Gardening Q and A

Porcelain Berry Vine

Q: We have a vine (not kudzu) that has killed a dogwood tree in our yard and is about to do the same to several magnolias. The leaves look like grape leaves (but smaller) and it has small blue-black berries....

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Chemical Composting Aids

Q: Are there any good chemical treatments to speed up and/or assist with the composting of dried leaves? A: Sure, add nitrogen of some form to the pile. My rule of thumb is 1 cup of 10-10-10 per pile with...

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Camellia – Tea Scale

Q: I have a camellia tree in front of my house in Savannah that is just gorgeous. But it’s dying!! A few months ago I noticed dense, very sticky webs strung along the low branches of the tree. The webs...

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Daffodils – Moving in Early Spring

Q: Can I move daffodil bulbs now? I want to plant some shrubs in a place where daffodil foliage is already an inch tall. A: If you are careful, the bulbs can be moved without harm. The best tool to...

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Pearlbush – Pruning

Q: I have a pearlbush that is many, many years old. It is almost 25 feet tall but it has lost several limbs over the years and is pretty scraggly now. Can I prune it drastically now without hurting it?...

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Zoysiagrass – In North Georgia?

Q: I would like to plant ‘Emerald’ or ‘Meyer’ zoysiagrass at my home but I don’t know if it will be to cold here for it to thrive. Would another type of turfgrass be better? A: Eddie Ayers, Fannin county...

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Erysimum

Q: Can you tell me more about ‘Bowles Mauve’ Erysimum? A: I haven’t grown it but I’ve seen it for sale in February at a home improvement center. As an annual it would probably do fine here – it doesn’t...

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‘Harvester’ Peach Tree – Spraying for a Full Harvest

Q: I have a five-year old ‘Harvester’ peach tree. It’s developing fruit the size of marbles in large numbers. Should I be spraying this tree with something to make sure I get a full harvest? A: You have already missed...

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Bermuda – Scalping

Q: When should I mow my dormant bermudagrass? A: Removing the brown winter foliage and stubble from a bermudagrass lawn (known as “scalping”) will cause it to green-up faster this spring. Since green-up is dependent on soil temperature and soil...

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Magnolia – Removing Roots to Plant Grass

Q: A landscaper advised me to remove the large magnolia in my front yard and plant grass in its place. We have wedding coming up in late June and I would like for the yard to be nice and green...

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Daphne – Planting and Care

Q: I have a question about daphne. I have both a pink and a white variety. I know they like shade but what else should I provide them? A: I planted a Daphne odora ‘Areomarginata’ beside my entranceway two years...

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Gardenia – Damaged by Freeze

Q: I have a gardenia on which most of the leaves turned black after the freeze a few weeks ago. Should I cut it down to the ground or hope that new leaves come back this spring? A: Hope springs...

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Prune – Too Early or Too Late

Q: Is it too early or is it too late to prune my shrubbery? (January 2, 1999) A: Confusingly enough, it could be BOTH right now. Because December weather was so mild, some shrubs were late going into their winter...

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Water – Wasted by Drips

Q: Could you tell me how many drops are in a gallon of water? Is there a measurement for a drip? We have a leak in our office kitchen sink, in Miami, and I’m trying to get the building supervisor’s...

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Burlap – Remove from Roots?

Q: I had some trees planted in October. As the soil around the root ball settled, I see that the burlap was left on it. Should it have been removed? A: You bet it should have! The synthetic burlap that...

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Crab Grass Preventer – When is too Early?

Q: Since it has been so warm lately, should I put out my crabgrass preventer earlier than normal? Several readers A: To know when to apply a weed preventer you first have to know when the seeds you are trying...

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Flowering Maple (Abutillon) – Care

Q: I have a flowering maple. How should I take care of it? Can it be transplanted? A: Flowering maple is the common name of a plant we’ll see much more of in coming years. It is also known by...

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Selaginella – Identification

Q: I have this low growing plant in the shade beside a hosta. It appeared on its own. I love it, but don’t know what it is. The leaves are finely divided–almost like the branch of a conifer. Can you...

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