Gardening Q and A

Pussy Willow – Pruning

Q: I have a pussy willow tree that is so tall I never see the blooms in the spring. Are you supposed to cut these trees back? A: You’re lucky to have a pussy willow (^Salix discolor^) grow so tall....

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Peach Blossoms – How Many to Remove

Q: Please tell me how many peach blossoms to remove from my tree. There were quit a few on it and I was told you should take them off to have bigger fruit. Two years ago we didn’t remove any...

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Redbud Trees – Pruning

Q: In early spring we planted three redbud trees. The bottom one-half of the trees leafed out, but everything above that point is dead. Can I prune that part off and still have good growth or do I need to...

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Sago Palm – Fronds are Dead

Q: Between the cold and wet this winter, some of the fronds on my sago palms are dead. What do I need to do about it? A: Just clip off the brown fronds and wait. If the center crown of...

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Homestead Purple Verbena – Perennial?

Q: Is Homestead Purple verbena a perennial in Atlanta? A: It’s considered a perennial but clumps generally wane after a few years. Verbena makes blooms at the tips of branches. As a plant spreads, the stems far from the center...

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Azaleas – Ground Up Leaves as Mulch

Q: I would like to know if it would be harmful to put ground up tree leaves around my azaleas? My city gives away leaves they have picked up. Do you think it is safe? A: When leaves are picked...

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Sago Palm – Earth Salt

Q: A neighbor told me that a good fertilizer for a sago palm is something called “earth salt”. What is that material? A: I have no idea what “earth salt” is. Perhaps your neighbor meant Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). Sago...

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Trees – Untangling Roots

Q: We purchased twenty five trees last weekend. Most of them were last year’s stock, so they are stuck in the pots with lots of tangled roots. How do we untangle and separate these tough roots? A: Use a strong...

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Carolina Jessamine – No Flowers

Q: I have Carolina jessamine that has filled in a lattice wall around my hot tub. It is growing great, but not a single flower this year. Do I prune in the spring with the assumption that flowers occur on...

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Weeping Willow – No Bark

Q: We have a two year old weeping willow with a trunk about two inches diameter. Deer rubbed all the bark off for a length of about two feet. It looks like a slick pole now. Will the bark grow...

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Horticulture Degree – Job Options

Q: If I were to get an Associate Degree in Environmental Horticulture what job options would I have? A: Mary Kay Woodworth, Executive Director of the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association says there is a great variety of employment...

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Impatiens – Gathering Seeds

Q: I’ve got two beds of mixed impatiens and want to gather seed to sow next spring. Is there any particular method? A: Yes, you can snip off the swollen seed pods now and place them in an envelope for...

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Fescue – Wheat Straw

Q: I recently aerated my lawn, scattered some topsoil, overseeded with fescue and then covered the area with wheat straw. A neighbor told me that using wheat straw was a bad idea. Why? A: It is a common landscape practice...

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Young Trees – Roots Growing in Mulch

Q: To make the base of our young trees look pretty we decided to add fresh mulch, cutting a circle six feet in diameter and two inches deep around the mulch bed to make it look professional. To our surprise...

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Plum Tomato Plant – Making Them Last

Q: Our plum tomato plant is still going strong, with thirty eight tomatoes still on the vine, from dime-sized to full grown. The majority of them are mature sized but have been green for about three weeks. What can I...

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Mulch – Reusing

Q: You suggest that we replace all mulch under roses. Can we reuse the old mulch elsewhere? We’ve got a ton of hardwood mulch under our roses and I can’t imagine throwing all that away. A: I like your recycling...

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Dwarf Fruit Trees – Winter Care

Q: I have three dwarf fruit trees: cherry, apricot, and nectarine, growing in large containers on my patio. They will be twelve feet high when mature. I would like to leave them outside for the winter but am concerned about...

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Fescue – Last Call for Planting

Q: When is the absolute latest time to plant fescue seed in the fall? We have a Girl Scout outing in our backyard October 27th, so we really wouldn’t be able to plant until after that’s done. Any thoughts? A:...

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