Gardening Q and A

Stella De Oro Daylilies – Seed Pods

Q: We have numerous Stella De Oro daylilies as a border plant. This year after blooming, some have seed pods on them rather than a second set of buds. What do we do with these? A: You’ll get more blooms...

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Okra and Peas – Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Dust

Q: Please explain why okra and peas are not listed as plants you can use Bayer Advanced Complete Insect Dust on. This product has such wide-spread use that it does not seem reasonable that you can’t use it on those...

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Peanuts – Storing For Planting

Q: I have some green peanuts that I would like to save to plant next spring. Should I freeze them or just dry them out and store them in a dry cool place? A: Dry the peanuts in the shell...

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Okra -Edible with Bumps on Pods

Q: Our okra has done great but within the last week it has gotten white bumps on the pods. Is it edible or not? A: The bumps are “stings” from stinkbug feeding. Stinkbugs insert their hollow mouthpart into the okra...

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Squirrels – Getting them Off of the Deck

Q: Squirrels are eating our deck boards and gnawing on the HardiePlank siding. What can we do to stop this? A: When I was three, my mother applied a bitter liquid to my thumbs to remind me not to suck...

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Lantana – Leaves Browning

Q: We planted lots of yellow lantana atop a retaining wall. The plants were full of blooms but now lots of leaves are turning a grayish brown and crispy. The leaves look peppered on the underside. A: You have an...

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Bermuda Grass – Green Again Soon After Killing Caterpillars

Q: Two days after realizing my bermuda lawn had army worms it was brown. We killed the caterpillars but the grass is still not green. Will the grass recover this year? A: If the bermudagrass was reasonably healthy, it will...

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Eggplants – No Fruit

Q: My eggplants have blooms but no fruit. Do I need to sing a song while pollinating them, like you recommend singing Sinatra to squash when transferring pollen? A: Gently tap the flowers twice each day with a pencil to...

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Ornamental Grass – When to Plant

Q: I know the best time to plant trees and shrubs is mid-fall. But when is the best time to plant ornamental grasses? A: In contrast to woody plants and perennial flowers, ornamental grasses do best when planted in spring...

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Potato Plants – Bunches of Cherry Tomatoes

Q: My potato plants have little bunches of green cherry tomatoes at the top and potatoes in the ground. Are they really tomatoes? A: They’re not tomatoes, just the seed pods of your potatoes. Tomatoes and potatoes belong to the...

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Bronze Beauty Cleyera – Fertilizing

Q: In April I planted ten Bronze Beauty cleyera. They get mostly shade. Is there any type of fertilizer to help them grow faster? A: Sunshine and a healthy root system make plants grow faster. If these are lacking, no...

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Mulch – Types for Garden Plantings

Q: What type of mulch do you prefer for garden plantings? A: I alternate between pine straw for shrubs and trees and mini-sized bark chips for perennials and annuals. I use wheat straw around vegetables to promote beneficial insects. I...

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Bluebird Houses – Deterring Squirrels

Q: I need to give my bluebird houses a good fall cleaning. Squirrels have chewed enormous holes in them. What can I do to deter them? A: One idea is to install a metal predator guard plate over the hole...

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Trees for a Large Atrium

Q: My company’s building has a large atrium. We need to replace the podocarpus trees there with something else. What? A: Ficus trees are excellent for atriums because the different varieties vary greatly in mature size. Black olive, Bucida buceras,...

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Spider Mites – How to Get Rid of Them

Q: A friend in coastal GA has a spider mite infestation on her citrus trees. She has tried liquid Sevin and insecticidal soap. Is this effective? A: Using Sevin is an excellent way to get MORE spider mites. This insecticide...

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Soil Solarization

Q: Can I use black plastic rather than clear for soil solarization? I want to remove weeds from part of a pasture for a garden next spring. A: Unfortunately, black plastic will not work. The process of solarization is supposed...

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Mushrooms – Fighting the Odor

Q: This year my parents have had foul-smelling, red-orange mushrooms with an egg-like base. I’m going to have my spring wedding reception at the house and I don’t want the smell to bother the guests. Any advice? A: Stinkhorns are...

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Mondo Grass – Expediting Growth

Q: I have a very large area of mondo grass I planted control erosion. It has not filled in very fast. Is there anything I can do to expedite growth? A: As with lawn grass, regular fertilization will speed growth....

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