Gardening Q and A

Banana Growth

Q: I would like to grow edible bananas. I could bring them indoors during the winter. Can you recommend a variety? A: A recent caller to my radio show said he had small banana fingers showing on his bloom stalk...

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Hanging Iris- Botanical Name

Q: A friend gave me a plant he called a “hanging iris”. He said it should be placed in a hanging basket to bloom in spring but should be brought inside during the winter. Do you know the botanical name?...

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Hosta – Variegated Turning Green

Q: I have several hostas that once had a green center and white edge but each year the variegation seems to fade more and more. In fact, some of them are solid green this year. I have some of the...

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Azalea – Biting Plant Bug

Q: Every spring when I am trimming azaleas, I get bit by a little red insect that has a bite fiercer than a fire ant. I only see them for a few weeks in late April or early May. They...

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Ladyslipper Orchid – Transplanting

Q: Can I transplant the ladyslipper orchids I found on my daughter’s property? A: You can try but you have to be careful. Ladyslippers depend on certain soil fungi to germinate their seed. They may also require that the fungus...

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Kochia

Q: My family used to grow kochia in Tennessee to landscape fences and make rows, all sorts of stuff. I want to use it here in Georgia as well. I have not seen it in local nurseries. Do you have...

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Verbena – Rejuvenating Homestead Purple

Q: For two consecutive years I have planted ‘Homestead Purple’ verbena and it dies without fail, even though I don’t cut it back until March. I love this plant and am having a hard time finding a substitute that blooms...

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Tree – Water in Crotch

Q: Our new home has a beautiful large maple tree which concerns me. It has grown in three major directions leaving a crotch at the originating junction of the three branches. The crotch is deep and holds a fair amount...

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Photinia – Pruning

Q: When is the best time to trim my red tip photinia shrubs back? Mine was really nice until the last couple of years. I think their decline was caused by cutting them back at the wrong time. Any tips?...

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Lawn Seed – Utility Companies

Q: I’m about to “fill in” a lawn at my new house and have a question. I notice that when the utility companies finish a project they spread seed and hay and walk away from the area. They plant this...

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Importing Plants – From Overseas

Q: I have taught in Japan for almost fourteen years. I have always wanted to bring back some clippings or plants from there to here. Do you know where I might find information on the...

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Trees – Fertilizing

Q: A couple of months ago I e-mailed and asked how I should fertilize my two-year old trees. You replied that I should wait until March to do this. Now that it is March can you tell me what to...

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Irish Potato – Planting in Tires

Q: I have heard of planting Irish potatoes in a stack of tires, starting with one and adding more as needed. You fill it with straw or dirt of some sort. Can you give me a better description? A: Sure...

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Weed and Feed Products – Not Recommended

Q: In your series of newspaper articles about weed control, I didn’t see anything about weed and feed products. Why not? A: Despite the assurance on their labels that weed and feed products are an improvement in lawn maintenance, I...

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Lawn – Planning for Dogs

Q: We have just purchased a new house with more than an acre of land and are trying to decide which route to go. We want to do some initial landscaping but we also want to establish a lawn. We...

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English Ivy – Substitutes

Q: I’m looking to replace beds of English ivy with something less intrusive and more controllable. My main objective is ground cover/ground stabilization. The replacement needs to thrive in the same lighting conditions that my ivy does so well in...

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Onion – Not the Same as Shallot

Q: Could you please tell me if shallots and green onions are the same thing. Is it only a difference in regional names? A: According to author and garden raconteur Felder Rushing, “Shallots (Allium cepa var. aggregatum) are related to...

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Cigarette Beetle – Control

Q: My kitchen has been invaded by tiny little brownish-black bugs. They have a hard shell that “crunches” when you smash them. They get in cereal, baking goods, etc. They also get into the dog treats and can leave one...

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