Gardening Q and A

Vegetable Garden – Best Direction to Plant

Q: This spring will be my first full scale vegetable garden. I plan having corn and tomatoes plus lettuce and bell peppers. What direction is best for me to plant so everything gets the most sunlight? A: Plant the taller...

READ MORE

Vegetable Seeds – Donating Extras

Q: I purchased vegetable seeds for my garden but I will only use a few seeds from the packs. Do you know of any worthy cause to which I could donate the rest? A: The easiest recipient is a local...

READ MORE

Iris – Trimming Leaves

Q: I have some old iris in my pine bed. Most of the leaves stay green all winter but have some brown edges. Should I trim the leaves or is it too late? A: I don’t think you should ever...

READ MORE

Zoysia Grass – Why Wait to Fertilize

Q: I have been impatiently waiting to fertilize until my zoysia grass has greened 75-100 percent. Why must I do this, other than because you say so? A: You’re a smart person to always be asking “Why?” in the garden....

READ MORE

Fire Ants – Alternative Ideas For Killing

Q: Why don’t we kill fire ants with a bait in sugar syrup? You could even inject it into individual mounds. A: Fire ant expert Wayne Gardner says fire ants will eat proteins, fats, and sugars but they are not...

READ MORE

Soil Temperatures – Planting Recommendations

Q: I am a scientist at heart, so I read with great interest planting recommendations based on soil temperature. I am unclear on which soil temperature to use: 2 inch, 4 inch or 8 inch? A: I use the 2″...

READ MORE

Dutchmans Pipe – Successful in Georgia?

Q: I’m interested in night-blooming flowers and found Dutchman’s pipe online. Is that something I could grow successfully? A: Dutchman’s pipe, Aristolochia macrophylla, will grow very well as a perennial deciduous vine. The flowers are insignificant. However, those of its...

READ MORE

Best Soil for New Raised Plant Beds

Q: I am building new raised beds and trying to decide what the best soil to use. I was going to buy bags of planting soil but that is too expensive. How do I make good soil? Or should I...

READ MORE

Maple Tree – Tick Prevention

Q: When I sit under a maple tree in my backyard in summer, I get ticks in my hair. How can I prevent ticks on the tree? A: According to tick expert Dr. Nancy Hinkle, ticks do not fall from...

READ MORE

Cardboard to Control Weeds and Promote Earthworms

Q: My wife says that laying down cardboard in a garden will control weeds and promote earthworms. Have you heard of this? A: Cardboard works very well to control weeds and worms love living underneath it. Just cut the cardboard...

READ MORE

Heirloom Tomatoes – Where to Buy

Q: My heart is broken! I ordered tomato plants from Burpee but they say they can not ship to Georgia because of our state regulations. Where can I buy heirloom tomatoes? A: Burpee can ship tomato plants to Georgia but...

READ MORE

Was Myrtle Bushes – Brown Leaves

Q: I have several wax myrtle bushes that all have brown leaves now, I assume from freeze damage. A: I’d leave them alone until April, just to see if anything buds out. Wax myrtle is usually cold-hardy in Atlanta but...

READ MORE

Mixing Fescue and Rye – Good or Bad?

Q: How do you feel about seeding a lawn with a mix of rye and fescue? Will ryegrass impact the fescue? A: I don’t like the idea. Ryegrass dies in summer heat and it competes with fescue when both are...

READ MORE

Shrubs and Trees – Applying Horticultural Oil

Q: Is it a good practice to apply horticultural oil on shrubs and trees when they are dormant in order to prevent bugs this spring? A: Yes, applying plant-safe oil is a great way to kill insects in winter. At...

READ MORE

Tree Chips – Covering Land

Q: During recent flooding in my back yard many tree roots were exposed. I’m having some trees removed and the contractor will leave the chips on my site. Any thoughts on how thick to spread them? A: This is a...

READ MORE

‘Pink Princess’ Escallonia – Fixing the Brown

Q: I planted ‘Pink Princess’ escallonia in early fall. They are all brown. What should I do? A: My bet is that they froze in January. Escallonia is a beautiful flowering shrub but it is winter-hardy only where oleander grows:...

READ MORE

Ornamental Grass – Privacy Wall

Q: I want to use ornamental grass in pots to provide privacy around our deck. What might you suggest? A: I could easily see using fountain grass, Pennisetum (several species) or maiden grass, Miscanthus sinensis (several varieties) in eighteen-inch wide...

READ MORE

Poinsettia Seeds – Where to Buy

Q: Do you have any recommendations of where I could find poinsettia seeds.? A: Poinsettias have been hybridized for so many years that the ones you buy at a nursery rarely set seed. Poinsettia growers buy cuttings from large greenhouses...

READ MORE