. Sure enough they hatched not long after into...

READ MORE

Lawn – Killed by Overfertilization

Q: I had my fescue lawn soil tested and got detailed results from my Extension Service office. It instructed me to use a 15-0-15 fertilizer. While my lawn is fescue, the only 15-0-15 I could find was for centipedegrass. Thinking...

READ MORE

Bougainvillaea – Care

Q: Last year I planted two beautiful bougainvillaeas in my garden. I cut them back before the first frost, hoping they would return. I have yet to see any regrowth though they were well covered with pine straw. Do you...

READ MORE

Amaranth – Summer Poinsettia

Q: This plant grows in the garden in front of Crawford Long Hospital. Is it a coleus? The leaves and stem look similar but only the top leaves are bright red … almost like a poinsettia. It’s very showy, whatever...

READ MORE

Pepper – Purple

Q: I recently purchased an attractive plant from a hardware store. The clerk knew nothing more than that it was a pepper. It has dark green leaves, purple flowers and purple fruit. I’ve tried to research it on the Internet...

READ MORE

Rabbit Tobacco

Q: I grew up knowing about the wild plant we called rabbit tobacco but I have just now discovered how to use it in decorations. It’s fragrance is amazing! What more can you tell me about this wild herb? A:...

READ MORE