Gardening Q and A

Mushrooms – Growing in Potting Soil

Q: I was surprised to see this mushroom growing in a rather unusual place. A: Mushrooms can grow anywhere there is organic matter to decompose: in this case your potting soil is great food for a fungus. The happy fungus...

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Pomegranate – Pruning Into a Tree

Q: I planted a pomegranate a couple of years ago. It is now six feet tall. I would like to get it to grow up and be more of a tree rather than a bush. A: Unpruned, a pomegranate will...

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Microclover – Growing in Georgia

Q: Please tell me your knowledge of microclover alone or with fescue as a turf-type ground cover in Atlanta. We have a sunny yard with a moderate slope facing north. It gets little foot traffic but neither bermuda nor fescue...

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Ruby Slippers Hydrangea – Dividing

Q: I planted two Ruby Slipper hydrangeas in one pot when they were small. They grew a whole lot faster than I had anticipated. I need to separate them but they are close together and I am afraid of damaging...

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Bermuda Lawn – Mow in December?

Q: I have a question about mowing in the dormant season. My bermuda lawn is more than three inches high. Is it okay to cut it now or should I wait until spring? A: Much depends on how much grass...

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Moss Lawn – Growing

Q: I’ve read about planting moss lawns, but can’t find anyone in Atlanta that knows about it. I have a very large tree in my front yard that doesn’t allow for grass growing. A: Having a moss lawn is tempting...

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Sichuan Peppercorns – Grow in Georgia

Q: I would like to know if Sichuan peppercorns could be grown in Georgia. A: Sichuan pepper comes from trees native to Asia whose seeds are used in food to produce a mouth-numbing, tickling sensation. I’ve enjoyed it at local...

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Crapemyrtle – Best to Selectively Prune

Q: I notice that most crape myrtle trees are topped and pruned. Is that how they should be done or would selective pruning be a better alternative? A: Selective pruning is much better for the health of the plant. Although...

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Sichuan peppercorns – Grow in Georgia?

Q: I would like to know if Sichuan peppercorns could be grown in Georgia. A: Sichuan pepper is a tree, native to Asia, whose seeds are used in food to give a mouth-numbing, tickling sensation. I’ve enjoyed it at local...

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Dew-Anner (Guano) – Organic Fertilizer

Q: Have you ever hear of “Dew Anner” fertilizer? My daddy used it at planting time. A: I’m pretty certain your father was referring to guano, often pronounced “gu-anner” by country folk. Although true guano is simply mined bat or...

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Golden Goddess Bamboo – Growing in Atlanta

Q: I recently planted five Golden Goddess bamboo plants seven feet apart and about the same distance from the fence line as a privacy barrier. What kind of growth should I expect from them? A: ‘Golden Goddess’ is a clumping...

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Sedum – Not Blooming

Q: I’ve had John Creech sedum in my full sun perennial garden for four years and it’s never once bloomed. It looks healthy and grows tight to the ground. I do divide it throughout the growing season to fill in...

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Cotton Seed Meal – On Blueberries

Q: I found some cotton seed meal to put around my blueberries. When and how much should I use? Should I use 10-10-10 on them too? A: One of the great things about using organic fertilizers like cottonseed meal is...

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Grape – Tube Gall

Q: I found this growing on a wild grapevine off my deck in late summer at my cabin in Rabun Gap. Very curious looking spikes. A: They are grape tube galls. They are caused by a small flying insect called...

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Podocarpus – Fruit

Q: I recently found these pods on a tree in Marietta and would love to know their origin. The fruit/pod are dark purplish black and spongy and then this glorious green grape at the end. Fascinating! A: My friend Shannon...

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Squash – Bumpy Skin

Q: This summer I had knobby squash. I know what old squash looks like. These are immature in size, young, not very fat, but the skin looks like we waited too long to pick it. Why? A: This looks like...

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Evergreen Screen Plant – Fast Growing

Q: A developer is putting multiple homes on the hill across the creek from our back yard. If we are to have any measure of privacy, we need to get something tall and fast-growing planted quickly. A: I visited with...

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Canna Lily – Preparing Seed to Sprout

Q: I’m a high school student doing a project for science but I’m having a hard time germinating canna lily seeds. I have tried many things but I did not get any results. A: The seeds will germinate best if...

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