Gardening Q and A

Chipmunks – Protected By Federal Law?

Q: I read where you said that chipmunks are protected by state law. A local landscaper disagrees. What’s the real answer on this? A: The Official Code of Georgia says “Except as otherwise provided by law, rule, or regulation, it...

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Vines – Going Down Your Wall

Q: We recently bought a house with two huge brick retaining walls on either side of the pool deck. Each one is twelve feet high and fifty feet long. Is there a vine that will trail down the walls? A:...

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Fertilizer – Storage And Subsequent Application

Q: I have been storing fertilizer in a galvanized garbage can with a lid in the garage. Is this safe? A: If you are worried about explosive potential, I very much doubt homeowner fertilizers would blow up. Open containers of...

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Inchworms – Getting Rid Of Them

Q: I’ve been battling inch worms in my Japanese maple for five years. They decimate the leaves and get all over everyone when they come up the walkway. Is there anything that can be sprayed to control them? A: Inchworms,...

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Bluegrass – Removing Now Or Pre-Emergent Later?

Q: I have annual bluegrass in my zoysia lawn. Will it do any good to dig up these plants? A: They have already dropped thousands of seeds. It’s best to wait until mid-September and control with a pre-emergent. Remember that...

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Pansies – How Long Will They Last?

Q: I have been enjoying my pansies and violas during the winter. How long will they continue to bloom? I hate to replace them for summer annuals if I can keep them blooming through summer. A: Heat will eventually be...

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Caladium – Winter Care and Storage

Q: I’m trying to simplify things as much as possible and I love caladiums. This past winter I left the bulbs planted in a container in my basement but they rotted. Anything else I can try? A: You’re right that...

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TifGrand Bermuda – Proper Trimming and Care

Q:We had TifGrand bermuda sod installed last year. We’ve noticed it has started to thin in areas, even though they receive full afternoon sun. The landscaper mows it three to four inches in height. Should TifGrand be treated differently from...

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Japanese Maple – Trimming Dead Branches

Q: I planted a Japanese maple last year on Mothers Day. The tree gets full sun two-thirds of the day. It seems pretty healthy but a few limbs have died. Should I remove them? A: Cut the dead limbs off....

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Tomatoes – Fighting Cold Damage

Q: We have had tomatoes in a pot for three weeks. The plant has some leaves that are washed out looking, almost as though some of the green was removed. What could cause this? A: My bet is cold damage....

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Cumberland False Rosemary – Planting Outside In Atlanta

Q: I inherited a Cumberland false rosemary planted in a large outdoor pot. Can this plant survive planted in the ground here? A: Native plant expert Shannon Pable (shannonpable.com) says Cumberland false rosemary, Conradina verticillata, naturally grows in sandy soil...

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Pruning – Chinese photinia

Q: An arborist has identified the tree at the front corner of my house as a Chinese plant with “serrulota” in the name. How and when should it be cut back? A: You have Chinese photinia, Photinia serrulata. It is...

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Beetles – Minimizing Dog Waste

Q: When we lived in Florida we used dung beetles to minimize dog deposits in the yard. It actually worked pretty well. Where can we get these critters here in Georgia? A: Any cow pasture will have lots of dung...

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Fertilizing – 3-4 Times A Year

Q: I’ve heard you recommend fertilizing fescue 3 or 4 times a year. Are your recommendations designed for water-soluble fertilizers like 10-10-10? With the higher nitrogen slow-release fertilizers, the pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet would exceed the recommended...

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Aeration – Sand Afterward?

Q: What is the best type of sand to use following aeration of our bermuda lawn to help provide better drainage for the Georgia red clay? A: I don’t recommend using sand after aeration. Experts say that you need to...

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Tomatoes – Planting With Lime

Q: Should we put lime in the bottom of the hole when planting our tomato plants? How much? A: Garden lime supplies calcium that prevents blossom end rot in tomatoes. It also counteracts soil acidity. However, you don’t need much...

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Zoysia – What With The Lime Application?

Q: We have zoysia grass and have never put lime on it. Should I do so now or do I have to test the soil first? A: All lawn grasses benefit by having the proper soil pH. If your soil...

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Fescue – Aeration Leading To Weeds?

Q: I had my fescue lawn aerated last fall and put fescue seed out at the same time. The fescue is growing great but there are lots of weeds. A: The aeration probably brought up some dormant weed seed, which...

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