Gardening Q and A

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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Huckleberry – What Is It

Q: We are taking care of my elderly parents’ home in a subdivision named Huckleberry Ridge. What are huckleberries? Will they grow here? A: “Huckleberry” is a name given to several plants. True huckleberry is Gaylussacia baccata. It grows mostly...

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Allergies – Mid Winter

Q: In mid-January, my eyes became really itchy, puffy, and swollen. This happened to me last year as well. Allergists say I am likely allergic to some sort of pollen. What is making pollen this time of year? A: I...

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Wild Onions – Edible

Q: At a neighborhood dinner a guest said he planned to pick the wild onions in his yard and use them in recipes. Are they edible? A: The “wild onions” we notice in lawns now are probably wild garlic, Allium...

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Oak – Planting Beneath

Q: I have a huge oak that has a lot of moss growing under it. We can’t get anything to grow under this tree. A: A healthy oak has lots of leaves which catch almost all of the sunshine streaming...

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Vegetable Garden – Stink Bugs

Q: I have a small vegetable garden where I grow tomatoes, peppers, squash and eggplant. It has been infested by stink bugs for three years running. What can I use to control them that won’t hurt my honeybees? A: Brown...

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Alumroot – Potted and Pretty

Q: On a recent radio show you mentioned a plant that goes well with autumn fern. It sounded like yureka or alaroot. Please clarify. A: I was bragging on my heuchera plants, also known as alumroot. The leaves are very...

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Vetch – Removal

Q: I’m using glyphosate on my prolific purple vetch weed, which grows rapidly and pops up everywhere in spring! What eradicates it permanently? A: Nothing eradicates vetch permanently. You’ll have to deal with it occasionally if there are any uncontrolled...

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Loropetalums – Winter Pruning

Q: I have some large, ten-year old loropetalums that are seven feet tall. Can I prune them down to three feet tall right now? A: You’ll be pruning away the flower buds for spring bloom if you do it now...

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Snakes – Hibernation Habits

Q: Will poisonous snakes hibernate in a compost pile? I’m concerned about turning it and finding one. A: Yes, snakes of all kinds can hibernate in compost piles, leaf piles, rock piles and firewood piles. Even so, the chance of...

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