Gardening Q and A

Chinese Snowball – White Flowered Shrubs

Q: What are these enormous white-flowered hydrangea shrubs I see around town? They must be ten feet tall! A: Since it is early May, I’ll bet you are seeing Chinese snowball viburnum, not one of the white-flowered hydrangeas. It’s an...

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Carpenter Ants – Control And Removal

Q: How do I control carpenter ants? I see them wandering around in my kitchen. A: Carpenter ants can have nests inside or outside the home. Usually the dwellings are in moisture-damaged wood around chimneys and skylights, under bathtubs, behind...

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Insect Pests – Do They Serve A Purpose?

Q: What possible purpose do hornets, wasps, fleas, and mosquitos serve? A: Retired Fernbank naturalist David Funderburk says it’s all about “pollination, predation, and parasitism”. Hornets and wasps pollinate flowers and eat aphids, caterpillars and other landscape pests. Without wasps,...

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Basil – Growing Your Own

Q: My husband and I love to have fresh herbs. But when I buy fresh basil plants in the grocery they do not create enough new leaves to enjoy for any length of time. Can you plant enough seeds, or...

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Ant Bait – Make Your Own

Q: You mentioned on radio an ant bait using jelly, peanut butter, and boric acid. I would like to try it. A: You can make your own ant bait by mixing four tablespoons of peanut butter, six tablespoons of jelly...

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Fertilizer – Finding What You Need

Q: My UGA soil test report wants me to apply 15-0-15 for spring green up and 34-0-0 in summer. I can’t find either one for sale. A: I visited a local big box store and a prominent garden center last...

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Dogwood – Not Blooming

Q: I purchased a small dogwood during the Dogwood Festival five years ago. The tree is quite healthy and has tripled in size. But it has never bloomed, not even put out a single bud. A: “Making” a plant bloom...

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Organic Garden – Finding Plants and Seeds

Q: I am planting my first organic garden. I am having trouble finding organic or non- GMO plants and seeds. A: Farmer D Organics (farmerd.com) sells organically grown plants as does The Wylde Center(wyldecenter.org) in Decatur. Many of the small...

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Weeds – Why Get Rid Of Them?

Q:After many years of battling weeds it occurred to me that we should ask why are we doing this. Spending all this money, time, and poison to kill plants because they look different than grass is crazy! Getting rid of...

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Bermuda Sod – Applying Weedkiller

Q: My bermuda sod was put down in late December. The grass has not started to green up but several different weed have appeared. Is there a waiting period before herbicide can be applied? A: New grass is very sensitive...

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Bermuda – Replaced By Moss

Q: Moss is overtaking my bermuda lawn. What are quick ways to get rid of it so that it doesn’t choke our the bermuda? A: Moss doesn’t choke out grass, it just grows where grass can’t thrive. You probably have...

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Blueberry – Proper Soil Preparation

Q: How should I prepare my soil for blueberry plants. It is sandy not clay. A: The key is to make the blueberry location completely hospitable. For each plant, thoroughly till a cubic foot of Canadian peat moss into an...

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American Holly – Losing Leaves

Q: A few weekends ago I hiked five miles to the Len Foote Hike Inn at Amicalola Falls. Along the trail I noticed lots of American holly trees were losing their leaves. A: Despite being thought of as evergreen, American...

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Bees – Harldy Moving

Q: In late September I noticed there were lots of large black bees hanging on my lantana. I thought they were dead. Nope! They are alive, but when I nudge them they barely move. A: They’re sleeping! Bees of all...

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Grassology – Growing In Georgia

Q: How does the new Grassology grass grow here? It’s sold on TV and at Bed Bath and Beyond. A: Despite the glossy ads, I have no confidence in this grass blend. After spending thirty minutes trying to find the...

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Italian Cypress – Rust Spots

Q: My Italian cypress has rust spots and I assume that is some sort of fungus. What do you recommend? A: In my experience Italian cypress is relatively short-lived in the South. It grows wonderfully fast for a few years,...

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Butterflys – Plants and Identification

Q: I’ve already seen my first butterfly. How can I identify it? A: Butterflies are exciting to see in a garden. They help pollinate plants but they are beautiful in their own right. I have a list of butterfly plants...

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Zoysia – Proper Scalping

Q: When is the best time to scalp zoysia lawn after winter? A: You can hasten the greenup of bermuda and zoysia lawns by removing the dead leaves after vigorous growth has begun. When your lawn is at least 50%...

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