Gardening Q and A

Japanses maple – Seed pods

Q: I have seed pods on my laceleaf Japanese maple. How do I harvest and grow them? A: Unlike, say, bean seed, Japanese maple seed germinate sporadically over a two year period. Also unlike vegetable seed, maple seed require three...

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Squirrel (Wild Animal) – Keeping as Pet

Q: I have a baby squirrel I found on the ground and have been feeding milk for several days. Can I legally keep it as a pet? A: No, you can not. Despite your kind-heartedness, the Georgia DNR has specific...

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Gazebo – Greenhouse

Q: I am planning to enclose my portable, aluminum gazebo with 6 mil. plastic and convert it into a greenhouse for the winter. I’ll keep it on my deck, so heat from the house will help keep it warm. Will...

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Tomato – Pollination

Q: 1. My tomato flowers fall off before making a tomato. What causes this? 2. My tomato is extremely odd looking…like a green fist is inside it. Why? A: Both of these problems are caused by lack of pollination. A...

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Black walnuts – Planting

Q: While walking around our neighborhood a few weeks ago, I picked up several black walnut seeds. What’s the best way to plant them? A: Nuts can be planted an inch deep in a small sunny bed in fall. Cover...

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Squirrels – Eating Tomatoes

Q: How can we keep squirrels from taking a bite out of green tomatoes? They take one bite and drop them on the ground, ruining a perfectly good tomato! We have tried various things but nothing works! A: I’ve heard...

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Camellias – Close planting

Q: I recently purchased several camellias. Each of the camellias seemed to have two trunks. I investigated and was able to separate the tangled roots into two plants. Is it OK to have them planted so close together? A: This...

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Viburnum – Identified as Blueberry

Q: I have five, three-year-old blueberries bushes. They have lots of tiny blueberries but have not matured into plump, juicy fruit. When they did this last year I thought they were just immature plants. This year I am concerned. There...

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Hosta – Deer Damage

Q: I have some gorgeous huge-leaved hostas in my front yard. This year, starting in mid May we noticed they were being destroyed. Only the stalks remain in large areas. I do not remove the leaves – they must be...

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Desert Bluebell – Identification

Q: We have a flower that we can’t identify. Planted as a seed. Can you help us with the name? A: My genius plant ID friend Shannon Pable replies: “This one took a bit of detective...

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Ants – Pest control

Q: I live in a loft in downtown Atlanta, and with the cold weather in recent weeks, I have had an infestation of ants. What do you recommend for ant control? A: Although you can certainly kill ants with a...

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Buzzard (Vulture) – Eating Foam on Convertible

Q: A friend is having problems with buzzards. Forty of them gather on her roof each day. They actually got into her garage and pulled the seal off the convertible top on her car. Any comments or suggestions would be...

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Alstromeria (Parrotlily) – Identification

Q: Please identify this flower for me. Has come up for years by the birdfeeder. Is on a stalk( 3 ft) with very few leaves. Overall the plant since tall and lanky is not attractive but the trumpet shaped flowers...

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Pyracantha bush – No seedlings

Q: I observe a pyracantha bush that is loaded with fruit every year but I never see any seedlings. What gives? A: Pyracantha originated in Asia and is appreciated for the huge number of bright red berries it produces. Cedar...

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Blackberry – Chimera on Leaves

Q: On a walk near our home we found what appears to be a blackberry bush on which the leaves on one side of a few stems are completely white. Some are half white and half green, including the stems....

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Broom sedge – Disposal

Q: How do you get rid of broom sedge in the pasture? A: Broomsedge is a perennial grass that self-seeds rapidly when it finds open soil in a pasture. This plant doesn’t invade a pasture, it just takes advantage of...

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Spiny Orbweaver Spider – Identification

Q: I almost bumped into this little beast this morning. He is about 3/4-inch across and was in the middle of a large web about 6-feet off the ground in a shady area. He looks like he forgot to take...

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Ammonium nitrate – Purchase

Q: I have a 13 year-old son I’m taking to the deer woods. We planted a no-plow seed mixture in a plot in the woods. The seed instructions say to apply ammonium nitrate when the plants get 3 to 5...

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