Gardening Q and A

Dogwoods – Planting Close Together

Q: I would like to plant dogwoods in memory of a loved one. I would like to plant a white, a pink and a red dogwood together so they fuse into one mass with three colors. Will that work? A:...

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Newspaper – Attracting Termites

Q: What item can be used to block weeds in a flower bed? I have been using newspaper, which works great but I’ve been told it can attract termites. A: The newspaper can attract termites, but so does every limb...

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Begonia – Overwintering

Q: I have overwintered some angel wing begonias. When I move them back outside, do I cut all the old growth off? A: If the existing leaves are not brown, you can leave them on the plant until night temperatures...

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Slugs – Eating Leaves

Q: I have several clay pots that I buried in my flower beds to plant annuals in every year. I have a problem with slugs eating the leaves. If I paint my clay pots with copper spray paint would that...

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Ivy – Rooting

Q: I have a small decorative area of English ivy. A couple of years back I expanded the area and purchased several ivy plants at a big box store. The label said “English ivy” but I noticed the leaves were...

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Dogwood – Planting Beside

Q: I just planted a four-foot tall kousa dogwood in a slightly raised bed. Do you have any plant suggestions I can put in around it that will not hurt the roots? A: I can think of several shallow-rooted plants...

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Azaleas – Dead Foliage

Q: I have several Encore azaleas that have been hit hard by cold weather. Last year pruned them back drastically late March. They regrew and bloomed in October. This year it is worse! All foliage has died and most has...

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Sod – Weed Protection

Q: I planted zoysia sod in November. Now I see weeds coming up between the sections of sod. Is it time for a weed killer? A: I don’t recommend applying herbicide to grass that isn’t fully rooted. Zoysia planted in...

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Hellebores – Frozen

Q: The extreme cold seemingly froze the blooms on my hellebores. Is it possible they’ll recover and make seeds this year? A: My hellebore plants were severely wilted after each of the severe cold snaps we’ve had this winter. Even...

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Finding An Arborist

Q: Can you recommend an arborist that covers Rockdale County? A: There are so many good arborists in the metro area that I can’t recommend just one. Your best bet is to go to the website of the Georgia Arborist...

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Fescue – Planting Mid-March

Q: I have lots of leaves falling on my lawn when I plant fescue seed in the fall. They either smother the new grass or the seeds don’t take root fast enough to prevent them from coming up during gentle...

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Cypress – Topping

Q: We recently hired a landscape architect to plan our landscape. He recommended topping our big Leyland cypresses to make a tall hedge. Is that OK? A: The only reason I’m not a fan of topping Leyland cypress is that...

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Hydrangeas – Moving Time

Q: When is the best time to move established hydrangeas? I have two that are being smothered by other larger hydrangeas. A: I think any time between December and mid-March is good for moving hydrangeas. If the soil is soft,...

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Sod – Bare Spots

Q: I believe my current grass is centipede sod. Can I fill in bare spots with centipede seed? A: Sure, overseeding is a fine way to thicken centipedegrass sod growing in full sun. The best time to scatter seed is...

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Compost – Grass Clippings

Q: I save my bermuda clippings by piling them up at the back of my lot. At the end of the season I use the clippings for mulch and then top dress with pine straw. Am I helping my plants...

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Canning – Vegetables

Q: If I boil collards in salted water for three hours, can I reduce the pressure canning time to forty minutes? A: I’m not a food preservation expert but I spent many childhood hours helping my mother can hundreds of...

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Muscadine – Pruning

Q: I have inherited the care of some unpruned muscadines. How do I re-train these vines for optimal production? A: Go to your muscadine vines and hold one of the long, whip-like, sprangly branches that grew last year. Follow it...

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Compost Pile – White Roots

Q: We have a large compost pile and every time we dig in it the soil is full of what we call angel hair roots. Tiny and white, they grow in it even if we keep pile covered. A:The tiny...

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