Gardening Q and A

Swimming pool water – Harm

Q: Will the water from a swimming pool harm plants and grass. I would like to capture the water when I backwash my pool instead of just dumping it out on the bare ground. A: If the water contains no...

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Almond tree – Production

Q: We are considering planting an almond tree next spring. Will an almond produce in Georgia? A: You can try to grow almonds in Georgia, but only if you have a high capacity for heartbreak. Almonds are close kin to...

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2-4-D – Flowers

Q: I know that 2-4-D is a selective chemical that will kill broadleaf weeds and not harm your grass. Is it safe to spray on annuals and perennial flowers? My vinca major is overrun with vetch. A: The chemical we...

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Crossvine – Pods

Q: My crossvine is producing its annual pods. I wondered if these can be used to produce new vines and, if so, how? A: Crossvine can be easily propagated from seed. Just wait until the pods are brown and then...

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Bay leaf – Roaches

Q: If I plant a bay leaf plant next to my kitchen window, do you think it will it help to repel roaches from the area? A: I’m not aware of any scientific research that shows that bay leaves repel...

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Web worms – Travel

Q: How do web worms get from the ground up to the leaves on trees? I have actually seen a convoy of these worms crawling up one of my tree trunks! A: The caterpillars hatch from eggs laid by a...

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Fatsia bushes – Deer

Q: Deer have eaten all of the new growth on my fatsia bushes. They even chewed on the stalk of the plant. My question is should I cut them back or just leave them alone and hope they have new...

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Indian Meal Moth – Life expectancy

Q: What is the life expectancy of a meal moth? We have put all food in sealed plastic bags but would like to know when the moths we have will bite the dust! We found a trap with pheromones to...

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Peony plant – Transplanting

Q: I have four 15-year-old peony plants. Nearby trees are creating too much shade for good blooms. When is the best time to transplant them to a sunnier location? A: Although they are blooming now, peonies are best divided in...

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Birds – Feeding in Summer

Q: Should we stop feeding the birds for the summer? Shouldn’t they be looking out for themselves now? A: We feed birds for two reasons: to keep them healthy when natural food sources aren’t present and to bring them closer...

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Lawn – Fertilizer

Q: Does ‘Meyer’ zoysia get “old” and eventually die? My twenty-year-old lawn has always been lush and green. This year we have more brown patches than we have lawn. Our lawn service fertilizes six times a year. A: Though they...

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Crocus bulb – Cooking

Q: I heard that the very expensive saffron spice is just the stamen of a crocus bulb. Can I collect them from my garden each spring and use them in my cooking or will I poison myself? A: It’s correct...

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Japanese beetles – Life cycle

Q: What’s become of the Japanese beetles? (Not that I miss them, mind you!) So far I’ve not seen any on our roses, magnolia blossoms, plum and cherry trees. Did I do something last year which interrupted their life cycle?...

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Crabgrass – Seeds

Q: I want to grow crabgrass. Yes, crabgrass. A piece of my property has very poor, eroded soil and nothing grows there except crabgrass. Where can I get crabgrass seeds? I know it goes dormant in winter; I simply want...

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Amaryllis – Trimming

Q: I have planted amaryllis outdoors. After they’ve finished blooming do I need to cut the stalks down? How far? A: Cut the thick flower stalks down to their base. Leave the amaryllis foliage in place for the rest of...

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Mosquito problem – Bat houses

Q: Our condominium complex has a terrible mosquito problem. What do you think of installing purple martin or bat houses. A: Neither bats nor martins control mosquitoes. In the case of martins, the mosquitoes don’t offer enough protein to make...

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Soluble Boron – Purchase

Q: I have read that I can spray boron on my watermelon plants to improve pollination and fruit set. Do you know where I can purchase some water soluble boron? A: Lack of boron can contribute to poor fruit set...

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Crepemyrtle (River Birch, Maple) – Bark Peeling

Q: The bark is splitting and falling off our three-year-old crepe myrtle tree. What can I do? A: This is normal, desired behavior for a crapemyrtle. It’s called bark exfoliation. This characteristic comes by way of the crapemyrtle breeding program...

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