Gardening Q and A

Sweet Potato – Wireworm Damage

Q: Could you tell me what is eating on my sweet potatoes every year? A: The creatures in question are millipedes but I think they are just enjoying the damage done originally by wireworms. Wireworm control is difficult. One tip...

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Camellia – Three Colors on Same Bush

Q: I would like to buy a camellia that looks like this one I found online. A: My camellia guru Mark Crawford, owner of Loch Laurel Camellia Nursery in Valdosta says: “This could only be done by grafting to 3...

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Raised Beds – Filling

Q: I have built some raised garden beds that will need to be back filled before I can put garden soil in. The max depth of the bed is 20 inches. The minimum depth is about 10 inches. How deep...

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Shrub – Rejuvenate

Q: I have a gardenia that is forty years old. The past two or so years it has been putting out small leaves and losing branches and only producing a few flowers. Do you have any advice for me? A:...

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Wood Chips – Free

Q: You mentioned on your radio program that it was easy to obtain free wood chips. Whom would I contact? A: Most arborist companies (www.georgiaarborist.org) will deliver them free. If you ask nicely, they will be on the lookout for...

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‘Okame’ Cherry – Pink Flowers in Early Spring

Q: What are the pink flowering trees that start blooming in late February? The flowers are small. A: I’ll bet you’re seeing ‘Okame’ cherry. The small flowers are Pepto-Bismol pink and they blanket trees in early spring. It just takes...

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Aphids – On Indoor Citrus Tree

Q: Are these spider mites? Or baby assassin bugs? Or baby cave crickets? There appears to be at least two different kinds of critters here. I spray my citrus trees with insecticidal soap every other week. A: The white things...

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Oak – Mushrooms on Trunk

Q: There is a fungus growing on our old oak tree. It stands only about 20 feet from our two story ranch and is about two and one half times the height of the house. A: The tree was likely...

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Zoysia – Burned Accidentally

Q: I was burning leaves under a cast iron grate in the driveway, it was really windy, and I looked away for a second. Need I say more? Have I done permanent damage to my zoysia? A: Good news…I doubt...

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Bedbug – Control

Q: My son found these bugs in his bedroom. Can you identify for me? A: I’m sad to say he has bedbugs. If you see one, there are many more hiding. Though there are products sold that are labeled for...

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Geranium – Rooting Cuttings

Q: I’ve overwintered a geranium for five under lights. This year, it has started to blossom! If it is growing and blossoming under lights, will my cuttings root under the same lights? A: Get a plant propagation heat mat (click...

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Hydrangea – How Long to Cover in Winter

Q: How long can I leave my hydrangea covered in black plastic without causing a problem? A: Only a few days. Remove plastic and any other covering off shrubs when temperatures at night are in the high 20’s and above....

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Smilax – Berries

Q: While on a woods walk I found these black clusters of berries. What are they? A: They are a fine bird breakfast, but one I wish they wouldn’t eat! The berries are the seeds of the thorny, noxious smilax...

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Fig – No Horizontal Branches

Q: I planted this Brown Turkey fig four years ago and it has never produced a single fruit. It has grown into a giant shrub, about 10 feet tall and 10′ wide, with beautiful foliage. Can you tell me how...

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Camellia – Freeze Damage to Leaves

Q: This happened in January to my Camellia japonicas so it can’t be scorch because we don’t have so much light or heat at this time of year. A: This looks like freeze damage to me. I sometimes see yellow...

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Poultry House Odor – Block With Leyland Cypress

Q: I am hoping you can give me some good news regarding mitigating the smell rolling downhill from the chicken farm up the road. We moved to a small piece of land last year. Our next door neighbor has 30...

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Holly – Notches in Leaves (Black Vine Weevil)

Q:Can you tell me what has been eating the leaves on my holly hedge? It doesn’t look like leafcutter bees. A: I teach Master Gardeners that pest diagnosis is all about patterns. You’re right that the pattern doesn’t look like...

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Tree – Trunk Rot Beneath Rotten Limb

Q: What do you think this is and what can I do? A: It looks like an example of when a limb stub is left on the tree trunk. If I’m seeing it correctly rainwater has invaded through a rotten...

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