Gardening Q and A

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

Zenith Zoysia sod – Watering

Q: My landscape company laid 6500 sq. ft. of ‘Zenith’ zoysia sod in early June. The irrigation company then installed a five-zone sprinkler system. The irrigation folks suggested running the zones full blast each day when I can water. My...

READ MORE

Lawnmower – Donation

Q: My husband and I recently purchased a new lawnmower. We would like to donate our old electric mower to charity. Can you suggest an organization? A: What generosity! The Atlanta Tool Bank (www.toolbank.org) has 200 organizations that depend on...

READ MORE

Destroying weeds – Soil benefits

Q: I want to plant in an area that’s full of weeds. Would it be better for the soil to cut the tall grass down, wait two days and till it under or spray Roundup on it, wait a while...

READ MORE

Groundcovers – Soggy soil

Q: I’m looking for groundcovers that tolerate soggy soil. A: Several spreading plants grow reasonably well in wet soil. Creeping jenny (Lysimachia nummularia ‘Aurea’), variegated Japanese sedge (Carex morrowii ‘Variegata’), sweet flag (Acorus gramineus ), and bugleweed (Ajuga reptans )...

READ MORE

Mineralized fertilizer – Meaning

Q: An older gardening friend says we should all be using mineralized fertilizer. No one seems to know what that means. Can you help? A: It’s sort of like my mother’s muscadine hull pie. Thick muscadine skins are sour and...

READ MORE

Camellias – Pruning

Q: I need some information on pruning camellias at this time of year. A: Flower buds have already formed on camellia branch tips. If you want flowers next season, prune lightly now, trying to remove only the longest branches but...

READ MORE

Blackberry leaves – Bug infestation

Q: I have found strange bugs eating my blackberry leaves. They are tan, about the size of a BB, and are hard shelled. When I touch one it falls off the plant and acts dead. Damaged leaves have notches along...

READ MORE

Dogwoods – Climate change

Q: I have a dogwood with great sentimental value. My husband’s job is transferring us to Tampa. Do dogwoods do well in that climate? Is it possible to dig my tree up and replant down there? A: I’m not sure...

READ MORE

Sweetgums – Shrub

Q: I had a sweetgum tree growing underneath my power lines. The electric company came and cut it down. I have been trimming the stump sprouts like a shrub and it looks nice. Is there any reason that I can’t...

READ MORE

Horse Manure – Fertilizer

Q: I have an unlimited supply of horse manure. Can I use this as mulch/fertilizer around my bushes and trees without hurting them? A: If the manure has been composted long enough that it doesn’t smell like ammonia and the...

READ MORE

Squash and zucchini – Pulling off

Q: I am growing squash and zucchini. I have two large yellow squash that are slightly green on the end and I am not sure when to pull them off. A: You can pick yellow squash and zucchini at any...

READ MORE

Peanut shells – Mulch

Q: We have been told that peanut shells are not good for mulch in flower beds because they attract nematodes. Is this the case? A: Peanut shells don’t attract nematodes but they might bring them in from where they were...

READ MORE

Rosemary – Pruning

Q: When is a good time to prune rosemary? How much? A: You can prune just about any time but early April would be “best”. Try to leave a few inches of greenery on each stem you shorten. If you...

READ MORE

Plum tree – Saving bark

Q: Our nine-month-old boxer puppy chewed all of the bark off our plum tree. Is there anything we can do to save this tree? A: I don’t have good news. If the bark has been removed completely around the trunk,...

READ MORE

Peace lily – Possible divide

Q: Is it possible to divide a peace lily? A: Sure, it’s a perfect project to keep you indoors out of the heat! Spread newspaper on your kitchen table and pull the plant out of the pot. You’ll notice that...

READ MORE