Gardening Q and A

Tiller – Choosing

Q: You mentioned recently that you have a “little two-cycle tiller” that works well for you. I have been looking for a tillers for several months now and have been told that only an expensive 6 horsepower rear-tine tiller will...

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Tea Camellia

Q: I am working with a client who lives in Stone Mountain (very close to the mountain itself) who wants to know the uses of her property since the 1821 land lottery. She has been told that her land was...

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Ornamental Pepper – Edible

Q: We have ornamental peppers in a planter. I know they aren’t hardy outdoors in winter but can we eat them before they freeze? A: If you have not sprayed them with pesticides they are eminently edible! Be sure to...

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Groundcover – For Bank

Q: My husband and I  are in the process of building a new house and will have a large, steep bank dividing the yard from the road. What can you recommend for a fast, low-growing, attractive ground cover for this...

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Lawn – Timing Fertilizer in Spring

Q: We have bermudagrass in our front yard and fescue in the back. We have been served by a local lawn maintenance company for several years. They always want to start the new season with an application of pre-emergent and...

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Fig – Damaged by Rabbit

Q: Something is chewing on my big fig bush! All of the damage is within eighteen inches of the ground. There is nothing up higher. With this much damage will the fig be harmed? A: The key to your description...

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Dahlia – Dividing Roots and a Guide to Raising

Q: I have two dahlias that have grown well but I need to move them. They are pretty big. I don’t know how to cut them for division. Do I plant the divisions immediately? A: I’ve had them freeze in...

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Osage Orange – Identification

Q: We picked this strange fruit from the Confederate cemetery in Jonesboro and wondered if you could identify it for us and also tell us if it is edible. A: When I worked for the Extension service in Clayton county,...

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Wheel Bug – Identification

Q: My husband sent me some cameraphone pictures of a very weird insect. He and his friends are calling it “the bad-ass bug”. From what I can gather through the pix he sent, it kind of resembles a praying mantis, but...

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Rain barrel/Cistern – Using

Q: Here is a link to a web site where I found a barrel/cistern for water retention and re-use. My question is, are these viable options for detaining water? Do these things work? A: All depends on how much water...

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Chipmunk – Albino

Q: I found this critter in my backyard today. Don’t know what it is, but was able to get him in a cage trap using peanut butter. A: My wildlife friend Hal Coleman at North Fulton Exterminating says it’s a...

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Insecticide – Half-life

Q: We have three half-barrels we have used for years to plant annuals. We want to plant turnip greens in them this fall. We have used Orthene in them to control fire ants. Is the soil contaminated? May we plant...

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Boston Fern – Winter Care

Q: I have seven ferns hanging from my porch. Please tell me how I can save them for next year. A: Assuming you have Boston ferns on your porch, as many people do, you’ll have to bring them indoors for...

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Planting for Long Lasting Blooms

Q: We have several large annual beds that we are tired of replanting twice yearly. Any ideas for perennials that we can substitute for year-round interest? One bed surrounds the mailbox; another is in front of privet hedges bordering our...

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Buffalograss

Q: Have you ever heard of buffalograss? Can you recommend a source? A: According to Theresa Schrum of Terra Native Plant Landscapes, there are many grasses native to North America. However, almost all of these are clump-forming grasses similar to...

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Rose – Winter Care

Q: My wife and I have the same discussion about our rose garden this time every year. I learned from my grandfather in east Tennessee that at the end of the season you cut the bushes down to twelve inches...

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Hydrangea – Pruning Late in Season

Q: I didn’t have a chance to deadhead my French hydrangeas in July. What will happen if I do it now? Should I just leave them until next year? A: If by “deadhead” you mean removing the faded flowers, there...

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Cleome – Care

Q: A friend of mine recently gave me some cleome seeds from her garden. She said her plant was self-seeding. What do I need to do with these seeds…and when? A: Cleome self-seeds to a fault but the flowers are...

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