Gardening Q and A

Soft Caress mahonia problems

Q: I planted several Soft Caress mahonia shrubs last year. The plants appear to be dying now. I trimmed back the dead branches. I really like the look of these plants. A: “Soft Caress’ is an intriguing plant. Rather than...

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What is this plant?

A hiker in N. Georgia observed this branch. What do you think is going on? Play Video Email Walter with your...

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Organic control of aphids

Q: I have planted my seedlings in my barn under grow lights this year, a totally separate building away from the whiteflies that were in my garden two years ago. I went to check them yesterday and all are covered...

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Pine and oak tree trunks can’t graft together

Q: I made a pretty cool discovery in my yard in Tattnall County. A few weeks ago I was cutting down some pine trees. As I was cleaning up some of the debris, I noticed an oak tree and a...

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Chickweed control failure and a better idea

Q: My lawn was covered with chickweed last spring and this spring! I put down a pre-emergent carefully last fall and watered it in. Why did it not work? A: Since chickweed is an annual plant that sprouts from seed...

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Silver maple dropping black things

Q: We have a silver maple that is dropping dark black things. It is coming from the limbs that are in the early budding stage. Any ideas? A: Wow, I had never noticed this before you pointed it out. I...

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Pruning wisteria for more blooms

Q: I need advice on pruning wisteria. These limbs are twenty feet long but they produce blooms very lightly every summer. Do I prune in winter or summer? A: Both! At the end of each growing season your vine will...

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Slow decline of Japanese maples in pots

Q: My two Japanese maples have been growing in these pots for ten years. They have slowly declined each year. They lose leaves very early in fall and they each have small limbs that die every year, a little at...

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Identifying, selecting and pruning fruiting quince

Q: I have become interested in growing fruiting quince and have several plants. Do they fruit on current year’s growth or last years? I need to prune them a bit. They are delicious if properly prepared. I have Le page...

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Boxwood Alternatives

Q: I have a topiary boxwood that has succumbed to boxwood blight. I know one can’t replant a boxwood in the same site but are there other shrubs that I could put in the same place? A: Boxwood blight probably...

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Planting lantana seed

Q: Do you know of a company that sells lantana seeds by mail? A: I found several places online that sell the seeds. I have occasionally purchased plants and seeds on Amazon, but on at least two occasions the seeds...

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Flowering Times Of Cherry Trees

Q: You were talking on radio about the different flowering times of cherry trees. Can I get a list? A: Flowering cherry trees can give us blooms for at least two months in spring. Their flowering times overlap so there...

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Cats use garden for litter box

Q: I have several raised beds where I grow vegetables. Stray cats like to use my beds as their litter box. Do you think I should replace the soil before I plant in spring? A: I am not a veterinarian...

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Repairing De-icer Damage to Plants

Q: Before a snow or ice event, the city spreads something on the street in front of my house. They used this clumpy blue stuff which I find on my lawn and flower bed. What can be done to avoid...

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Non-native plants don’t harm insects

Q: What effect do non-native plants have on insects in our landscapes? A: Contrary to what you might have heard, in some cases non-native plants are beneficial for local insects. Many insects are generalist feeders and can happily consume pollen,...

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Good example of tree healing a wound

Q: A few years ago my neighbor hit this tree with his car. He covered the damaged spot with tar and we thought everything was fine until a few days ago when I noticed a patch of raised bark on...

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Bradford pear pruned severely

Q: Recently our Bradford pear tree was pruned to this extreme. Will it still grow and bloom? A: Bradford pear is a tough tree to kill so your tree will probably recover. The person who did the pruning thought this...

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Nice use of English ivy in a landscape

Q: I have been working on my yard for twenty years and have gone through a lot of trial and error. It is hilly and wooded and shaded. I’ve always had ivy for ground cover and have settled with azaleas,...

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