Gardening Q and A

Should I Plant Viburnum Where An Old Tree Was?

Q: I have a fairly large hole where an old tree trunk has rotted away. Can I plant a viburnum in this existing hole or should I dig a new hole?  A: One factor in the successful planting of trees...

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Getting Rid Of Wild Grape Vines

Q: We have wild grape vines growing in our ivy. We tried pulling them up, but they keep returning. Any other suggestions?  A: Your “wild grape” could be muscadine vines but they might also be porcelain berry vine or perhaps...

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Otter Repellant

Q: My friend has a cabin on a lake. Her boat house attracts an otter whose only purpose there seems to be relieving himself. He keeps returning no matter what she does to discourage him. She read that an otter’s...

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Roses – Black Spot Disease

Q: My best rose came down with black spot disease. I removed all damaged leaves and sprayed it but overnight it was on other leaves!  A: You need to start alternating fungicides. When you use one product exclusively, black spot...

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Planting A “Green Fence” With Slate Chips

Q: I want to plant some type of narrow “green fence” between my property and my neighbor’s. He uses slate chips along his property line and is fine with me planting something there as long as I use slate chips...

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Queen Anne`s Lace V.S. Giant Hogweed

Q: My sister-in-law from Virginia is telling me that the plant I call Queen Anne’s Lace is a poisonous noxious weed called giant hogweed. How do you tell them apart? A: The plants’ flowers are similar: both have white lacecaps...

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Growth Regulating Products For Holly Shrubs

Q: I am trying to reduce the number of times necessary to prune holly shrubs at my church. Could you recommend a growth regulating product?  A: Doug Cash, vice-president of local landscape company Arbor-Nomics (www.arbor-nomics.com) says flurprimidol (Cutless) does an...

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Fragrant Plants – Carolina Or Confederate Jasmine?

Q: I have an arch trellis and want to put a fragrant plant on both sides. Which would be better, Carolina jasmine or Confederate jasmine? A: I think one of the vines you’re considering is actually Carolina jessamine, Gelsemium sempervirens,...

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Toad – Identifying Droppings

Q: I’m trying to figure if this animal dropping is from a toad or cat. I’m kinda not thinking cat because it’s on concrete every time and we have three labs so I don’t see cats often. We do have...

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Japanese Maple – Asian Ambrosia Beetle toothpicks

Q: My Japanese maple appears to have fallen victim to some sort of attack. Some of the limbs and branches have begun to sprout some kind of growths and the leaves on the affected limbs and branches are wilting. What...

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Butterfly Bush – Spider Mites

Q: My four-year-old butterfly bush is starting to die. I am perplexed as it has been a great performer. No pests or mildew seen. A: Is there any chance of herbicide or other pesticide applied nearby? The twisted leaves reminds...

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Raspberry Sawfly – Identification

Q: There is something eating my red raspberry leaves. This happened last year after planting and is starting again this year. Can you suggest an organic solution? A: It looks like raspberry sawfly. Sawfly larvae are inconspicuous. They feed from...

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Apple – Brown Corky Skin, Russetting

Q: This brown ring is on most of my apples on this years crop. What is it and can it be treated? A: It looks like apple russet, the brown scarring that sometimes appears on the skin of apples and...

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Snake Skin – Identification

Q: I found this snake skin in my garden. It makes me nervous to be working outside. Any ideas what it is? A: I’m not expert enough to positively identify a snake by its shed skin but because this is...

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Muscadine – Dropping Little Fruit

Q: I was out looking at my muscadine vines this morning and the fruit seems not as plentiful compared to previous years. Looking on the ground, I see these small fruit. Is this possibly a pest chewing the small stems...

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Hosta – Vole Damage

Q: My hostas looked beautiful, until suddenly one totally wilted. Now, ten days later, the affected one seems to have a “phoenix arising from the ashes”! Is this from a vole? A: I think this is a vole damage. Voles...

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Bacterial Wilt On Tomato – Streaming Test

Q: Do you think this is bacterial wilt on my tomatoes? Seemed to be totally healthy and then one by one they just wilt and not come back. I tried your wilt test. A: Bacterial wilt is a soil-borne disease....

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Virginia Creeper Vine – Three Leaflets?

Q: Does Virginia creeper vine always have five leaves? A: Not always! Virginia creeper USUALLY has five leaflets that form leaves along the vine but I have seen vines that sported 5, 4, and even 3 leaflets together. That’s why...

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