Gardening Q and A

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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Leyland Cypress – Pruning

Q: I would like to prune some Leyland cypress trees standing next to our house. Shall I do the sides as well as the top to restrain it from growing A: You can’t restrain it from growing, but Norm Mittleider,...

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Best Plants for Shade

Q: Which does better in shade, plants that have solid colored leaves or those that are variegated, hosta for instance? A: Solid green plants are typically stronger because their green leaves can photosynthesize more readily. In the case of hosta,...

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Gallon Pots – Reusing

Q: What steps are necessary when reusing one gallon pots when transplanting plants? Is it necessary to sterilize the pots from the previous soil source? A: Do you re-use, without cleaning, a fork that drops to the floor during a...

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Oak Trees- Protecting From Beetles

Q: Not long ago my neighbor lost a hundred year old oak tree. The problem was diagnosed as ambrosia beetles. Is there any way I can protect trees in my adjacent yard? A: I recently attended a lecture presented by...

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Apple Seeds – How to Grow

Q: I work with a pre-kindergarden class. We have been studying apples and the children are curious about the seeds turning into an apple tree. If we planted some of the seeds now would they sprout before the first frost?...

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Cannas – Dividing Bulbs

Q: I divided a canna clump into six pieces a year ago. Now they are about three times the size that I need or want. When is the right time of year to dig and divide the bulbs to share...

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Bermuda Grass – Last Fertilization Date

Q: I am confused. I was listening to your radio show and you said not to fertilize bermudagrass after mid-September. On your website you say late September. Which is right? A: Sometimes I get shot at from all sides! Clint...

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Granite Dust – Harmful?

Q: Recently I had a flagstone patio installed in my back yard. They used granite dust between the stones. A lot of it ended up in my empty planting beds. Will the stone dust harm any plants I put in?...

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Kentucky 31 Fescue – Spreading Seed

Q: What setting should I use on a rotary spreader to spread Kentucky 31 fescue seed? Or does it matter? A: It ^DOES^ matter! You need to apply only 8 – 10 lb. per 1000 sq. feet. If you put...

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Flowers for Coastal Georgia

Q: : I have some property on the Georgia coast that I’m trying to market. It would look far better if it had some flowers growing on it. What can I plant now? A: Roger Ditmer, director of horticulture at...

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Grape Tomato Vine – 14+ Feet Tall

Q: My grape tomato vine is fourteen-plus feet tall. Is this normal? I’m risking my life to climb on the roof where I have attached them to pick the ones at the top. A: Now you know what an “indeterminate”...

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Alberta Spruce – Dying

Q: I have had a dwarf Alberta spruce in a large pot for two years. Now it is showing signs of dying, one branch at a time. It appears that it isn’t getting enough water but that isn’t the case....

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Blueberries – Caterpillars

Q: Some large, fuzzy, black caterpillars with yellow stripes are devouring the leaves of my blueberries. Should steps be taken to eliminate them? A: You are seeing yellow neck caterpillars. Notice how they lift their front and hind quarters to...

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Container Gardening – Reusing Soil

Q: I did container gardening this year and used a lot of potting soil for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, spinach and romaine. Should I discard all of the potting soil or can I use some of it next year? A: Two...

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Clematis Vines – Pruning

Q: I have two clematis vines that were beautiful this past summer. They are now hibernating for the winter. What should I do now to insure that they are just as vibrant next year? Should I cut the dying vines...

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St. Augustine Grass plugs

Q: I am tired of fighting hot, dry summers to get my fescue to survive. Next summer I plan to mix St. Augustinegrass plugs into my fescue in hopes that as the fescue deteriorates in summer, the St Augustine will...

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Climbing Knock Out® Roses

Q: Any chance there’s a climbing Knock Out®  rose in the works? My shrub Knock Out® s have done so well, that’s the only way I’ll go at this point in my life. A: There are two kinds of climbing roses. Ramblers...

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