Gardening Q and A

Best Time To Cut Back Wax Myrtles?

Q: When is the best time to cut back wax myrtles? Some branches were broken in the snow storm we recently had. When cutting the broken branches is it ok to limb them up and cut them down, top them,...

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Amber Gold Arborvitae – Any Special Care Needed?

Q: I ordered two ‘Amber Gold’ arborvitae online. They’ve been in the ground a couple of weeks now and seem to be doing well. Is any special care needed? A: The main thing to keep in mind is that arborvitae...

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How Do Get New Areas To Grow Moss And How To Control Weeds?

Q: I have a nice, flat backyard that will not grow grass, but does grow moss, which I love. Moss is green, it’s good for croquet, and I don’t have to cut it. How do you get new areas to...

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Dry Soil And Cold Weather – Should I Water My Lawn Now?

Q: I am concerned about dry soil and cold weather. Would it be helpful to water my lawn now? I have bermuda, centipede and some fescue.  A: I can’t think of how watering would help dormant grass unless it was...

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Is Moving Our Croton And Mandevilla Indoors And Out Detrimental?

Q: My wife and I are having a debate. I take our croton and mandevilla outdoors when the temperature rises above 40 degrees. She wonders if moving them in and out is detrimental?  A: I think your wife is right....

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When To Move My Loropetalum Shrubs?

Q: We have eight loropetalum shrubs in front of our house. We want to move them to another spot. Is now a bad time to do it, even when it’s cold?  A: Loropetalum is reasonably tolerant of moving as long...

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Is It Too Early For Bluebirds?

Q: A bluebird just appeared in my back yard. Isn’t this too early for them? A: My neighbor, Cathy G., maintains nesting boxes in our neighborhood and feeds bluebirds in her yard year round. They don’t typically migrate. During the...

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Beautyberry Bushes – How Much Can I Prune Them?

Q: My beautyberry bushes are twelve feet high and haven’t been pruned in years. How far back can I prune them?  A: Good news: beautyberry blooms on new wood, so you can prune in winter. The eye-catching berries seen in...

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When Should I Dig Up And Divide Outdoor Amaryllis?

Q: When should I dig up and divide outdoor amaryllis? Most literature says after foliage turns brown. But mine usually does not die down all winter.  A: Do it now, before cold temperatures freeze the bulbs. My garden amaryllis had...

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Foster Holly – If I leave a 4′ Stump Will It Sprout Again?

Q: Last month’s snow bent my 25’ tall Foster holly about 90 degrees and I think I will have to cut it. I can leave a 4’ stump, will it sprout from that stump?  A: Foster holly, along with most...

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One Foot Tall Douglas Fir – What Do I Do Next?

Q: I recently purchased a Douglas fir, about one foot tall. What do I do next for best growth?  A: This will be a daunting task! Douglas fir is best adapted to the northwestern US, in Hardiness Zones 4-6. We...

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Is It Too Late To Plant Perennials?

Q: Is it too late to plant perennials?  A: Perennials can be planted throughout the winter as long as the ground is not frozen. This rarely happens. You can install new perennials or divide and move existing landscape plants whenever...

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Sap Collecting On Bark Of Pine Tree – When Do I Treat It?

Q: I recently discovered that several of my pine tree’s have sap collecting on the bark. How do you know when they need to be cut down or treated? Can the trees survive long term or is it just a...

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Woodpecker Lives In My Tulip Poplar – Does This Mean Its Hollow/Diseased?

Q: Over Thanksgiving, a woodpecker started making a nest in a tulip poplar over our house. Does this indicate that the tree is hollow/diseased and a threat to the house?  A: It is hard for me to assess the threat...

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How Do I Stunt The Height Of My Tomato Plants?

Q: How do I stunt the height of my tomato plants? Every year they grow to at least seven feet high. I would like to limit that to four or five feet if possible.  A: Next spring when you buy...

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Indoor Stink Bug Problem

Q: I have an indoor stink bug problem. I kill ten or so every day but it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference.  A: You likely have a bunch of brown marmorated stinkbug (BMSB). They love to suck...

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How To Get Grass Where Stumps Were Ground?

Q: We have had three Bradford pear trees removed and the stumps ground. What is the best route to take to have grass for 2018?  A: Assuming your plot is now in full sun, you can choose between bermudagrass, zoysiagrass...

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Pine Trees Bent Over By Snow – What Is The Tallest Tree That Could Be Straightened?

Q: Our HOA is consulting with an arborist to see if any pine trees that were bent over by snow can be saved. What is the tallest tree for which straightening can be attempted?  A: I wouldn’t bother with any...

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