Gardening Q and A

Fertilizer – Excess Nitrogen

Q: My first attempt at growing turnips, beets and carrots resulted in mainly leaf growth. Should I have applied 5-10-10 instead of 10-10-10? A: Excess nitrogen would indeed cause lots of leaves and few roots. I don’t often see the...

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Bats – Droppings

Q: I am curious about some animal droppings that are on my driveway and front porch. They are dry and full of nothing but bug wings it seems. Could it be an armadillo or a skunk? A: I’m thinking of...

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Floral Preservatives -Over the Counter Drugs and Plant Growth

Q: Can you tell me where I can get information on the effects of over-the-counter drugs on plants? I know some people put aspirin in potting soil near the root of their plants and in the water of flowers in...

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Christmas Tree – Watering

Q: I’ve noticed that my Christmas tree, which we cut at a farm, drinks almost a gallon of water every day. Does it drink that much water from the ground when it’s growing normally or is its thirst an effect...

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Imperial Moth – Identification

Q: I can’t find any info as to what this visitor to my deck is. I am thinking he fell from either the pine tree or the black gum tree that hang over my deck. I am guessing the black...

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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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Crabapples – Pollinating Regular Apple Trees

Q: I have read that planting crabapples with regular apple trees will insure better pollination. If this is so, how close should you plant them and what types of crabapples should I use? A: Your information is correct. Apples are...

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Henbit – Applying Weedkiller in Fescue

Q: In early October I completely killed my front lawn and reseeded. The grass is coming in great. However, along with the grass, I have a lot of what looks like henbit weed coming in. How long should I wait...

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Baldcypress – General Information

Q: A visiting friend from Ohio was told of a “champion” baldcypress in Newton, Georgia. I am having the hardest time finding any reference to it online or otherwise. Can you guide me to this wonder? A: The Georgia Forestry...

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Red Twig Dogwood – Growing in Georgia

Q: I planted a red twig dogwood bush about three months ago. At first, it seemed to be doing very well. Now the growth seems to have slowed quite a bit and the leaves seem to be falling off. The...

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Blue Grass – Varieties

Q: I saw you planting a bright blue ornamental grass on your Turner South television show. I am in love with blue plants and have a berm that I am trying to do entirely in grasses. I’ll have large pampas...

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Pruner – Power Operated

Q: You mentioned a power-operated pruner on your radio show a couple of weeks ago. I am trying to find one because I raise roses and I now have arthritis in my hands. A: My friend Jim Kelley is an...

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Scientific Names – Reference

Q: I am in college working toward a major in horticulture. In my woody ornamental identification class I have encountered many strange scientific names. I’m curious what the word “attenuata” means, as in the name ^Ilex attenuata^ ‘Fosteri’. Do you...

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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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