Gardening Q and A

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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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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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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Purple-leaf plums – Edible

Q: My old purple-leaf plum trees unexpectedly have lots of red skinned fruit on them. Since it’s fashionable to grow edibles in our landscape, how I can tell whether these plums are edible for humans (I don’t want to be...

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Zoysia – Leaving Unmowed

Q: I would like to improve my carbon footprint by not using a gas powered mower and letting my zoysia just grow. It has already gone to seed and still looks good. What damage am I doing to the grass?...

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Pine straw – Season

Q: Is there a season for pine straw? We use pine straw in our yard and have noticed that sometimes it is full of trash: lots of small limbs and pine cones in it. Other times it is really nice...

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Resurrection Fern – Moving

Q: Is it possible to transplant a resurrection fern from an osage orange tree to a river birch? A: Resurrection fern is an interesting plant. I often see it coating the upper surface of big oak limbs. During dry times,...

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Leyland cypress – Trimming

Q: When I bought my house, the Leyland cypress at the end of my driveway was a cute thing about seven feet tall. Now, eight years later, it is twenty-five feet tall. Can you trim them to keep them a...

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Centipede grass – Overseeding

Q: Can you overseed centipede grass with rye grass for winter? A: No, it’s a terrible idea to plant ryegrass into centipedegrass to keep it green in winter. In the first place, the process of scarifying the soil to plant...

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Four O’clock Plant – Control

Q: What is the best method to remove four o’clocks. My ex-wife thought it would be a grand idea to have them around. Five years later they are taking over everywhere! When should I dig the tubers? Or is there...

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Hickory trees – Discoloration

Q: Many large hickory trees drape over my concrete driveway. When the nuts fall, they leave a stain that can be best compared to an ink stain. Is there anything that will remove the discoloration? A: Tannins, the broad class...

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Hanging baskets – Limb damage

Q: Do hanging baskets on tree limbs causes any damage to the limb? What can be used to suspend the pot that would not have a negative effect on the tree? A: It somewhat depends on the weight of the...

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