Gardening Q and A

Trees – Painting

Q: On your radio show you mentioned mixing hydrated lime with water and adding salt to create a paint for trees. I bought a bag of powdered lime, which a garden center employee said I could mix with water. I...

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Fertilizer – Excess Nitrogen

Q: My first attempt at growing turnips, beets and carrots resulted in mainly leaf growth. Should I have applied 5-10-10 instead of 10-10-10? A: Excess nitrogen would indeed cause lots of leaves and few roots. I don’t often see the...

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Bats – Droppings

Q: I am curious about some animal droppings that are on my driveway and front porch. They are dry and full of nothing but bug wings it seems. Could it be an armadillo or a skunk? A: I’m thinking of...

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Blueberry Bushes- For Fruit and Privacy

Q: I am looking for a blueberry plant for fruit and privacy screening. I’ve heard the ‘Ochlockonee’ rabbiteye blueberry is a good one. Do you have any better suggestions? A: The blueberry you’ve chosen has a great reputation. It was...

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Christmas Cactus – Coloring

Q: I have several colors of Christmas cactus that I am experimenting with in a planter. I was told these cacti will all be the same color after a period of time. Is this true? Is there one color or...

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Pine Needles – Leaving on Grass

Q: I have been good about raking my pine needles, until recently but I’d love to just leave them on the grass. My friend thinks pine needles will kill the grass. Is it okay just to leave the needles down...

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Floral Preservatives -Over the Counter Drugs and Plant Growth

Q: Can you tell me where I can get information on the effects of over-the-counter drugs on plants? I know some people put aspirin in potting soil near the root of their plants and in the water of flowers in...

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Vegetables – Shade Tolerance

Q: Are there any shade-tolerant vegetables? A: The “leafy” vegetables like spinach, collards, turnip greens, etc. are more shade tolerant than tomatoes, corn or beans. Most leafy vegetables are also grown in the cool season, when leaves are more likely...

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Caladium – Storing for Spring

Q: I have about seventy caladium plants that I want to dig up now and store for spring. Will it hurt the bulbs if I cut off the foliage, dig them up and store them? A: The best time to...

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Liriope Spicata (spreading monkey grass) – Eradication

Q: I was given some “spicato” border grass several years ago. It has taken over my more desirable grasses and is rampant in my beds. How can I eradicate it completely? A: I think the invasive plant you have is...

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Crabapples – Pollinating Regular Apple Trees

Q: I have read that planting crabapples with regular apple trees will insure better pollination. If this is so, how close should you plant them and what types of crabapples should I use? A: Your information is correct. Apples are...

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Henbit – Applying Weedkiller in Fescue

Q: In early October I completely killed my front lawn and reseeded. The grass is coming in great. However, along with the grass, I have a lot of what looks like henbit weed coming in. How long should I wait...

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Baldcypress – General Information

Q: A visiting friend from Ohio was told of a “champion” baldcypress in Newton, Georgia. I am having the hardest time finding any reference to it online or otherwise. Can you guide me to this wonder? A: The Georgia Forestry...

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Red Twig Dogwood – Growing in Georgia

Q: I planted a red twig dogwood bush about three months ago. At first, it seemed to be doing very well. Now the growth seems to have slowed quite a bit and the leaves seem to be falling off. The...

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Blue Grass – Varieties

Q: I saw you planting a bright blue ornamental grass on your Turner South television show. I am in love with blue plants and have a berm that I am trying to do entirely in grasses. I’ll have large pampas...

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Pruner – Power Operated

Q: You mentioned a power-operated pruner on your radio show a couple of weeks ago. I am trying to find one because I raise roses and I now have arthritis in my hands. A: My friend Jim Kelley is an...

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Scientific Names – Reference

Q: I am in college working toward a major in horticulture. In my woody ornamental identification class I have encountered many strange scientific names. I’m curious what the word “attenuata” means, as in the name ^Ilex attenuata^ ‘Fosteri’. Do you...

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Christmas Tree – Watering

Q: I’ve noticed that my Christmas tree, which we cut at a farm, drinks almost a gallon of water every day. Does it drink that much water from the ground when it’s growing normally or is its thirst an effect...

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