Gardening Q and A

Drought – Pruning

Q: Our subdivision is scheduled for deep pruning of shrubs this winter. Due to the drought, is this wise? Should we get spring rains, how late can we safely perform the deep pruning? A: I don’t think it will hurt...

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Lenten rose – Pruning

Q: When may I prune the old growth from my Lenten rose? A: It won’t hurt to prune the ugliest foliage now but my wife prunes ours drastically in mid-March. In that way she removes the tattered leaves of winter...

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Hydrangea – Several plants

Q: Is it possible to dig up a hydrangea and divide it into three our four other plants. Mine is rather large, about two feet around at the base. A: Since your hydrangea is a woody plant, it normally does...

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Adelgids – Insecticide

Q: We own a home in north Georgia and have hemlocks located twenty feet from a small creek. The trees are infested with wooly adelgids. Last year we sprayed them but could not get to the tree tops. We also...

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Planting – Nurseries

Q: Now that we’ve had some winter rains I want to start planting shrubs and trees. I have found that online companies have better selection and availability on some plants. Can you recommend some Internet nurseries that are reputable? A:...

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Termites – Inspection time

Q: My termite inspector has asked to come in winter. He said the yearly inspection can be done any time of the year but I have my doubts. A: Termite expert Dan Suiter says there’s no law that says when...

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‘Nellie Stevens’ holly – Freeze damage

Q: In spring, our ‘Nellie Stevens’ holly suffers from a blight. The new growth and branch tips blacken and wither. Later growth isn’t as badly affected and it continues to flourish. However, the unintended pruning is affecting the tree’s shape,...

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Crapemyrtle – Losing Branches

Q: Can you tell me what is wrong with this crepe myrtle? It is losing its branches. A: One of the results of chopping off the top of a crapemyrtle in winter is lots of lush growth the following spring....

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Tomato – Glyphosate (Roundup) Damage

Q: My Better Boys are showing this yellow pattern on the leaves. These two plants seem healthy but the new growth shows light green. A: I think someone (I name no names!) got too close to the tomatoes with their...

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Cat’s Claw Vine – Identification

Q: We found this vine in Lake Charles, Louisiana over the 2009 Easter holidays. The resident at the home and the most popular garden nursery in the city could not identify it. So we brought it back to Marietta ....

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Ryegrass – Garden soil

Q: I have a vegetable garden area which I’ve improved by adding compost, dead grass and leaves every fall and spring. This fall I sowed ryegrass and it is now five inches tall. How tall should it grow before I...

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Aucuba shrubs – Mosquitoes

Q: I have heard that aucuba shrubs attract mosquitos. Is this true? A: Mosquito specialist Elmer Gray is also known as Elmer the Entomologist to Clarke county school children. He says mosquito resting places vary between seasons and among species...

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Removing Pines – Hardwood

Q: We’re having all of the pine trees removed from our lot. We have beautiful red and white oaks that do not have enough room amongst all the pines. Someone told me that removing the pines would kill my hardwoods...

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Rain barrel – Winter maintenance

Q: My rain barrel is full, thanks to the winter rains. I’m concerned that freezing temperatures will turn the water to ice and damage the barrel. What should I mix in to make sure this does not happen? Do I...

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Ginger and Turmeric – Cultivation

Q: What is the best way to cultivate ginger and turmeric in a home garden? Can we simply break off the little conical ends and plant them with the pointed ends up in loose soil? Do they need much watering...

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Boric Acid – Gardenias

Q: My husband put several tablespoonfuls of boric acid on my crown of thorns and a gardenia, trying to kill ants. Now these two houseplants are suffering greatly. Is there anything I can do to rescue them? A: Boron is...

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Heater malfunction – Plant cleaning

Q: We had a kerosene heater malfunction in our greenhouse. Soot covers the plants. What is the safest way to clean them? A: I’d use soap (not a detergent) on your plant leaves. Soaps include Ivory bar soap and castille...

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Colonial Trees – Eagle project

Q: My nephew’s Eagle Scout project is to find trees with historical significance during the colonial period. He is having difficulty finding information on these trees in Georgia. A: Since Georgia had few cities in colonial times, few trees from...

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