Gardening Q and A

Southern Blight – On Creeping Jenny

Q: My creeping Jenny is dying before my eyes. I see these tiny little brown beads on the ground and on the leaves. What is this and what can I use to stop it? A: Your creeping Jenny has Southern...

READ MORE

Inkberry plants – Purchase

Q: Where can I purchase male and female inkberry plants? A: Inkberry, Ilex glabra, is a great native holly. Unlike many other hollies, its berries are black. Truthfully, I don’t think there is much bang for the buck from this...

READ MORE

Badminton – Grass type

Q: I am putting a badminton court in my backyard. We play serious badminton four times a week for a couple of hours. Is there a grass that can stand that kind of activity? The site receives six hours of...

READ MORE

Camellia – Buds Won’t Open

Q: Now in December, I have a camellia bush loaded with buds that won’t open. They have looked like they want to open for the last two months. It gets nice filtered sun for several hours a day. A: I...

READ MORE

Woodpecker – Prevention

Q: A small woodpecker-type bird is pecking large holes in the synthetic stucco facade of our chimney. What can we do to prevent this? A: Woodpecker “drumming” is common at this time of year. They seem to be making noise...

READ MORE

Butterfly Bush – Pruning

Q: I went to prune my butterfly bushes this past weekend in late February but they have new green leaves. Should I prune them or not? A: Prune them. Butterfly bush makes blooms on the tips of new branches. If...

READ MORE

Deer invasion – Spring leaves

Q: We love the mountains and woods but we are having a constant problem with deer. They have severely eaten my ‘Nellie R. Stevens’ holly and ligustrums, both of which we were told “Deer do not eat!”. How do I...

READ MORE

Watering – Yellow leaves

Q: My family has been “showering with buckets” to collect bathwater for months now. We pour the water around plants in our full sun beds. I’ve begun to notice some plants showing yellowish leaves. A: My guess is that the...

READ MORE

Chinda doll – Growth

Q: I have a four-foot tall China Doll plant. It flourished outside but indoors the leaves are yellow and falling off. A: Although China Doll plant, Radermachera sinica, is sold as a house plant, it can eventually grow to 30...

READ MORE

Fall leaves – Natural areas and islands

Q: Tell me about keeping fall leaves in natural areas and islands from year to year. It is my opinion that the leaves enrich the soil, provide a good mulch and look almost as good as pine straw. Others argue...

READ MORE

Camellias – Feeding

Q: What is the best time to feed camellias? I have several that have been planted for more than fifteen years. A: Camellias need nutrients when their growth starts in early April. You can use granular synthetic fertilizers then; rainfall...

READ MORE

Shady area – Grass alternative

Q: I want an alternative to grass for an area of my lawn that is very shady. I need it to prevent soil erosion. Maybe some type of ivy? A: Don’t plant English ivy! Before you know it this vine...

READ MORE

Boxwoods – Sprouting

Q: I have boxwoods that have gotten out of hand. If I cut them back drastically will they sprout back from the stubs that are left? A: Unlike holly, boxwood is slow to respond when pruned severely. For a big...

READ MORE

Tornado – Saving trees

Q: Our subdivision got hit by the tornado a few weeks ago. It did considerable damage to the small trees in our yard. What are the chances that they’ll survive and stay healthy if we straighten them up and secure...

READ MORE

Dryer lint – Birds

Q: When do we start putting out dryer lint for our birds? I have been collecting it for months. Back in Texas I put it on the shrubbery and in one half hour it was gone. A: Dryer lint is...

READ MORE

Horse manure – Flower garden

Q: I have access to aged horse manure but don’t know how to use it to make a nice flower garden. A: Aged horse manure is a great source of organic humus for your soil. Humus holds nutrients for plant...

READ MORE

SunLite potatoes – Growth

Q: I’ve read about low carb “SunLite” potatoes grown in Florida. Is this something that a home gardener could raise in north Georgia? A: Low-carb potatoes are a bit of marketing legerdemain. Vegetable expert George Boyhan says most potatoes have...

READ MORE

Indoor palm – Spider mites

Q: I received an indoor palm as a housewarming gift. The leaves have started browning and it appears to have cobwebs in between some of the fronds. Could this be spider mites? A: Palms are famous for getting spider mites...

READ MORE