Gardening Q and A

Plum – Wild

Q: When I was a child, we had a plum tree in our yard. My father would make a wonderful sweet-tart jam from the plums. He said it was a “hog” or wild plum tree. Do you know of this...

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Camellia – Make Tea From

Q: I have a tea camellia, Camellia sinensis in my back yard. Can I make tea from its leaves? A: You are welcome to try … but don’t expect to give Mr. Lipton a run for his money! Tea is...

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pH Meter – Choosing

Q: Can you recommend a pH meter that would be accurate enough to use in my perennial garden that would not cost me an arm and a leg? A: It depends on how you define “accurate enough”. As you know,...

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Rodent – Control Outdoors

Q: Do you know of any Internet sites that discuss control of rodents in the yard? A: The key to controlling outdoor rodents like rats, squirrels and chipmunks is to understand carrying capacity and seasonality. Every landscape has the capacity...

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Verbena – Pruning

Q: I planted ‘Homestead Purple’ verbena almost two years ago. Last year it bloomed just about year round because the weather did not get cold enough to hurt it. This year it has been pretty much completely bitten back. Should...

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Hazlenut, Pistachio – Growing

Q: I would like to plant a couple of hazelnut trees. Do you know if I can get them locallyQ: Can I grow pistachio trees in this part of Georgia? A: With the many acres of pecans growing in Georgia,...

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Wasps – Chewing on Furniture

Q: We have teak furniture on our patio which has never been oiled or stained. Recently, wasps have begun removing the upper, soft surface of the wood. We have contacted the manufacturer but they say they have no suggestions. Can...

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Lawn – Scheduling Spring Applications

Q: We have bermudagrass in our front yard and fescue in the back. We have been served by a local lawn maintenance company for several years. They always want to start the new season with an application of pre-emergent and...

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Septic Tank – Keeping Roots Out

Q: We have a septic tank in the back yard. I want to plant some Leyland cypress, for screening, and a dogwood for its flowers nearby. How close to the tank can I plant them? A: Septic tanks and their...

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Gardenia – Pruning

Q: I have some gardenia bushes that are about five feet tall. They are so top heavy that I have to tie them back for them to stand erect. Should I prune back the limbs occasionally to allow the stems...

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Mondo Grass – Care

Q: I have a question about dwarf mondo grass (Ophiopogon japonicus ‘Nana’). I planted it last year as a groundcover around foundation plants in the hope that someday I wouldn’t have to buy pine straw. It is filling in slowly...

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Bromeliad – Care

Q: Several weeks ago a friend gave me a big bromeliad from her greenhouse. Its leaves are beginning to shrivel. I watered the soil when I potted it and I have been pouring water into the throat of the plant....

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Japanese Beetle – Organic Control

Q: Is there any organic method to keep Japanese beetles off my plants? A: Insecticidal soap or products containing pyrethrin could be the answer for you. You’ll have to hit the insect directly with the spray – that can be...

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Japanese Beetle – Chemical Control

Q: In you article two weeks ago, you said that you preferred hand-picking Japanese beetles and that we should never use traps. Well, I have too many beetles to hand-pick so what should I do? A: You’re right – some...

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Woodpecker – Drumming on House

Q: We have a woodpecker pounding holes in our stucco house. What can we do? A: Owners of stucco and cedar-sided homes often report that woodpeckers bang on their exterior walls and gutters. The sharp “rattta – tat – tat”�...

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Monthly Calendar – Adjusting

Q: A lot of us in other parts of Georgia read your monthly garden calendar. Could you tell us how to adjust your gardening hints to our area? A: SOUTH of Atlanta Since it gets hotter earlier and cooler later...

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Juniper – Weed Control

Q: I am trying to control weeds and zoysiagrass in ‘Blue Rug’ juniper. What should I use? A: A quick answer is that you can simply dig them out but you’d better wear leather gloves and long pants if you...

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Juniper – Pruning

Q: We have some huge junipers as a border around the house. They are now ten or twelve feet high and leaning to the point of almost falling over. They have become a lot larger than expected. We would like...

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