Gardening Q and A

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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Hydrangeas – Mysterious Boring

Q: For a number of years I’ve had a problem with some sort of borer getting into the stems of my hydrangeas. What can I do to get rid of them? A: There are any number of cane boring insect...

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Roses – Sawflies

Q: Will neem oil work to kill sawflies on my roses? A: Sawfly larvae can quickly riddle a rose leaf. The “worms” chew the leaves and leave characteristic holes. Neem oil, spinosad and insecticidal soap are all good organic means...

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Tree – Mushrooms on Trunk

Q:This recently started growing on my pecan tree. It is getting larger and multiplying. The tree did have leaves on it this summer but I do not remember if it had pecans. What is this and is it going to...

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Bababerry Raspberry – Evaluation

Q: I read Bababerry raspberry is supposed to be more heat tolerant because they fruit later after summer heat has gone down somewhat. I believe they were bred in Southern California. Well, only two of the five plants I planted...

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Onions – Flowering

Q: I have purple onions in my garden. Is there an issue if the onion sends up a flower before the bulbs fully develop? Should I cut off the flower head? A: Once an onion has begun the flowering process,...

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Tomatoes – Applying Lime

Q: Can I put dehydrated lime around tomatoes? When? A: I think you mean hydrated lime, calcium hydroxide. It is much different from garden lime, calcium carbonate. I do not recommend using hydrated lime in a garden: it is much...

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Sand – Usage Under Soil

Q: Does sand help a bermuda lawn grow faster? If so, how deep should it be? A: Sand by itself does not help a bermudagrass lawn grow faster. Sand is often used on golf courses to fill divots because the...

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Mushrooms – Identification

Q: I believe I have some morel mushrooms growing in my yard. I have looked morels up online and the pictures look exactly like what is growing. Can you help? A: I am not a mushroom expert so I can’t...

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Peonies – Time For Planting

Q: I have just received two peonies. Everything I read says fall is the best time to plant them. Can I store the tubers until this fall? A: No, no: you should plant them now. Fall is designated the “best”...

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Briars – Removing

Q: Our property was hit by a tornado four years ago. We lost big trees that shaded a creek; now there are lots of briars there. How can I eliminate them? A: You probably have wild blackberry or smilax plants....

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