Gardening Q and A

First garden – Pesticides

Q: This is our first time planting a garden. We would like to protect the garden with natural pesticides. Do you know if there is an effective organic pesticide that can be used? A: The best way to protect a...

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Hummingbird nectar – Color

Q: I’m making hummingbird nectar. If I remember correctly, where I came from in Virginia it was common knowledge that the nectar should be red to attract the birds. Do you agree with this? A: No, the red nectar color...

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August – Planting perennials

Q: Is August a good time to plant perennials? I want more flowers that will come back each year. A: think late September is a better time to plant perennials and shrubs. The soil is still very warm but the...

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Arborvitae – Discoloring

Q: I have two arborvitae that were planted in June of this year. They are still green at the tips, but the interior of the bush is turning brown. Are they lacking water or is something else going on? A:...

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Moonshine – Engine fuel

Q: I talked with a friend that grew up on a Wisconsin dairy farm and he says that his dad would put old, closed pottery crocks into the fresh silage as they were loading the silo. When it was time...

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Ornamental grass – Dig and divide

Q: I usually cut back my large ornamental grasses that grow with the big plumes in January. Can you dig them up and divide them at this time? A: All of the ornamental grasses (maidengrass, pampas grass, muhley grass, etc)...

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Outdoor ferns – North Ga

Q: Please tell me the names of ferns that will grow outdoors in north Georgia A: I’m particularly fond of Christmas fern and autumn fern because they are evergreen. I like southern shield fern because it is deciduous but very...

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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?...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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:...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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