Gardening Q and A

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Cherry Tree – Pruning

Q: I have a ‘Snow Fountain’ weeping cherry tree. I’ve noticed a lot of the limbs reach the ground; some even stretch out on the ground. How should it be pruned? A: ‘Snow Fountain’ cherry is a beautiful small tree...

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Phalaenopsis orchid – Growth

Q: After my phalaenopsis orchid bloomed I cut the dead flowers off at the bottom of the last bloom. Now I have two leaves growing where I cut the flowers off. How can I remove the new growth and keep...

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Potting soils – Saturation

Q: When I use some potting soils for the first time they are very dry in the bag. Water runs off it like plastic and doesn’t soak in. Why does it do that and how do I get it saturated?...

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Ficus and schefflera trees – Repotting

Q: I have six-year old, very large potted ficus and schefflera trees, about nine feet tall. I’m sure fertilizer salts have built up in the soil. I know that the best thing to do would be to repot them with...

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Drought – Supplemental watering

Q: You recently wrote that even with our drought, supplemental watering isn’t generally needed in the winter. What are some guidelines as to when I should re-start watering my camellias and azaleas? A: Water loss from the soil is caused...

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Milorganite – Deer

Q: I have heard that Milorganite is good for keeping deer away from gardens. We have two acres which are “salad bars” for deer. Any advice? A: Many things are reputed to repel deer: hair, coyote urine, soap, etc. In...

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Willows – Planting outdoors

Q: I have some willows that have rooted in water and are beginning to sprout. When may I plant them outdoors? A: Wait until the roots are four inches long. At that time, gently transplant the sprouted cuttings into gallon...

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Cool weather grass – Horses

Q: Can you suggest a cool weather grass for horses? I know Kentucky 31 is available but I’m wondering if there is something better that will tolerate the heat and drought. A: Fescue is usually the best choice for cool...

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Daphnes – Layer branches

Q: I’m growing daphnes. While educating myself, I ran across this statement: “One can layer branches of daphne in the spring.” Would you explain what they mean by “layer branches” ? A: “Layering” a branch means to help it form...

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Boric Acid – Rescue

Q: My husband put several tablespoonfuls of boric acid on my crown of thorns and a gardenia, trying to kill ants. Now these two houseplants are suffering greatly. Is there anything I can do to rescue them? A: Boron is...

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Heater malfunction – Cleaning plants

Q: We had a kerosene heater malfunction in our greenhouse. Soot covers the plants. What is the safest way to clean them? A: I’d use soap (not a detergent) on your plant leaves. Soaps include Ivory bar soap and castille...

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Eagle Scout – Historical trees

Q: My nephew’s Eagle Scout project is to find trees with historical significance during the colonial period. He is having difficulty finding information on these trees in Georgia. A: Since Georgia had few cities in colonial times, few trees from...

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Fertilizing – Drought

Q: Should we skip fertilizing our lawn this year since we are likely to continue our drought conditions? A: Don’t skip the lawn feeding. I am certain that rain will come this spring. All you have to do is time...

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Pine straw – Weed control

Q: We have a large area covered in pine straw. Roundup is fine for spot killing the weeds but what do you recommend to lay down for more control of weeds? A: If there are trees or shrubs in the...

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