Gardening Q and A

Purple Hyacinth – Picking

Q: When should we pick the pods of our purple hyacinth bean vine? How do we save the beans for planting next year? A: I love the lavender flowers and eggplant-purple pods of hyacinth bean, Dolichos lablab. Each year, let...

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Hosta – Propagating

Q: I have a number of mature hosta plants. They form seed pods along the flower stems. I would like to plant these seeds but have tried with no success. Is there a trick? A: You can collect seed from...

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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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Manure – On Top of Bed, Why?

Q: I was at the Atlanta Botanical Garden the other day and they were in the process of putting out composted manure as a top dressing. They were not incorporating it into the soil but leaving on top and exposed....

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Potatoes- When to Plant

Q: I ordered some potatoes from a catalog in Maine. They won’t ship until April. Isn’t March the best time to plant potatoes in this area? Will April be too late? A: The key indicator for when to plant potatoes...

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Fescue Lawn – Taken Over By Bermudagrass

Q: I have a fescue lawn but I am surrounded by bermudagrass lawns. Bermudagrass has crept onto my property and I’ve given up hope of controlling it. I’d like to aerate the fescue in May, overseed with bermudagrass and let...

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Old Man’s Walking Stick – Tree Or Shrub?

Q: We are in need of your expertise to mediate two differing opinions. We have a mature “Old Man’s Walking Stick” plant. I recall the nursery tag referring to it as a shrub, but my better half recalls it classified...

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Mona Lavender – Annual or Perennial?

Q: Is ‘Mona Lavender’ plectranthus an annual or a perennial? I recently purchased two and the garden center listed them as full sun perennials. Other references say the plant is an annual. A: If you were to live in tropical...

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Crapemyrtles – Pruning, Why?

Q: I’ve heard you say to prune crape myrtles back to where the wood is about the width of a pencil or your little finger. My follow up question is this: WHY is it necessary to prune crepemyrtles? What would...

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Fescue Lawn – When To Put Down Pre-Emergent

Q: We have a fescue lawn. With all of the warm weather in early January, should I have put down a pre emergent? Should I also put it down in late February? A: It’s soil temperature rather than air temperature...

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Composting – Commercial “Super – Charger” to Aid

Q: In my subdivision all the homes are on septic systems. I have a small compost heap going. Can I put the commercial septic tank super-charger product on my compost heap? The label says it contains bacteria to help Mother...

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Vegetable Garden – Starting

Q: I want to start a vegetable garden in a pasture with bermudagrass. I want to go ahead and plow it up now and add some leaves and compost to sit over the next few months, but feel I need...

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Canna Lily – Germination

Q: I have tried several times to germinate canna lily seeds with no luck. Could you explain how to accomplish this? A: Canna seed are hard as rock and are almost impervious to water. You have to nick the seed...

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Tree Tags – Finding

Q: Where can I find tree tags? I’ve seen little metal circles that are nailed to trees. I would like to identify some trees and mark them. A: Metal tags are an excellent way to identify trees. I’ve known school...

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Seedless Tomatoes – Hormone?

Q: What kind of hormone do you use to get a seedless tomato? A: You were intrigued by my recent article about seedless fruit weren’t you?! Certain plants can be sprayed with hormones during flowering to induce the flower to...

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Quicklawn – No Good For Georgia

Q: Our lawn has mixed grasses with quite a few different weeds. We saw on the Internet a grass called “Quicklawn”. It is supposed to be green all year and hardy down to 20 degrees. Do you know anything about...

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