Gardening Q and A

Pansies – Not Deer Resistant

Q: Are pansies deer resistant? A: They are not. Numerous homeowners have described to me deer that walk along a bed and pull the plants out of the soil with their teeth. You can try using one of the sprayable,...

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Pears – Where Are They From

Q: Does North America have an indigenous pear? Or did all of our pears originally come from Europe? A: Pears are native to a broad swath of Europe and Asia; they did not originate in North America. Despite their country...

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Spinach – Sprouting Seeds

Q: A friend told me he read in your vegetable book that we should cover the dirt with a board after planting spinach seeds. How long do we leave the board on? A: Spinach seed are notorious for sporadic germination....

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Pre-Emergent – Diminishing Activity?

Q: I put pre-emergent on my common Bermuda lawn a couple of weeks ago. My pine trees drop a ton of pine straw. Would raking interfere with the action of the pre-emergent? Jen Marion, email A: I don’t think you’d...

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Clay – Tips For Planting Bulbs

Q: I recently relocated from central Florida. Our back yard has a slope where I want to plant bulbs but it is solid packed red clay. It is like cement! I’m used to sand! Is there a way of breaking...

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Kudzu Bugs – Treat Outdoors

Q: You answered a Q&A last week about brown marmorated stink bugs on a house. I haven’t seen any of those, but I have seen many kudzu bugs over the past three years. A: Yes, there are LOTS of kudzu...

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Bulbs – Protection From Rodents

Q: Is there anything I can do to prevent the chipmunks and squirrels from destroying my tulip and daffodil bulbs? A: The easiest thing to do is to spread chicken wire over the spot and cover with mulch. Make “hairpins”...

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Straw Bales – Containing Seeds

Q: I am interested in straw bale vegetable gardens but I can’t find clean wheat straw bales anywhere. Several folks have told me that big box stores sell bales that are full of weed seeds. A: Wheat straw bales inevitably...

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Boxwoods – Best Time To Prune

Q: I need to severely prune several ten-foot-tall English boxwoods. When is the best time to do this? A: You can do light pruning now but the best time for severe pruning would be in early March, just before new...

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Bermuda – Proper Mowing Height

Q: Last April I had TifGrand bermuda installed. According to the turf company, I should mow it no less than 2.5 inches for the first year. According to your recent Q&A you recommend cutting bermuda grass at 1.5 to 2.0...

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Stinckbug – Porchside Pests

Q: Can you talk about stinkbugs? They seem to have a hankerin’ for the south side of our house. A: The brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB) has been busily invading Georgia for the last few years, feasting on peaches, plums and...

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Boston Fern – Surviving The Winter

Q: I have some lovely Boston ferns that I try every year to keep in the garage over the cold weather. This year, I took the poor, pitiful survivors of the garage and planted them in the ground. They just...

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Fire Ants – Doing Damage

Q: Whenever I pass a fire ant mound, I take a moment to scrape my foot through and scatter it, sending the little critters hurrying about to make repairs. Am I having any impact at all on them? A: UGA...

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Red Maple – Growth Spurt

Q: My young red maple has had a tremendous growth spurt this summer, mainly from the center trunk which has grown almost three feet. Should I leave it be and see if the tree fills in or should I trim...

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Kieffer – Pears In Preserves

Q: I am trying to find the type of pear my Mom used in making pear preserves The pears would be ripe, but rock hard and a very pale green/yellowish color covered with brown specks. A: I feel confident your...

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Organic Garden – Staying Strong and Healthy

Q: I need advice on how to keep an organic vegetable garden and survive the multitude of pests that make waste of my attempts. A: Helping plants resist disease and insects rather than automatically reaching for the spray bottle should...

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Palm – Boron Deficiency

Q: I’m in Bradenton, Florida and we have a triple foxtail palm that was installed by a tree company two years ago. Six months ago the center fronds grew really long and then just fell over dead. New ones that...

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Rat Snake – Found Skin

Q: I was unpacking a box that was on the top shelf in my garage and found on the tape a snakeskin. I am so scared that it may still be there. A: It looks like the shed skin of...

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