Gardening Q and A

Spider Mites – How to Get Rid of Them

Q: A friend in coastal GA has a spider mite infestation on her citrus trees. She has tried liquid Sevin and insecticidal soap. Is this effective? A: Using Sevin is an excellent way to get MORE spider mites. This insecticide...

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Fava Beans – Ability to Grow In Georgia

Q: Can I grow fava beans in Georgia? When is the best time to plant? A: My friend Daryl Pulis (mrsgreenthumb.com) reports that she killed fava beans several times before finally giving up. The vines don’t like heat nor do...

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Daylilies – Planting Sprouts

Q: I gathered hundreds of seeds from my daylilies and put them in an envelope to save. I planted a handful in a shallow container and a few weeks later I had a bunch of tiny sprouts coming up! What...

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Hydrangea – Stunted by Clay

Q: Is it possible that a two-year-old hydrangea has outgrown its nice comfy soil mixture and is being stunted by the clay around it? A: That is indeed possible if a wide area of soil was not loosened around the...

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Potatoes – No Spuds

Q: Upon digging for potatoes I came up empty: not a spud to be found. They had full sun, great soil, and they were nice plants with blooms. I planted them June 12. Kennebec is a mid/late variety so I...

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Tomatoes – Indoor Growing in the Winter

Q: I am growing tomatoes in my garden. Is there any way that I could trim the plant back and pot it for indoor growing through the winter? A: The tomato won’t bear fruit unless you give it VERY bright...

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Fountain Grass – Making Sure it Comes Back

Q: I bought some fountain grass even though it was labeled as a tender perennial. What is the best way to make sure it comes back? A: Common purple fountain grass will come back in South Georgia and Florida but...

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Boxwood – Variety Without Odor

Q: Is there a variety of boxwood that does not smell? A: English boxwood, Buxus sempervirens, is well-known to smell like a cat litter box. Asian boxwood, Buxus microphylla, doesn’t have the catty odor. Unfortunately, the Asian species does not...

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Oak Tree – Vines to Grow on It

Q: I had limbs removed from a dead oak tree. I allowed the twenty-foot-tall trunk to remain standing. What vine suggestions might you have? A: Many would suggest English ivy but it will take years to climb up the trunk....

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Fescue Lawn – Straw Protection

Q: How long I should leave down the straw I put out to protect fescue seed after my annual planting? A: If you used 1 bale of wheat straw per 1000 sq. ft., the mulch is laid so lightly that...

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Tomatoes – How to Make Relish and Pickles

Q: I have a lot of green tomatoes and want to make some relish, pickles, etc. that do not require a boiling water bath, something that we could just keep in the refrigerator until it’s eaten. Is there such a...

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Milkweed Pods – Growing in Georgia

Q: On a recent trip to Massachusetts I saw milkweed pods ready to burst. Is it possible to grow milkweed down here? A: Garden designer Shannon Pable (www.shannonpable.com) pointed me to the website of Monarchs Across Georgia, which boasts a...

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Privet – Tools to Remove

Q: On your TV show you mentioned special tools to remove privet. I went to hardware stores and they hadn’t a clue what they were. A: The tools were the Weed Wrench (www.weedwrench.com) and the Honeysuckle Popper (www.misterhoneysuckle.com). Both are...

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Tuscan Blue Rosemary – Surviving in the Cold

Q: I purchased a potted Tuscan Blue rosemary last winter and kept it inside until spring. I planted it outside in full sun. Now that cooler weather is here, I am concerned about how it will take colder temperatures. A:...

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Horticulture Degree – Job Opportunities

Q: I am in my mid-thirties and looking for a career change. What type jobs are possible with a horticulture degree? A: You’ve made a good choice! Scott Angle, Dean of the University of Georgia College of Agriculture and Environmental...

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Mona Lavender – Keeping it Alive

Q: I bought a beautiful Mona Lavender at the beginning of the summer and have managed not to kill it. I would love to keep it alive until next spring. A: ‘Mona Lavender’ plectranthus is a beautiful plant! It was...

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Tap Water for House Plants – Dechlorination

Q: I have several fish tanks and use a de-chlorinating product when using tap water for water changes. Would it be beneficial to use such a product when using tap water on my house plants? A: I don’t think there...

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Plants – Growing Better on Mounds of Soil

Q: Why do some plants grow better in the garden when they are planted in a mound of soil? A: Planting in a mound or a raised bed gives plants better root drainage and faster soil warming in spring. Roots...

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