Gardening Q and A

Christmas Tree – Aphids

Q: We have bugs coming from our Christmas tree. They crawl onto floor and then die. Any way to stop them from coming out of the tree? A: They are probably aphids. Christmas tree growers do a great job controlling...

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Chia – Growing For Seeds

Q: Can we grow chia in Georgia? I like to sprinkle the health-giving seeds on my cereal. A: I have fond college memories of growing chia on a clay figure of Richard Nixon. He had a scraggly green beard but...

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Pears – Fire Blight

Q: I went to a nursery and they sold me a Bartlett pear. Doing my research after the fact, I found this pear is not recommended for Georgia. Why? A: ‘Bartlett’ pear isn’t recommended because it gets fire blight disease...

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Bermuda – Burning

Q: What is the advantage, if any, to burning a Bermuda grass lawn when dormant? A: You might get an unanticipated conversation with your insurance person, but it might not be so pleasant. My father was an insurance agent for...

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Potted Trees – Root Care

Q: You said on your radio show that gardeners should shake off the dirt from potted trees and shrubs before planting so the roots could be untangled and separated. A few weeks ago I planted three oak trees that were...

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Water Lilies – Management

Q: I read your recent article about water lilies and how invasive they are. Do you have suggestions on how to get rid of water lilies already growing in a one acre private pond? A: It’s very difficult to control...

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Navy Hat – Oak Leaves

Q: A U.S. Navy captain’s hat has gold oak leaves on the bill. What kind of oak leaves are these? A: I think the oak leaves used for Navy insignia are stylized versions of live oak, Quercus virginiana, leaves. Live...

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Tomato – Pruning

Q: Can you cut off the top of tomato plants when they get too tall? I had some Better Boys that were twelve feet high ! A: It’s good practice to prune tomato vines before they get too tall. Remember...

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Daffodils – Planting Depth

Q: The label on my bag of daffodils recommends they be planted eight inches deep. I think this is too deep. Do you have a preference? A: In typical heavy Georgia soil, planting daffodils so that the top is buried...

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Rosemary – Cold Weather

Q: I have two young rosemary bushes outdoors. Should I put them in pots and bring them in the house during the winter? A: There’s no need to bring rosemary indoors. It’s one of the hardiest herbs you can grow....

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Rugosa Rose – Growing In Georgia

Q: While on vacation in Maine we loved seeing beach roses They smelled beautifully. Would these roses grow here? A: I’ll bet you were seeing rugosa roses. The leaves have a characteristic corrugated surface. They would be very happy growing...

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Gardenia – Winter Prep

Q: What is the best way to protect a three-year old gardenia plant from the winter elements? If I wrap it in burlap and leave that around it until spring would it help? A: Generally speaking, gardenias don’t need to...

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Mexican Petunia – Winter

Q: I had Mexican petunia in my flower garden for the first time this year. Can I leave it out for the winter or do I have to take it inside? A: Mexican petunia, Ruellia simplex, should grow perfectly well...

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Hackberry – Sticky Sap

Q: There is a big hackberry tree in my back yard that provides welcome shade to our deck; we tolerate the leaves it also drops. This fall the deck was covered with a sticky, saplike substance that turned a bright...

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Bermuda – Scalping

Q: I’m planning on scalping my newly installed bermuda lawn next spring. I’ve let it grow four inches tall. Is it okay to cut two to three inches off the grass then? A: It’s fine to remove the dead grass...

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Farm – Proper Zoning

Q: We are under contract to buy a seven acre property just outside the Perimeter. It has a nice house and a horse barn with different sections of fencing for livestock. We want to make this an after school/camp/birthday party/farm-styled...

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Water Lilies – Plant Carefully

Q: Our home is on a community lake and I would like to add some water lilies to our shoreline. But I’ve been told that they are very invasive. True? A: DO NOT plant water lilies! They will definitely become...

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Lantana – Pruning

Q: I planted a‘Sunny Side Up’ dwarf lantana. It is supposedly perennial. I would like to shape it and cut it back from lopping over the sidewalk. When is the latest I can prune it? A: I haven’t had experience...

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