Gardening Q and A

Boxwoods – Best Time To Prune

Q: I need to severely prune several ten-foot-tall English boxwoods. When is the best time to do this? A: You can do light pruning now but the best time for severe pruning would be in early March, just before new...

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Bermuda – Proper Mowing Height

Q: Last April I had TifGrand bermuda installed. According to the turf company, I should mow it no less than 2.5 inches for the first year. According to your recent Q&A you recommend cutting bermuda grass at 1.5 to 2.0...

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Stinckbug – Porchside Pests

Q: Can you talk about stinkbugs? They seem to have a hankerin’ for the south side of our house. A: The brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB) has been busily invading Georgia for the last few years, feasting on peaches, plums and...

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Boston Fern – Surviving The Winter

Q: I have some lovely Boston ferns that I try every year to keep in the garage over the cold weather. This year, I took the poor, pitiful survivors of the garage and planted them in the ground. They just...

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Fire Ants – Doing Damage

Q: Whenever I pass a fire ant mound, I take a moment to scrape my foot through and scatter it, sending the little critters hurrying about to make repairs. Am I having any impact at all on them? A: UGA...

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Red Maple – Growth Spurt

Q: My young red maple has had a tremendous growth spurt this summer, mainly from the center trunk which has grown almost three feet. Should I leave it be and see if the tree fills in or should I trim...

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Kieffer – Pears In Preserves

Q: I am trying to find the type of pear my Mom used in making pear preserves The pears would be ripe, but rock hard and a very pale green/yellowish color covered with brown specks. A: I feel confident your...

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Organic Garden – Staying Strong and Healthy

Q: I need advice on how to keep an organic vegetable garden and survive the multitude of pests that make waste of my attempts. A: Helping plants resist disease and insects rather than automatically reaching for the spray bottle should...

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Palm – Boron Deficiency

Q: I’m in Bradenton, Florida and we have a triple foxtail palm that was installed by a tree company two years ago. Six months ago the center fronds grew really long and then just fell over dead. New ones that...

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Rat Snake – Found Skin

Q: I was unpacking a box that was on the top shelf in my garage and found on the tape a snakeskin. I am so scared that it may still be there. A: It looks like the shed skin of...

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Bloodgood Japanese Maple – Not Staying Red

Q: My beautiful Bloodgood maple didn’t turn red this year. Here’s what it looks like in December. What could be wrong with it? I splurged on this tree to honor my gardener father who had a Bloodgood that he loved....

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Juniper – Growing From Cuttings

Q: I have several Blue Rug junipers I planted on a slope twenty years ago. They are now forty feet in diameter. I want to root a couple of hundred runners off of these plants and transplant them to another...

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Banana – Flowering in Fall

Q: We noticed this “bloom” on our banana tree around the first of November, followed by baby bananas. This tree has grown to  12 ft. tall this year after cutting it to the ground last year. I just assumed it...

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Dahlia – Staking

Q: My dahlias are so lazy, always laying around on the ground instead of standing up. Should I dig them up and plant them deeper? A: Dahlia varieties vary greatly in size. Some grow small and compact but other, like...

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Flat Headed Borer – Identification

Q:This critter was on the ground after I split a hickory log. Do you know what it is? A: It’s a flat headed borer, the larva of a jewel beetle, in the insect family Buprestidae, also known as metallic wood...

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Bluebird House – Protection from Snakes

Q: We have several bird houses located on 4″ x 4″ posts in our yard. Unfortunately a snake was able to climb to one house and ate the baby bluebirds. Do you have any prevention suggestions? A: A slick metal...

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River Birch – Trunks Catching and Holding Water

Q: Nineteen years ago I planted three Heritage river birch trees. They have multiple trunks. Two of them have a “crotch” between the trunks that fills with water when it rains. Will this ultimately lead to rot and the death...

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Boston Ivy vs Virginia Creeper – Identification

Q: Is this Boston ivy, poison ivy, or poison Boston ivy? Or maybe a freaked out Virginia creeper? A: Well, I can eliminate two of our four choices. It’s not poison ivy or poison Boston creeper. So is it Boston...

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