Gardening Q and A

Tulips From Amsterdam – Survival

Q: I have recently returned from a trip to Amsterdam, where I ordered tulips. Will they do well here? A: I’m sure they will bloom well next spring as long as you keep the squirrels from digging them up. Unfortunately,...

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Spring-Flowering Bulbs – How to Move Them

Q: I am moving to Charlotte, NC this summer and want to move my spring-flowering bulbs with me. What’s the most efficient way? A: Buy a box of white plastic knives and a permanent marker. While the foliage is present,...

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Elephant Ear – Poisonous

Q: I have an elephant ear that has shiny, leathery leaves with stalks that are thick and tough. I had a leaf fall over and turn yellow, so I pulled it off. A little while later, my hands and arms...

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Sweet Poataoes – When to Harvest

Q: I planted sweet potatoes this spring and the vines are growing well. How I will recognize the right time to harvest them? A: You can harvest them anytime you like before frost hits the leaves. The longer you wait,...

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Zoysia Grass – Mowing

Q: I installed ‘Emerald’ zoysiagrass sod three years ago and it’s awesome, like being on thick plush carpet. I have mowed it at 3.5 inches the same exact way since the beginning. I start on the outside edge, going counter...

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Hydranega – Aluminum Sulfate

Q: I think I poisoned my hydrangea bush. When I saw its pink blooms in May, I poured diluted aluminum sulfate directly onto the roots in order to change the acidity of the soil and get the flowers to turn...

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Roses – Banana Peel Providing Benefits

Q: Martha Stewart says roses love banana peels. How would I use them on my seven roses? What do they get from the peels? A: Martha is a knowledgeable gardener but I think she got carried away when she extolled...

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Bird Seed Causing Weeds?

Q: My husband and I have a dispute. We used inexpensive bird seed a few years ago that sprouted quite a harvest of weeds in our grass. For the past two years I’ve been buying “No Mess” bird seed. My...

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Bearded Iris – Dividing

Q: Is it too late to divide bearded iris in August? A: My rule is that you can divide iris and daylilies anytime between the last blooms and the first frost. Now is a fine time. Dig them carefully with...

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Experimental Flower Garden – University of Georgia

Q: I am going to visit my son at the University of Georgia and would love to visit the experimental flower garden. I am always so impressed when Dr. Allan Armitage describes the plants they are working on. Can you...

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Sod – Too Late to Put Down?

Q: Is it too late to put down sod before it starts turning cooler? A: Turf expert Clint Waltz says you can do it ^IF^ you properly prepare beforehand. Till the soil at least six inches deep so roots can...

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Crapemyrtle – Protecting From Beetles

Q: My three-year old crapemyrtle was killed by Asian ambrosia beetles. Fortunately it has re-sprouted from the bottom. My question is, what can be used to combat these pests before they dig in? A: Asian ambrosia beetle damage has become...

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Hay – Different Smells

Q: What kind of hay has a spicy fragrance when it’s cut? A: Oconee County Extension agent Henry Hibbs says: “There is definite difference in the smell of alfalfa, bermuda and fescue hay. The most notable is the difference between...

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Daddy Longlegs – Harmless to Flowers

Q: Should I be worried if I see “daddy long legs” spiders on my flowers? A: No, the daddy longlegs are harmless. Also known as harvestmen, these creatures are not spiders, though the body form is similar. They do not...

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Pacifica Chrysanthemum – Propagating

Q: I purchased a Pacifica chrysanthemum two years ago. It has become my favorite ground cover and in fall, the daisy-like yellow flowers are thrilling. How do I propagate it to other parts of my garden? A: I think you’re...

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Cannas – Damaged by the Cold

Q: I had a lot of cannas in my front yard. This year they have not sprouted at all. Could the cold have killed them? A: Yes, cold damage has been a major problem on marginally-hardy plants we typically leave...

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Cucumbers and Watermelons Planted Near Eachother – Mistake?

Q: I’ve been told that I have made a mistake with my cucumbers and watermelon planted near each other. “They” have said that I can look forward to strange shaped watermelons and funny tasting cucumbers. Is this true? A: “They”...

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Mulch – Wheat Straw OK To Use In Vegeatble Garden

Q: I am a greenhorn gardener with a quick question about mulch. Is it ok to use wheat straw in my vegetable garden. A: Wheat straw is an excellent mulch. I use it myself to attract harmless spiders because they...

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