Gardening Q and A

Slug – How to Get Rid of Them

Q: Our first flower bed in Georgia last year was beautiful Wave petunias. Tried the same thing this year but lost many plants to slugs. The nursery said to spread diatomaceous earth around the plants. We did, and soaked it...

READ MORE

Potato Plants – Bunches of Cherry Tomatoes

Q: My potato plants have little bunches of green cherry tomatoes at the top and potatoes in the ground. Are they really tomatoes? A: They’re not tomatoes, just the seed pods of your potatoes. Tomatoes and potatoes belong to the...

READ MORE

Bronze Beauty Cleyera – Fertilizing

Q: In April I planted ten Bronze Beauty cleyera. They get mostly shade. Is there any type of fertilizer to help them grow faster? A: Sunshine and a healthy root system make plants grow faster. If these are lacking, no...

READ MORE

Mulch – Types for Garden Plantings

Q: What type of mulch do you prefer for garden plantings? A: I alternate between pine straw for shrubs and trees and mini-sized bark chips for perennials and annuals. I use wheat straw around vegetables to promote beneficial insects. I...

READ MORE

Peanuts – Storing For Planting

Q: I have some green peanuts that I would like to save to plant next spring. Should I freeze them or just dry them out and store them in a dry cool place? A: Dry the peanuts in the shell...

READ MORE

Okra -Edible with Bumps on Pods

Q: Our okra has done great but within the last week it has gotten white bumps on the pods. Is it edible or not? A: The bumps are “stings” from stinkbug feeding. Stinkbugs insert their hollow mouthpart into the okra...

READ MORE

Squirrels – Getting them Off of the Deck

Q: Squirrels are eating our deck boards and gnawing on the HardiePlank siding. What can we do to stop this? A: When I was three, my mother applied a bitter liquid to my thumbs to remind me not to suck...

READ MORE

Lantana – Leaves Browning

Q: We planted lots of yellow lantana atop a retaining wall. The plants were full of blooms but now lots of leaves are turning a grayish brown and crispy. The leaves look peppered on the underside. A: You have an...

READ MORE

Bermuda Grass – Green Again Soon After Killing Caterpillars

Q: Two days after realizing my bermuda lawn had army worms it was brown. We killed the caterpillars but the grass is still not green. Will the grass recover this year? A: If the bermudagrass was reasonably healthy, it will...

READ MORE

Eggplants – No Fruit

Q: My eggplants have blooms but no fruit. Do I need to sing a song while pollinating them, like you recommend singing Sinatra to squash when transferring pollen? A: Gently tap the flowers twice each day with a pencil to...

READ MORE

Ornamental Grass – When to Plant

Q: I know the best time to plant trees and shrubs is mid-fall. But when is the best time to plant ornamental grasses? A: In contrast to woody plants and perennial flowers, ornamental grasses do best when planted in spring...

READ MORE

Hydrangea – Not Blooming

Q: My purple hydrangea has not bloomed for two years now. It used to be beautiful. Do I need to prune it to the ground or what? A: Bigleaf hydrangeas were hit with a 1-2-3 flurry of punches during the...

READ MORE

Elephant Ears – Leaves Browning

Q: I have elephant ears growing in a container. The leaves are curling and appear to be burned around the edges. What is the cause of this? A: Browning around the leaf edges is usually a sign of water stress....

READ MORE

Climbing and Shrub Roses – Pruning

Q: I have climbing and shrub roses. Do I need to cut them back to short canes and mound mulch for the winter? A: Unlike in the northern US, roses here don’t need much more than “neatening up” for winter....

READ MORE

Ailanthus Trees- Killing Sprouts

Q: I cut down the largest of several ailanthus tree saplings next to my fence. I ended up with fifty sprouts in its place. How do I kill these things without getting a hundred more saplings? A: Cut each sapling...

READ MORE

Bluebird Houses – Deterring Squirrels

Q: I need to give my bluebird houses a good fall cleaning. Squirrels have chewed enormous holes in them. What can I do to deter them? A: One idea is to install a metal predator guard plate over the hole...

READ MORE

Trees for a Large Atrium

Q: My company’s building has a large atrium. We need to replace the podocarpus trees there with something else. What? A: Ficus trees are excellent for atriums because the different varieties vary greatly in mature size. Black olive, Bucida buceras,...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE