Gardening Q and A

Blueberries – Smaller Fruit

Q: We are harvesting wonderful blueberries from our plants. But I have noticed that the first berries are very large and the later ones are smaller. Also the newer leaves are a light green with dark green veins. Is there...

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Centipedegrass – Height Matters

Q: I have centipede grass in my front yard. It gets full sun almost all day long. Now two-thirds of my yard appears dead except for an invasion of clover. Is there something special I should have done? A: The...

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Roses – Different Colored Blooms

Q: We have fifteen carpet roses which have bloomed dark red for six years. This year three of them have pink blooms. All were pruned the same in the fall and fertilized the same in the spring. Why did the...

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Virginia Creeper – Possible Rash

Q: Is Virginia creeper poisonous like poison ivy? Does it have an oil that causes a rash? A: To my knowledge, Virginia creeper does not commonly cause a skin reaction. I’ve pulled it by the bushel basket and never had...

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Mothballs – Squirrel Repellant

Q: Will mothballs hurt the soil in my pots if I use them as squirrel retardant? A: It is possible the mothballs could contaminate the soil if water flows over them and the chemicals are dissolved into the soil. As...

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Weeping Willow – No Leaves

Q: I planted a weeping willow tree twelve years ago. It has no leaves this year. The branches are still flexible but I really don’t want to lose the tree. A: If there are no leaves, I’m sad to say...

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Flowers – Bright Compliments

Q: I am in the process of developing an iris bed but I don’t want to have a solid stand of green leaves after the iris blooms. What are some complementary flowering plants I can mix in that will give...

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Sod – Farming Practices

Q: You say on your website that St. Augustinegrass seed can’t be bought because the plant is finicky about producing viable seed. If that is the case, how do sod farmers grow it? A: On a sod farm, St. Augustinegrass...

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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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