Gardening Q and A

Chlorine soaked leaves – Compost bin

Q: Is it OK to place chlorine-soaked leaves from our swimming pool into our compost bin? A: Yes, there is not enough chlorine on the leaves to hurt the composting...

READ MORE

Solarizing soil – Eliminate pupae

Q: I had a horrible time with squash vine borers this year. Will solarizing my soil this winter (clear plastic covering for 6-8 weeks) help eliminate the pupae for next year? A: Solarizing in winter won’t heat the soil enough...

READ MORE

Water conditions – Aerate soil

Q: I usually aerate and overseed my fescue lawn in the fall. With the current watering restrictions, is this still something I can do? A: Current water regulations allow you to water every other day. But for best germination, fescue...

READ MORE

Burlapped ‘Allee’ Elm – Recovery

Q: We bought a healthy looking balled and burlapped ‘Allee’ Elm from a tree farm. After about two days in the ground the leaves started to wrinkle and turn brown. Do you think it will recover by next spring? A:...

READ MORE

Golf course – Tree planting

Q: I volunteer for a disc golf course. We would like to plant some trees in the park’s big open fields, a former cow pasture with red clay soil. What trees do well in that environment? A: I think some...

READ MORE

Neem trees – Growth areas

Q: I grew up in Gujarat, India, where I played among the surrounding neem trees. They had many uses: a leaf tea comforted rashes, twigs were used for cleaning teeth, smoke from the leaves kept mosquitoes and bugs away. I...

READ MORE

Soil ring – Tree planting

Q: My wife and I watched your TV show where you discussed the soil ring you make after planting a tree. You said that it should not be left longer than the first year. Why not? A: Tree experts say...

READ MORE

Small farming – Project ideas

Q: I’m on the heart transplant list at Emory – bet you haven’t had too many of us contact you!. When I get out and heal up, I want to do some small farming: animals, orchard, vegetables, etc. on 100...

READ MORE

Termites – Company investigation

Q: We just moved to Georgia and bought a split level home on concrete slab. We had to have a termite letter on day of closing. The inspector cleared us but later termites were found. Will the state investigate the...

READ MORE

Tree replacing – Berries smell

Q: I want to replace a tree that we had to cut down with a ginkgo. I have heard that either the male or female variety has berries and smells bad A: Female ginkgo trees produce primitive seeds covered by...

READ MORE

Ceramic pot – Fountain

Q: I have a big ceramic pot that I have made into a fountain. What do I need to do for winter? Is it okay to just keep pumping? A: For most outdoor fountains, it’s best to turn it off...

READ MORE

Boston fern – Naming

Q: I was winterizing my wife’s Boston ferns and became puzzled. How did a fern that will not survive the weather outdoors in Boston become named after that city? Or was it named after someone named Boston? A: Boston fern,...

READ MORE

Cactus – Bug spray

Q: I have a cactus in a pot that I will plant in the spring. What do I spray it with before I bring it into the house for the winter to make sure I am not bringing in bugs?...

READ MORE

School garden – Rain barrels

Q: My daughter’s school is trying to establish a community garden. Are rain barrels an option for a school building? A: Rain barrels are perfectly suited for a school once you get permission to cut into the gutters or drain...

READ MORE

Crapemyrtle – Height

Q: Are there any crape myrtles that grow no taller than 6 or 7 feet? We are landscaping under power lines but don’t want to commit “crape murder” every year. A: ‘Acoma’ (white), ‘Hopi’ (pink) or ‘Tonto’ (red) crapemyrtles would...

READ MORE

Garden pest – Guide

Q: I’m searching for a good garden pest management guide, preferably one that includes pictures of the pests and organic pesticides. A: Rodale’s Pest and Disease Problem Solver is quite good. I’m glad you are interested in identifying the insect...

READ MORE

Beautyberry – Poisonous

Q: Are the berries of the American beautyberry poisonous? Should I plant it in an area restricted from small children? A: I can’t find any mention of them being poisonous. Birds certainly enjoy them each fall. There is a long...

READ MORE

Seeding – Topsoil

Q: We are planning to seed our all clay backyard with fescue and know that we will have to add topsoil. Do we need to break up the clay before we add topsoil? Is two inches of topsoil enough to...

READ MORE