Gardening Q and A

Pine straw – Season

Q: Is there a season for pine straw? We use pine straw in our yard and have noticed that sometimes it is full of trash: lots of small limbs and pine cones in it. Other times it is really nice...

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Resurrection Fern – Moving

Q: Is it possible to transplant a resurrection fern from an osage orange tree to a river birch? A: Resurrection fern is an interesting plant. I often see it coating the upper surface of big oak limbs. During dry times,...

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Leyland cypress – Trimming

Q: When I bought my house, the Leyland cypress at the end of my driveway was a cute thing about seven feet tall. Now, eight years later, it is twenty-five feet tall. Can you trim them to keep them a...

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Centipede grass – Overseeding

Q: Can you overseed centipede grass with rye grass for winter? A: No, it’s a terrible idea to plant ryegrass into centipedegrass to keep it green in winter. In the first place, the process of scarifying the soil to plant...

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Four O’clock Plant – Control

Q: What is the best method to remove four o’clocks. My ex-wife thought it would be a grand idea to have them around. Five years later they are taking over everywhere! When should I dig the tubers? Or is there...

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Hickory trees – Discoloration

Q: Many large hickory trees drape over my concrete driveway. When the nuts fall, they leave a stain that can be best compared to an ink stain. Is there anything that will remove the discoloration? A: Tannins, the broad class...

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Drought – Pine trees

Q: I’ve noticed since the drought that when it rains more trees seem to be falling over. Pine trees seem to break at weak points, but the broad leaf trees seem to be pulled out of the ground by their...

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Lawn pH – Watering

Q: My university soil test says I have a significantly low 4.6 pH. They recommend 45-55 pounds of lime per 1000 sq. ft. Is this enough to raise the pH permanently to 6.5? What is the best time to put...

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Grape vines – Relocating

Q: Two years ago I bought at a home improvement store four grape vines, one each of ‘Suffolk Seedless’, ‘Mars Seedless’, ‘White Niagara’, and ‘Concord’. Now, by their fruit, I seem to have four ‘Concord’s. If I relocate the vines...

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Peach orchard – Limb thinning

Q: I used to work in a peach orchard. We would thin each limb to no more than three peaches to grow large, lush peaches. Can you do the same with tomatoes: thin out the groups of 3 down to...

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Voles – Resistant bulbs

Q: I have had issues with voles for years. I’ve lost hosta, heuchera, painted fern, dogwood and nandina. What bulbs are resistant to the vole’s diet? A: As you’ve found, mouse-like voles eat almost everything. They scissor through the center...

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Vandalism – Flood light

Q: We have had a problem with punks vandalizing our front yard. They drive through every nine months or so. We want to mount a motion detecting floodlight in one of the pine trees. What is the best way to...

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Digging – Gas powered auger

Q: I have knees that no longer feel good after digging holes for shrubbery and trees. Have you ever used a gas-powered auger? A: If you need to plant more than a half dozen trees or large shrubs, an auger...

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Carissa hollies – Resprouting

Q: My ‘Carissa’ hollies have suckers coming off the roots. They look like Chinese holly leaves. I have cut them back but they keep sprouting back…what would you do? A: University of Georgia shrub expert Matthew Chappell says that ‘Carissa’...

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Wood chips – Flames

Q: Can a pile of wood chips burst into flame? My last three deliveries from the local tree guy smoked by day two and you could feel the heat radiating off the pile. When I went to spread them, there...

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Root rot – Cure

Q: Several of my plants are dying from root rot. A nursery employee said to mix hydrogen peroxide with water and put it in the ground at the base of the plants. He said that by re-introducing oxygen into the...

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Indoor growth – Tomatoes

Q: I’m new to gardening and was wondering if it was possible to grow tomatoes indoors year round. Our rental house has a sunroom so plants can get a lot of light there most of the year. A: I admire...

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Cat grass – Hairballs

Q: What can you tell me about cat grass? It is supposed to help cats with bringing up hair balls. I bought a small kit and the grass grew but my cat ate the grass and pulled up the roots....

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