Gardening Q and A

Cool weather grass – Horses

Q: Can you suggest a cool weather grass for horses? I know Kentucky 31 is available but I’m wondering if there is something better that will tolerate the heat and drought. A: Fescue is usually the best choice for cool...

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Daphnes – Layer branches

Q: I’m growing daphnes. While educating myself, I ran across this statement: “One can layer branches of daphne in the spring.” Would you explain what they mean by “layer branches” ? A: “Layering” a branch means to help it form...

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Boric Acid – Rescue

Q: My husband put several tablespoonfuls of boric acid on my crown of thorns and a gardenia, trying to kill ants. Now these two houseplants are suffering greatly. Is there anything I can do to rescue them? A: Boron is...

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Heater malfunction – Cleaning plants

Q: We had a kerosene heater malfunction in our greenhouse. Soot covers the plants. What is the safest way to clean them? A: I’d use soap (not a detergent) on your plant leaves. Soaps include Ivory bar soap and castille...

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Eagle Scout – Historical trees

Q: My nephew’s Eagle Scout project is to find trees with historical significance during the colonial period. He is having difficulty finding information on these trees in Georgia. A: Since Georgia had few cities in colonial times, few trees from...

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Yoshino Cherry – Edible

Q: Is the fruit of ‘Yoshino’ cherry edible? My five-year old tree produced fruit for the first time this year. A: ‘Yoshino’ fruits are edible, but only birds and small animals enjoy consuming them. The pit (seed) is huge in...

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Compost tumbler – Instructions

Q: I bought a compost tumbler last summer. I balanced the amount of green and brown matter I put in and I turn the tumbler a couple times a week. Now it is three-quarters full but nothing seems to be...

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Rain barrels – Soaker hose

Q: We invested in some rain barrels after the recent drought. They are inconveniently located on the low side of the house. Is there a reasonably priced pump I can use with a soaker hose? A: Frank Henning, University of...

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Blue junipers – Pruning

Q: Please tell me when and how to prune blue junipers. We have some that are getting too big. A: The best time to prune junipers is right after new growth begins, probably in mid- to late April. Plan your...

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Invisible seeds – Planting

Q: What is the best method for planting almost invisible seeds? I bought corkscrew plant seeds and I would like to get as many plants as possible from the package of 25 minuscule seeds. A: There are a couple of...

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Weed killers – Vinegar

Q: You always recommend the popular brand name weed killers but these are expensive to use. Vinegar will kill weeds and is only $2.00 a gallon. Is there some reason it should not be used? A: I sometimes recommend brand...

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Ants – Grass growth

Q: I have noticed in my thin Bermuda lawn that whenever I kill a fire ant mound the grass grows up on the ant site with a vengeance. Do the ants secrete something? My wife thinks it is because ants...

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Fescue – No Weed Killer Before Seeding

Q: Is it OK to put out Weed B Gon to kill weeds before I plant fescue seed? A: No – it’s not OK. Weed expert Dr Mark Czarnota says “This class of herbicide has preemergence activity on most plants...

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Fleas – Control

Q: I went into the dirt-floored utility room under my house and came out covered with fleas. I don’t have a dog or cat, so how did they get there and how can I control them? A: Dogs and cats...

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David viburnum – Brown spotsI

Q: I have a beautiful David viburnum and it has several branches with all the leaves brown and more with brown spots. What’s happening? A: Although I once recommended it, I have lost confidence in this shrub, Viburnum davidii, for...

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River birch – Concrete

Q: We are considering planting a river birch tree seven feet from a driveway. I have been warned that these trees have roots that can ruin concrete. We were told by an inspector that we have an underground stream running...

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Azaleas – Blooming

Q: I am curious as to why azaleas bloom so profusely and with such vibrant colors when there is no apparent resultant benefit of seed production? A: Native plant expert Theresa Schrum says many of the cultivated azaleas that you...

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Snakes – Protection

Q: Last summer, my lawn care crew killed a copperhead snake in the ivy behind my house. There is a creek nearby. I’ve heard that spreading lime or mothballs in the ivy would deter the snakes. Do either of these...

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