Gardening Q and A

Earthstar – Lawn Mushroom

Q: My granddaughter came across an odd looking, dark brown “bowl” of loose “dust” in my dormant bermuda lawn. I found online that it’s a mushroom labeled Scleroderma geaster. Is this something that will eventually eat up the grass? A:...

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Roundup – Use In Cold

Q: Is it too cold for Roundup to kill the weeds now growing in my flower beds? A: The leaves on the weeds you aim to control should be actively photosynthesizing when glyphosate (Roundup, etc) is applied. That means the...

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Horticultural Oil – Usage

Q: Could you advise me where I can purchase horticultural oil? Or is this something I can make myself? A: Horticultural oil is a specially refined oil that suffocates insects without hurting your plants. I discourage you from making it...

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Hawthorn – Cold Weather

Q: I lost four Indian hawthorns last year to cold weather. I liked them and would like to replace. Any advice? A: Different varieties of Indian hawthorn seem to have different reactions to cold and different susceptibility to leaf spot....

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Greenhouse – Lighting

Q: For Christmas I received a new portable greenhouse. How critical is the placement? A: Generally speaking, more sun is better. You can control how much sunshine and heat gets inside the greenhouse by using shade cloth on top. But...

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Spiders – Close To Home

Q: I found a spider egg sack outside my bedroom window. Should I remove it? A: If the window is within reach outdoors, I’d remove the pouch and place it in a landscape shrub. The spider itself is very likely...

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Potato – Soft and Sprouting

Q: One of my favorite potatoes is Royal Majesty, a purple potato I buy online. I still have a dozen that I haven’t eaten. They are starting to sprout and get soft. Can I save them for seed potatoes? A:...

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Fertilizer – Dog Safety

Q: I have bermuda grass in full sun in my backyard where two big Labs play and tear it up. I really care about my dogs so I do not treat the grass with any fertilizer or weed killer. Would...

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Nandina – Berry Color

Q: I transplanted several runners from a white berried nandina to a different part of my yard. Now that they are maturing, they’re displaying red berries, not white. Can you think of any possible explanation? A: The white (or yellow)-berried...

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Mosquito – Winter

Q: It was 49 degrees outside last week and I swatted a mosquito buzzing me in my living room. Isn’t it a little late for mosquitos around here? A: Mosquitoes take 10 – 15 days of warm temperatures to grow...

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Shrubs – Planting In Winter

Q: I do landscape work and I understand that planting perennials in the fall is best due to soil temperatures and water requirements. What are your thoughts about planting shrubs in winter? It seems to me that as long as...

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Tree – Tangerines and Limes?

Q: A lady told me about being at her mother’s home in south Georgia and seeing tangerines on a tree. Her mother claims that it had previously yielded 250 limes. Can you explain? A: I can think of two (no,...

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Raccoon – Rolling Up Sod

Q: I live in a rural subdivision in Rockdale County. We back up to the Yellow River, so we see a lot of deer. I had ten pallets of zoysia sod installed in early October. Every day for the last...

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Anole (Lizard) – In the House

Q: I recently moved back here from Tampa. There, small lizards are found everywhere – they’re as common as squirrels and mosquitos. Here in Atlanta, in all of my life, I have never once seen a lizard inside or outside...

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Oak – Losing Bark, Trunk Rotting

Q: I have a white oak which is losing bark and there’s a white chalky residue present where the bark is falling off. Can you identify the problem and advise a remedy? A: My bet is that water is getting...

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Pecan Leaves – Using in a Vegetable Garden

Q: Are pecan leaves good to mulch a garden? The local Cub Scout pack will be raking leaves at our church and I was planning to put them on our community garden there.  A: It’s well-known that juglone, a chemical...

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Thorny Tree – Decorate with Gumdrops

Q: My family went on an annual woods trek with my 83-year-old mother to look for what she calls a “hall tree”. It is a small prickly bush that we piece together into Styrofoam and adorn with gumdrops to make...

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Chia – Growing in Georgia

Q: Can we grow chia in Georgia? I like to sprinkle the health-giving seeds on my cereal. A: I have fond college memories of growing chia on a clay figure of Richard Nixon. He had a scraggly green beard but...

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