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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Asparagus – Red berries

Q: Some of my asparagus plants has red berries on them. What do I have? Can the berries be used like seed? A: The red berries contain asparagus seed. You can collect them as they turn red each fall and...

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Magnolia and fir – Feeding requirements

Q: We have several large magnolias and fir trees in our back yard. What are the feeding requirements for them? A: If the trees are large and established, they need little feeding, particularly if they are growing near a fertilized...

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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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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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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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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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