Gardening Q and A

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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Perennials – Seed meal

Q: I am going to feed my perennials and shrubs with cotton seed meal this spring. Is it too early to begin? A: One of the great things about using organic fertilizers like cottonseed meal, composted hen manure, blood meal,...

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Sunflowers – Black oil seeds

Q: I want to plant sunflowers in a pasture. Will normal black oil seeds that you buy for bird feed sprout? A: They sprout like crazy under my birdfeeder so I don’t see why they wouldn’t do well for your...

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Crapemyrtle – Transplanting

Q: I have new crepe myrtles that have sprouted up a few feet from the main tree. How do I transplant them to other areas of my yard? A: I think you’ll find that the new sprouts are attached to...

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Nandina – Pruning

Q: Is it safe to prune my nandina now? I don’t want to affect the berries later this year. A: March is the very best time to prune common nandina. Cut a third of the canes at 12 inches high,...

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Bathwater – Plant coloring

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...

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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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River birch – Concrete

Q: We are considering planting a river birch tree seven feet from a driveway. I have been warned that these trees have roots that can ruin concrete. We were told by an inspector that we have an underground stream running...

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Azaleas – Blooming

Q: I am curious as to why azaleas bloom so profusely and with such vibrant colors when there is no apparent resultant benefit of seed production? A: Native plant expert Theresa Schrum says many of the cultivated azaleas that you...

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Yoshino Cherry – Edible

Q: Is the fruit of ‘Yoshino’ cherry edible? My five-year old tree produced fruit for the first time this year. A: ‘Yoshino’ fruits are edible, but only birds and small animals enjoy consuming them. The pit (seed) is huge in...

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Compost tumbler – Instructions

Q: I bought a compost tumbler last summer. I balanced the amount of green and brown matter I put in and I turn the tumbler a couple times a week. Now it is three-quarters full but nothing seems to be...

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Rain barrels – Soaker hose

Q: We invested in some rain barrels after the recent drought. They are inconveniently located on the low side of the house. Is there a reasonably priced pump I can use with a soaker hose? A: Frank Henning, University of...

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Blue junipers – Pruning

Q: Please tell me when and how to prune blue junipers. We have some that are getting too big. A: The best time to prune junipers is right after new growth begins, probably in mid- to late April. Plan your...

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