Gardening Q and A

Tiger Beetle – Larvae in Hole

Q: We found this interesting bug in our yard. At first we thought it was a snake that was just sticking its head in and out of a hole, but in looking closer we think it is some sort of...

READ MORE

Squash – Downy Mildew

Q: My whole zucchini plant turned spotted overnight. I harvested 1 zucchini thus far this season. The plant is planted in a raised garden, with organic top soil. Should I pull the plant? A: This looks like the beginning of...

READ MORE

Landscape Designer – Hiring

Q: I’m looking for someone to draw up landscape plans. We’ll probably do the work ourselves, but we really need some professional help. A: Strictly speaking, if you want a “plan only ” service, it’s illegal for someone other than...

READ MORE

Tomato – Colorado Potato Beetle

Q: This insect has chosen to feast on my tomatoes. Do you have any ideas what this is? A: It’s a Colorado potato beetle larvae. Despite its name, the potato beetle feeds on several plants in the nightshade (tomato) family....

READ MORE

Blueberry – Yellownecked Caterpillars

Q:I just found these on one leaf of my highbush blueberry bush. Are they the start if those horrible yellow neck caterpillars? A:Your suspicions are correct – they are immature yellow necked caterpillars, probably Dantana ministra. If you allow them...

READ MORE

Corn – Buggywhipping

Q: I’m hoping you can help solve a mystery in my garden. It almost looks like someone tried to tie an overhand knot with the leaves. A: It’s called buggy-whipping. It can be caused by herbicides but my bet is...

READ MORE

Landscaping – Finding A Good Company

Q: I would like to hire a company to take care of my landscape. Something more than “mow, blow and go”. A: There are plenty of excellent landscape maintenance companies in Atlanta. One place to look is the “ Find...

READ MORE

White Pines – Similar Substitutes

Q: Our home had a lovely screen of white pines but they eventually died. Could we replant this same species? Should we look for a substitute? A: White pines are typically short-lived in Atlanta. They seem to succumb to summer...

READ MORE

Apple Trees – Small Fruit

Q: Eight years ago I planted seeds from a Pink Lady apple. The biggest tree is ten feet tall and has hundreds of blossoms. The apples are tasty but they are the size of peas. A: It sounds like the...

READ MORE

Pre-Emergent – Application In A Warm Winter?

Q: Would you recommend putting a pre-emergent down early this year since we are having such a warm winter? A: Summer weeds won’t germinate until soil temperatures get above 55 degrees for several days. In Atlanta, the soil temperature is...

READ MORE

Lemon Tree – Insuring Pollination

Q: I purchased a Meyer lemon plant last spring that had three green fruit on it. They finally ripened in November on my deck. Now the plant is thriving in a sunny location in my home and it has numerous...

READ MORE

Strawberries – Ordering Online

Q: Do you know where Florida 90 Strawberry plants can be purchased? A: My Dad would buy strawberry plants each year from the local hardware store. I believe he bought them in packs of twenty-five, wrapped in brown paper and...

READ MORE

Pesticides – How Long Are They Effective?

Q: I have accumulated a number of lawn and garden treatments like Triazicide, Immunox, Sevin, and assorted weed killers. How long do things like this remain effective? A: Freezing and high heat cause some, but not all, pesticides to degrade....

READ MORE

Pear – Varieties For Making Preserves

Q: I would like to plant a pear tree. Could you tell me the variety of pear that is so prevalent throughout the South and makes great preserves? A: You’re probably thinking of ‘Kieffer’ pear. The flesh is somewhat gritty...

READ MORE

Overseeding – Planting Fescue In Spring

Q: I know October is the best time for overseeding a fescue lawn but can it be done in the spring? A: Although late fall is the optimum time to plant fescue, mid- to late February is a workable alternate....

READ MORE

Edibles – Grown On A Trellis

Q: I am looking to expand my options of annual vines to grow on a west facing trellis. My preferences lean toward edibles. A: Malibar spinach, Basella rubra, is not a true spinach but its thick, fleshy, slightly-crinkled, heart-shaped leaves...

READ MORE

Removing Pine – Not Disturbing Nesting Squirrels

Q: I want to have several pine trees cut. However, I don’t want to impact nesting squirrels, particularly if they have litters. A: Squirrels are breeding right now so there’s not much chance of having babies in a nest. But...

READ MORE

Coir – Ordering In Bulk

Q: Is there a local source for coir in bulk? I am planning on making a hydroponic garden with raised strawberry beds. A: Coir, a processed coconut fiber used as a planting medium, has many attributes to recommend it. The...

READ MORE