Gardening Q and A

Snakes – On Doorstep

Q: We keep seeing snakes on our doorsteps. What is the best product to try to rid ourselves of them coming in the house? A: They are just using it for a “warming up” spot before leaving to catch mice...

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Waxwings – Flying Into Buildings

Q: I’ve seen several dead cedar waxwings at the entrance to my office. What do you think is killing them? A: In spring, waxwings sometimes eat too many over-ripe berries from nandina, hawthorn, and pyracantha. As a fruit-loving bird, they...

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Vines – Climbing Stone

Q: I am in the process of buying a rather ugly rock house and had thought I’d use creeping fig to redeem it, but I’ve seen a lot of it in Atlanta this spring that is dead from the cold....

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Corn – Planting Tips

Q: My grandson’s third birthday is soon; he will be three. As a gift to my grandson I would like to plant corn. Please tell me how. A: That little boy will have some great memories! If you have a...

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Hawthorn – Still Viable?

Q: For sentimental reasons, a dear friend of mine doesn’t want to part with an old Indian hawthorn. Because there are still a handful of green leaves scattered on top, he is encouraged that it can be saved. Any advice?...

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Zoysia – Seeding

Q: When I moved into my house, I noticed that half of my front yard is zoysia. I love it. I want to kill the non-zoysia grass and weeds and replace it with zoysia. Should I kill the grass and...

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St. Augustine – Thin Spots

Q: I have a St. Augustine grass lawn but have areas that are thin. If I throw out some St. Augustine grass seed will that make it thicker? A: Sadly for your project, you can’t buy St. Augustinegrass seed. The...

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Planters – Space Fillers

Q: I have large planters on my porch. Do you have any tips for a space filler at the bottom other than potting soil? A: I use two-liter soft drink bottle filled with sand and capped. Most container plants have...

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Snowball – Rooting Options

Q: My parents have a gorgeous snowball bush. Is it possible to root a piece for myself from their bush? A: I think the best way to propagate woody shrubs is to do something called “air layering”. The process involves...

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Rose – Are Petals Poisonous

Q: Are Knock Out rose petals poisonous? I’m not planning to make a meal of them, but I’d like to decorate desserts with the petals. A: I’m not aware of anything detrimental in the petals, as long as no pesticides...

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Fertilizer – Using Sugar?

Q: I read online that you can use sugar for lawn fertilizer. It said it’s cheaper and is much better than using commercial stuff. What are your thoughts on this? A: Not many garden questions cause me to stare at...

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Fertilizer – Chemical Vs. Organic

Q: What are your thoughts on switching from chemical fertilizers and weed killers to organic products on a lawn? I’d like to hire an organic lawn contractor to do this. A: I think healthy lawns can be managed safely with...

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Cucumbers – Crop Boosting

Q: We’ve grown cucumbers for several years. Some years they were plentiful, but the last couple of seasons have not been productive. Any suggestions on how to have a better crop? A: My bet is that you need better pollination....

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Birds – Eating Fescue Seed

Q: I have fescue grass in my back yard and have had problems getting it to look good. There are bird feeders along the back lawn edge. I wonder if having so many birds in the area might cause problems...

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Hosta – Applying Compost

Q: I have a large hosta bed and I’m ready to put the semi-annual layer of compost on it. It seems like it would be better to work it in a few inches with my hand cultivator, but I’m afraid...

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Bermudagrass – Weed Prevention

Q: I have a puppy and would like to get a lawn maintenance schedule that won’t hurt him. What do you recommend for bermuda grass? A: The best weed control is making the bermuda so vigorous that it out-competes weeds,...

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Spelling – Plant Names

Q: Is the correct spelling for the common summer plant “crepe myrtle” or “crape myrtle”? A: It’s a bit more complicated than you think. Any author attempts to be consistent in spelling and grammar for their work; it would be...

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Cedar – Transplanting

Q: There are numerous cedar trees growing in the forests around me that are accessible for transplanting. Are cedar trees or Leyland cypress better for birds? A: I think red cedar is better for birds by far. The combination of...

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