Gardening Q and A

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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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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Tomato – Leafminer

Q: Here are some sad leaves on my tomato. I have TERRIBLE luck with tomatoes here in Savannah! They get every little thing. I try not to use insecticides, but…dang. I await your wisdom, Oh Wise One! A: Leaf miners...

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Morningglory – Growing on Crapemyrtle

Q: Last spring I planted morning glory seed heavily at the foot of my trellis. This summer the vines on the trellis were more than two feet thick. There were lots of beautiful flowers and the anoles, skinks, and tree...

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Wood Ash – Fertilizer for Houseplant?

Q: Can I use a teaspoon of wood ash from the fireplace to fertilize my house plants? A: A teaspoon probably wouldn’t hurt anything but ashes don’t contain anything useful to a houseplant. All that ashes are good for is...

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Mondo grass – Planting

Q: We need advice on using dwarf mondo grass in our shady back yard instead of fescue. How far apart should mondo grass be planted ? A: As fate would have it, I’ve been helping a friend plant sprigs of...

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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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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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