Gardening Q and A

Compost – Basics 101

Q: I am trying composting for the first time so I bought one of those compost enclosures in August. At this point it looks more like a garbage pile than what I expected compost to look like. Any suggestions? A:...

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Compost – Obtaining Manure In Atlanta

Q: I live Atlanta and would like to know where can I obtain free compost in the city. Have you, or others you know, tried manures from the Atlanta Zoo? While on the subject, how long does it take for...

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Blueberries – Growing In Georgia Clay

Q: I have a horrible problem with clay soil (or should I call it ceramic?) soil. I want to transplant some blueberries and crepe myrtles into holes that have been dug but water seems to just sit in the bottom....

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Lombardy Poplar – Use As A Privacy Shield?

Q: I have just ordered a lot of Lombardy poplar trees that I plan to use as a border and privacy shield on my property. I need to know about these trees. How far apart do I plant them? How...

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The Austree – Not As Great As It Sounds

Q: Have you ever heard of Aus-trees? They are a hybrid and are supposed to be super fast-growing and good for shade and windbreaks. Will they do well here in Georgia? A: The Austree is heavily promoted through the mail...

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Birds – Not Eating Old Seed?

Q: My wife and I put up a new bird feeder after Christmas but we see very little feeding activity. Can birdseed go bad or can birds even tell that it is old? A: “Heck, they eat worms and dead...

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Sweetshrub – Growing More From Seeds

Q: I have a sweetshrub bush with several seed pods. Can these be planted to produce more bushes. How would I go about doing it? And when? A: University of Georgia horticulturist Dr. Michael Dirr seems to have found time...

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Spiders – Some Useful Info

Q: I recently found a black widow spider in my bathroom. Where did it come from? Do they nest in the attic or basement? A: Poisonous spiders populate the nightmares of many people. The combination of eight legs, venomous jaws...

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Bromeliad – Leaves Beginning To Shrivel

Q: Several weeks ago a friend gave me a big bromeliad from her greenhouse. Its leaves are beginning to shrivel. I watered the soil when I potted it and I have been pouring water into the throat of the plant....

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Roundup – Sprayed On Bermuda?

Q: Can I spray the green weeds in my Bermuda lawn with Roundup? A: Yes, you can, but you have to promise to be careful. Get down on your hands and knees and examine your Bermuda at the soil level....

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Rasberries – Specifics Of Care

Q: My raspberries are begging for some kind of attention. I have read too many articles and I’m really confused. Should I cut them back to the ground for the Winter? Should I tie them up on my trellis? Should...

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Christmas Tree – Finding The Concolor Fir

Q: When I went to buy my cut Christmas tree several weeks ago, the guys at the lot described it as a “Cuculla” fir. It was very attractive throughout the holidays – especially since it smelled so nicely of tangerines...

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Rhododendrons – Don’t Pinch Off The Bulbs!!

Q: I have noticed that my rhododendrons have large bulbs at the ends of the branches, not ready for bloom. Since winter is around the corner, should I pinch them off? A: Don’t, don’t, don’t!! Those swollen things at the...

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Air Potato – A Delicious Dish!

Q: I have been growing for several years the “air potato” plant you wrote about recently. I grow mine on a fence so the bulblets don’t spread throughout the neighborhood. The tiny “potatoes” are edible and quite good if put...

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Plums – Finding The Wild One

Q: When I was a child, we had a plum tree in our yard. My father would make a wonderful sweet-tart jam from the plums. He said it was a “hog” or wild plum tree. Do you know of this...

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Magazines – Two More!

Q: I would like to add to your recent list of magazines for Southern gardeners. Carolina Gardener and Southern Living are two that apply to our zone 7 and are well worth mentioning. They can be reached at www.carolinagardener.com (800-245-0142)...

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Squash – Growing On A Trellis

Q: We are growing acorn squash on a trellis to keep it from taking over the entire garden. The fruit are already large and we are concerned about them breaking the stems. How should we support them? A: I recommend...

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Hydrangea – Lots Of Foliage, But No Flowers

Q: I have seven Vanilla Strawberry hydrangea shrubs. All have a great abundance of green foliage, but they have no flowers. One is in 60% sun, three are in 30% sun, and three are in 20% sun.. A: Unlike common...

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