Gardening Q and A

Tomato – Septoria Leaf Spot

Q: I’m growing tomatoes in a spot that gets full sun, is well drained, and the block retaining wall allows excessive water to drain out. Initially my plants were doing great. Now not so good. The lower older vines have...

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Fungus – Growing in Treated Wood

Q: I have attached a picture of the fungus growing on the walkway of my home. Can you please tell me what it is and how to get rid of it? A: Mycologist Don Gardner in Brunswick says the fungus...

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Fescue – Growing Under a Dogwood

Q: I have been trying to grow grass on a slight hill under a dogwood tree for years. I plant the shade mix of fescue each year and initially it comes in and then dies. This has been the routine...

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Poison Ivy – Galls on Leaves

Q: What in the heck is going on with these poison ivy leaves? They look to be covered with warts. A: The warts are caused by gall making eryophid mites. These tiny creatures wound the leaf and insert eggs. Leaf...

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Pepper – Virus Disease

Q: My jalapeño plants have a light green pattern on the peppers. What is it? A: It’s one of the virus diseases that affect peppers and tomatoes, possibly cucumber mosaic virus, which attacks a wide range of plants. Viruses are...

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Cryptomeria – Cercospora Dieback

Q: I have several young cryptomeria trees. A couple of them have branches that have turned reddish brown. A: Cercospora needle blight, caused by the fungus Cercosporidium sequoiae, is a common disease on species of juniper, arborvitae, and dawn redwood....

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Hibiscus Sawfly – Identification

Q: The leaves of my hibiscus are eaten through like eyelet lace. What could chew them up so? A: It’s hibiscus sawfly damage. Early on a humid morning you can find the greenish larvae on the backside of leaves, chewing...

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Harpin Protein – Buying

Q: I want to buy harpin protein and use in my vegetable garden. This product was originally developed by Eden Bioscience under the brand name Messenger. Do you have a source? A: How about this? harpin (click for sources)...

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Leyland Cypress – Righting One From A Fall

Q: We have a Leyland cypress that is becoming uprooted. Is there any remedy that you can advise so we can save the tree? The tree is currently supported by wiring, but it isn’t helping the uprooting. A: As we...

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Azalea – Should It Be Pruned?

Q: I have a plumleaf azalea I purchased from a nursery in Commerce about four years ago. I initially planted it in the shade out of fear of too much sun and heat, but after 2 years of no blooms,...

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Plumeria – Not Flowering Like Expected

Q: Two years ago I brought back a cutting of plumeria from Hawaii. It is in the shape of a capital “Y”. It rooted successfully and produced large green leaves at the end of each point of the “Y” but...

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Lime – Still Good When It’s Old

Q: I found some five-year old sacks of lime, 8-8-8 and bonemeal at my mother-in-law’s house recently. Are they still useable? If they are, I can make good use of them! A: On the farm when I was a kid,...

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Liriope – Spreading Monkey Grass vs Clumping Monkey Grass

Q: I’m having a terrible time with liriope that is sprouting up all over my yard. Most of the landscape is either pine straw beds or English ivy. I have begun digging up patches of the liriope and then putting...

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Magnolia – Proper Seed Care

Q: I wish to plant some seeds to grow magnolia trees. I have heard various stories about refrigeration and splitting the seeds. What exactly needs to be done to ensure successful germination? A: Many woodland plants have seeds that need...

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Forsythia – Crown Gall Disease

Q: I transplanted a large forsythia last spring and managed to get it through the summer drought. It flourished and I began to neglect it – at least I wasn’t checking it hourly like a new mother. Now I find...

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October Glory – Compensating For Root Damage

Q: I recently tilled an area around my ‘October Glory’ maple tree in which to plant spring bulbs. The tree was planted last October. I noticed a lot of roots from the maple tree at ground level and just barely...

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Ginko – Playing The Odds With Gender

Q: I need some information about ginkgo trees. We were in Vicksburg, Mississippi in September and picked up some ginkgo fruit at the old courthouse. We cleaned and dried them and brought them back home. How should I plant them?...

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Indoor Plants – Diagnosing Problems

Q: Can you help me find a good Web site for diagnosing problems with indoor plants? A: Now that winter is approaching, houseplants are moved indoors from their summer home on decks and patios. Though most thrive in the dappled...

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