Gardening Q and A

Potatoes – Cooking in Pine Rosin

Q: Have you heard of using pine tree rosin for cooking potatoes? Is there a local source to purchase the rosin? A: At first I thought you were joking but people do endorse this cooking method! An entrepreneurial family down...

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Schefflera – Pruning

Q: We need to trim this schefflera back. What is best? A: A schefflera can usually recover nicely from severe pruning but needs to be in bright shade, probably outdoors, in order to sprout new limbs faster. The best time...

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Golden Digger Wasp – Identification

Q: These are all over my back yard flying just above the grass. What is it? A: They are golden digger wasps. They feed on crickets, grasshoppers and katydids and are considered beneficial insects. They are not aggressive so I...

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Pond Bank – Weed Control

Q: We recently had stones placed on the bank of our detention pond to prevent erosion. Many animals and birds live there. Weeds are growing between the stones. We need an environmentally safe herbicide to kill the unwanted plants. A:...

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Watermelon and Squash – Do Not Cross-pollinate

Q: I think I have a watermelon/squash hybrid in my garden. This came up this year where I planted squash. I didn’t plant watermelons this year but had planted watermelons in the spot last year. A: It’s probably not what...

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Raised Bed – Filling With Bagged Products

Q: I’ve built my raised beds but I don’t have a lot of soil to fill them. What should I use? A: I have had good success with Big Yellow Bag,  Scotts Premium Topsoil, Kellogg Raised Bed Mix,  Nature’s Care...

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Pollen Analysis – From Honey

Q: I am interested in matching pollen granules that my honeybees collect with the plant of origin. A: The best help I can find is from a professor at Texas A&M University in Austin. Although Austin is a bit warmer...

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Boxwood Blight – Not This

Q: Is this boxwood blight? A: My plant pathology friend Jean Williams-Woodward says “The plant looks like it is dying from a root problem, not boxwood blight. It is planted next to a stone walkway. It looks like the roots are suffering...

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Blossom End Rot – On Tomato and Pepper

Q: What causes young tomatoes to get a black bottom that turns to rot? A: Blossom end rot is caused by lack of calcium in the sap when the small fruit is growing. Calcium is distributed to the fruit in...

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Elm – Bleeding

Q: My elm tree is bleeding. The top is sappy but the bottom looks like fresh coffee grounds. This is about a foot tall and six inches wide. The tree itself is ancient. A: It looks to me like there...

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Leyland Cypress – Removing Top

Q: I have rows of large (30-40 ft tall) Leyland Cypress trees surrounding a pool which I have been “shaving/pruning” for 14 years. They have become very top heavy and have started to splinter/lean to a side. Wanting to get...

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Lichens – On Sports Netting

Q: I’m a softball coach at Georgia State University. Our back stop netting at our softball facility has developed a “fungus” on it. This growth is starting to cover the entire netting area. A: What you see is nothing more...

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Carolina Jessamine – No Flowers

Q: I have had a Carolina jessamine for four years. It has never bloomed. It appears healthy. A: I think you’re pruning in winter and removing flower buds. Jessamine is a rambunctious grower so cutting it in fall/winter is tempting....

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Hydrangea – Unexpected Green Flowers

Q: What is going on with my hydrangeas? Some are beautifully purple & pink, others are green. They get watered at 6:00 a.m. before work, have about 5 hours of daily sun, liquid fertilizer once a month. A: I think...

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Plant Labels – Making Big Ones

Q: Can you suggest a source for large plant markers, easily read while standing? A: I use metal tags that stand on tall wire legs (everlastlabel.com). You can use a grease pencil or make printed labels on clear tape with...

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Virginia Creeper – Dermatitis Rash

Q: I pulled a bunch of Virginia creeper off of a fence last week. I broke out in a terrible itching, burning red rash just like my husband does when he is exposed to poison ivy. I can roll around...

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Coneflower – Fasciated

Q: My granddaughter spotted this flower in my front yard. It seems very unique. It has one very wide stem and a daisy bloom that wraps around that looks like two blooms made together. A: This is a very interesting...

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Ginkgo – Sprouts From Stump

Q: Our beautiful ginkgo tree was destroyed a few years ago in a storm. We left the stump in place. Now, there are two new trees sprouting up from the stump. What is the best thing to do? A: I...

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