Gardening Q and A

Lawn – Choosing a Mower

Q: My husband and I just bought a house with an established bermudagrass lawn. We need to buy a lawn mower but we can not agree on the type to buy. He believes that we have to have a reel...

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Native Azalea – Rejuvenating

Q: In the course of clearing some old heavy undergrowth I discovered several deciduous azaleas. Some have pink, honeysuckle-like blossoms; others have orange blossoms. Because they have been struggling to survive in that shady jungle, they are very spindly…one is...

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Loropetalum

Q: My neighbor has a variety of loropetalum in her yard that is very dark purple and stays that way all year. It is not that dull green color that sometimes looks purple. It is very low and bushy. Can...

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Mugo Pine – Pruning

Q: I have a mugo pine in front of my house that is out of control. It is seven feet in diameter and encroaching onto the sidewalk in two directions. It needs to be cut back by half to get...

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Hosta – Care After Hail

Q: Most of my hostas were beaten down by the hailstorm two weeks ago. Afterwards, I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I cut them back or just leave them alone? A: My hosta, banana and lamb’s ear plants were...

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Weed and Feed – Poor Performance

Q: I have a question about what to do to kill weeds. I have bermudagrass in the front lawn and fescuegrass in back. They are infested with crabgrass and chickweed, etc. I purchased several weed and feed products to use...

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Propagation – Reference Books

Q: I have been reasonably successful rooting woody plants in my landscape but I need to know more. Is there a good reference book on plant propagation that you could recommend? A: I like “Secrets of Plant Propagation: Starting Your...

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Cherry – Sweet

Q: I recently purchased a ‘Tartarian’ cherry tree at a home improvement store. I can’t find much information on growing it. Any info on this subject would be appreciated. A: Sweet cherry trees (‘Bing’, ‘Tartarian’, ‘Ranier’, etc) do not survive...

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Dodder

Q: I maintain a large flower bed . Several week ago, I noticed a bright yellow vine growing over one of the plants. After just a couple of weeks, it had spread over the whole bed and covered many of...

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Bahia (Bahiagrass) – Control

Q: I have bahiagrass, which I hate, in my yard. Do you have any long term solutions/suggestions for getting rid of it? A: Bahiagrass is sometimes used as a turfgrass or forage but it is usually viewed as a weed...

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Iris – Aphids

Q: I have irises that have bugs on the leaves. The bugs seem to be tiny, green-winged creatures and there are LOTS of them. Can you tell me what I should use to spray or treat them? A: The insects...

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Compost – White Roots Growing in It

Q: I am an experienced gardener and have a puzzling situation to which I cannot find the answer. Anytime I have a pile of compost or wood chips, a mass of string-like roots have grown in the bottom of the...

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Sweet Potato – Planting Ornamental Type

Q: I have planted some ‘Blackie’ and ‘Margarita’ ornamental sweet potato this year. I want to collect the potatoes to plant more of them next year. Do you have any suggestions on how to store them and prepare them for...

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Leyland Cypress – Growth Rate

Q: We want to plant Leyland cypress trees along both sides of our back yard, for screen. My question is how much do these trees grow a year? I was told the first year they sleep, the second year they...

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Bottle Gourd – Identification

Q: I am hoping you can tell me what the plant shown on the attached pictures is. It is a volunteer that grows with gusto. It’s blossoms open at night and close in the morning. As you can see it...

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Bone Meal vs Blood Meal

Q: What is the difference in bone and blood meal? How are they used and where do they come from? A: Blood meal is made by flash-drying blood that is collected at a slaughterhouse. It is high in nitrogen, with...

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Calla Lily

Q: I have a calla lily plant I received as a gift. It was blooming when I received it but has not flowered again in two years. Green leaves sprout ever year but it never blooms. A friend has had...

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Ornamental Sweet Potato – Edible or Not

Q: Are the tubers from the ornamental sweet potato vine edible? A: Sure – and you’ll get 200 percent of your daily roughage requirements in the bargain! Ornamental sweet potatoes are the same species as the edible kind but they...

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