Gardening Q and A

Watering device – Making at home

Q: I saw a clever slow watering device called “The Plant Nanny” at a shop in South Carolina. Could I make something like it myself? A: The Plant Nanny is a hollow ceramic spike you insert into houseplant soil. When...

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Tree sprouting – Transplanting

Q: Each year, a fast-growing tree sprouts up next to the paved walkway in my backyard and each year I cut it down. I would love to transplant it. Since I’ve continuously cut the tree down to almost nothing every...

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Persimmon tree – Companion tree effects

Q: I have a native persimmon tree at my home and my Golden Retrievers love the fruit. I noticed recently there wasn’t any fruit on it this year. I had a gnarly companion tree cut down this spring and was...

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September bulbs – Early rising

Q: I planted bulbs in September and they are coming up already: way too early! Should I be concerned about this? A: The bulbs won’t be hurt at all; they will flower normally in spring. Early emergence does use resources...

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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...

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Azalea – Stem growth

Q: A friend’s azalea plant has an odd growth on one of the stems. Should the growth be cut off? A: It looks like someone sprayed Roundup too close to the plant. I got a bit reckless with Roundup near...

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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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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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Macrophyla hortensia hydrangea – Outdoors

Q: I purchased a “macrophyla hortensia hydrangea” from the grocery store. It is in a pot with a spongy medium. Can this be planted outside now? A: Although florist hydrangea makes a great gift and is attractive for several days,...

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Leaves – Burning

Q: Rather than raking and bagging all of my leaves, is it legal to burn them instead? A: Outdoor burning of yard waste is regulated by the Georgia Forestry Commission and local law. The Forestry Commission typically institutes a “burn...

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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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