Gardening Q and A

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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,...

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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...

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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...

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Roses – virus

Q: I have nearly two hundred roses. Recently I’ve noticed several plants with bizarre buds/leaves/stems. I am convinced that I’m dealing with rose rosette virus. One plant looks like it came from outer space; the thorns are truly like shark’s...

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Brown porch beetle – Identification

Q: On your website you mention a brown beetle that “swarms around porch lights at night”. I have so many I can barely open my back door. I would like to know what they are and how to get rid...

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Charcoal dust – Garden use

Q: Does charcoal dust from my grill have any use in the garden? A: No. Discard it safely after it has...

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Hornworms – Garden tomatoes

Q: Last year I had a problem with hornworms on my garden tomatoes. This year I planted tomatoes in containers on my very high deck, using store-bought potting soil. The hornworms are terrible still! Where did they come from? A:...

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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...

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Horticulturist – Alpharetta school

Q: I am a thirty eight year old medical sales professional and want to pursue a career in horticulture. Can you recommend a school in Alpharetta or nearby where I can obtain the credentials as a qualified horticulturist? A: The...

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Blackberry vines – Weeds

Q: I have planted several blackberry vines. Now sprouts are popping up all over the yard. They look like blackberries but the more they grow the less they seem to be. How can I identify what is the real blackberry...

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Maple Tree – Survival

Q: Landscapers planted a tall maple tree by our community mailbox area, then covered under it with pine straw. I am watering the tree every other day to help it survive. What should I do now? Fertilize? A: Watering every...

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Perennial bed – Improved soil

Q: I had professional landscaping done in my back yard late last fall. Included was a perennial bed that was supposed to be tilled and the soil amended properly. The center of the bed appears OK, but the edge still...

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Rabbiteye blueberry – Pruning

Q: My parents have three five-year-old rabbiteye blueberry bushes. A huge tree that landed right on top of them a few weeks ago. The blueberries are crushed but seem to have survived. Should I prune now or wait? A: As...

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