Gardening Q and A

St. Augustine – Thin Spots

Q: I have a St. Augustine grass lawn but have areas that are thin. If I throw out some St. Augustine grass seed will that make it thicker? A: Sadly for your project, you can’t buy St. Augustinegrass seed. The...

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Planters – Space Fillers

Q: I have large planters on my porch. Do you have any tips for a space filler at the bottom other than potting soil? A: I use two-liter soft drink bottle filled with sand and capped. Most container plants have...

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Snowball – Rooting Options

Q: My parents have a gorgeous snowball bush. Is it possible to root a piece for myself from their bush? A: I think the best way to propagate woody shrubs is to do something called “air layering”. The process involves...

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Rose – Are Petals Poisonous

Q: Are Knock Out rose petals poisonous? I’m not planning to make a meal of them, but I’d like to decorate desserts with the petals. A: I’m not aware of anything detrimental in the petals, as long as no pesticides...

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Fertilizer – Using Sugar?

Q: I read online that you can use sugar for lawn fertilizer. It said it’s cheaper and is much better than using commercial stuff. What are your thoughts on this? A: Not many garden questions cause me to stare at...

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Fertilizer – Chemical Vs. Organic

Q: What are your thoughts on switching from chemical fertilizers and weed killers to organic products on a lawn? I’d like to hire an organic lawn contractor to do this. A: I think healthy lawns can be managed safely with...

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Cucumbers – Crop Boosting

Q: We’ve grown cucumbers for several years. Some years they were plentiful, but the last couple of seasons have not been productive. Any suggestions on how to have a better crop? A: My bet is that you need better pollination....

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Birds – Eating Fescue Seed

Q: I have fescue grass in my back yard and have had problems getting it to look good. There are bird feeders along the back lawn edge. I wonder if having so many birds in the area might cause problems...

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Hosta – Applying Compost

Q: I have a large hosta bed and I’m ready to put the semi-annual layer of compost on it. It seems like it would be better to work it in a few inches with my hand cultivator, but I’m afraid...

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Bermudagrass – Weed Prevention

Q: I have a puppy and would like to get a lawn maintenance schedule that won’t hurt him. What do you recommend for bermuda grass? A: The best weed control is making the bermuda so vigorous that it out-competes weeds,...

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Spelling – Plant Names

Q: Is the correct spelling for the common summer plant “crepe myrtle” or “crape myrtle”? A: It’s a bit more complicated than you think. Any author attempts to be consistent in spelling and grammar for their work; it would be...

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Cedar – Transplanting

Q: There are numerous cedar trees growing in the forests around me that are accessible for transplanting. Are cedar trees or Leyland cypress better for birds? A: I think red cedar is better for birds by far. The combination of...

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Dame’s Rocket – Illegal?

Q: Is dames rocket an illegal plant for Georgia? I read it is banned from some states due to its invasiveness. A: I don’t know of any plants that are “illegal” in Georgia except marijuana and possibly Oriental poppy. Planting...

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Weeds – Periodic Clearing

Q: I have a bit of acreage and I don’t want to clear all of it, just some weeds and underbrush around my cabin. I want something to make the briars go away, but not destroy the earth. A: In...

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Paperwhites – Planting Tips

Q: I forced some paperwhites this year and left the flowers on the stems until they produced seeds. How should I plant them to get new bulbs? A: I’m guessing you are referring to the green seed pods that formed...

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Chickweed – Covering Garden

Q: When I went out to my vegetable garden area to start planting peas, I found it completely covered with chickweed. What should I do? A: At this point in the spring garden, I think you should pull up as...

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Fig Tree – New Growth

Q: My eight-year old fig tree was damaged by cold last winter. In years before it made tons of figs. We cut back the dead parts but from those big branches grew many shoots growing straight up. Last summer there...

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Hydrangea – Transplanting

Q: I need to transplant a mature hydrangea from my son’s present yard to his new home. I need to dig it up now but cannot replant it for a couple of weeks. A: This should be easy. Soak the...

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