Gardening Q and A

Sweetgums – Shrub

Q: I had a sweetgum tree growing underneath my power lines. The electric company came and cut it down. I have been trimming the stump sprouts like a shrub and it looks nice. Is there any reason that I can’t...

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Horse Manure – Fertilizer

Q: I have an unlimited supply of horse manure. Can I use this as mulch/fertilizer around my bushes and trees without hurting them? A: If the manure has been composted long enough that it doesn’t smell like ammonia and the...

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Brown porch beetle – Identification

Q: On your website you mention a brown beetle that “swarms around porch lights at night”. I have so many I can barely open my back door. I would like to know what they are and how to get rid...

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Charcoal dust – Garden use

Q: Does charcoal dust from my grill have any use in the garden? A: No. Discard it safely after it has...

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Hornworms – Garden tomatoes

Q: Last year I had a problem with hornworms on my garden tomatoes. This year I planted tomatoes in containers on my very high deck, using store-bought potting soil. The hornworms are terrible still! Where did they come from? A:...

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Peace lily – Possible divide

Q: Is it possible to divide a peace lily? A: Sure, it’s a perfect project to keep you indoors out of the heat! Spread newspaper on your kitchen table and pull the plant out of the pot. You’ll notice that...

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Horticulturist – Alpharetta school

Q: I am a thirty eight year old medical sales professional and want to pursue a career in horticulture. Can you recommend a school in Alpharetta or nearby where I can obtain the credentials as a qualified horticulturist? A: The...

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Roses – virus

Q: I have nearly two hundred roses. Recently I’ve noticed several plants with bizarre buds/leaves/stems. I am convinced that I’m dealing with rose rosette virus. One plant looks like it came from outer space; the thorns are truly like shark’s...

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Purple-leaf plums – Edible

Q: My old purple-leaf plum trees unexpectedly have lots of red skinned fruit on them. Since it’s fashionable to grow edibles in our landscape, how I can tell whether these plums are edible for humans (I don’t want to be...

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Zoysia – Leaving Unmowed

Q: I would like to improve my carbon footprint by not using a gas powered mower and letting my zoysia just grow. It has already gone to seed and still looks good. What damage am I doing to the grass?...

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Blackberry vines – Weeds

Q: I have planted several blackberry vines. Now sprouts are popping up all over the yard. They look like blackberries but the more they grow the less they seem to be. How can I identify what is the real blackberry...

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Maple Tree – Survival

Q: Landscapers planted a tall maple tree by our community mailbox area, then covered under it with pine straw. I am watering the tree every other day to help it survive. What should I do now? Fertilize? A: Watering every...

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Perennial bed – Improved soil

Q: I had professional landscaping done in my back yard late last fall. Included was a perennial bed that was supposed to be tilled and the soil amended properly. The center of the bed appears OK, but the edge still...

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Rabbiteye blueberry – Pruning

Q: My parents have three five-year-old rabbiteye blueberry bushes. A huge tree that landed right on top of them a few weeks ago. The blueberries are crushed but seem to have survived. Should I prune now or wait? A: As...

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Hickory trees – Discoloration

Q: Many large hickory trees drape over my concrete driveway. When the nuts fall, they leave a stain that can be best compared to an ink stain. Is there anything that will remove the discoloration? A: Tannins, the broad class...

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Hanging baskets – Limb damage

Q: Do hanging baskets on tree limbs causes any damage to the limb? What can be used to suspend the pot that would not have a negative effect on the tree? A: It somewhat depends on the weight of the...

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Tree 25 feet- Replacing

Q: A tree in my front yard died and I need to replace it. I’d like it to be no more than twenty-five feet at maturity, low maintenance, colorful and drought resistant. Can you help me come close? A: My...

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Centipede grass – Lime

Q: I added sixty pounds of lime to my 4000 sq. ft. centipede lawn before some heavy rains. I have now read that lime should not be applied to centipede. Have I ruined my lawn? A: Good news! It usually...

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