Gardening Q and A

Coneflower – Aster Yellows vs Coneflower Rosette Mite

Q: I discovered deformed blooms on my coneflower, which I suspect to be caused by aster yellows. I immediately dug up the plant and threw it out. After more research I discovered coneflower rosette mites cause similar damage. Can you...

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Growing Flowers Organically

Q: I want to start a small organic online plant nursery. I have lots of pest insects so I released 1500 ladybugs not long ago. Is my hope for an organic nursery a lost cause or are there other all...

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Large Crapemyrtle – Why Not to Prune Severely

Q: We have several 20-30 ft. crepe myrtle trees that we would like to prune down to 8- 0 ft. They shade much of the surrounding plants and lawn, preventing growth and flowers. A: I understand your reasoning, but pruning...

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Japanese Maple – Leaf Blower Damage

Q: Is this anthracnose on my 5′ tall Japanese maple? It’s in a 24″ wide, foam pot. A: I was puzzled by the pattern of damage, so I sent this to my friend Norm Mittleider at Art-of-Pruning.com. He replied: This...

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Figs – For Cold Climate

Q: What advice do you have for proper varieties and planting of fig trees? A: Figs growing in the open in Dahlonega can suffer lots of damage in a severe winter. But given a sheltered planting spot by a wall...

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Buffalo Grass (Buffalograss) – Growing

Q: What do you think about using buffalo grass in a front lawn? A: You can try buffalo grass in a small area but I think you’ll be disappointed. This native grass doesn’t compete very well with weeds and the...

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Hogweed vs Queen Anne’s Lace

Q: My sister-in-law from Virginia is telling me that the plant I call Queen Anne’s Lace is a poisonous noxious weed called giant hogweed. How do you tell them apart? A: The plants’ flowers are similar: both have white lacecaps...

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Swamp Milkweed Leaf Beetle – Idetification

Q: A friend gave me a milkweed plant that is supposed to be good for monarch butterflies. I’ve noticed an insect that I have never seen before eating the leaves. Do you know what this is? A: It’s the larval...

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Blueberry – Leaf-footed Bug

Q: My sister has three different types of blueberry bushes that produce delicious berries. But I have noticed lots of these flying guys have also been enjoying them! Can you tell us what they are and what we can do...

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Queen Anne’s Lace vs Hogweed – Identification

Q: My sister-in-law from Virginia is telling me that the plant I call Queen Anne’s Lace is a poisonous noxious weed called giant hogweed. How do you tell them apart? A: The plants’ flowers are similar; both have white lacecaps...

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Doveweed – Identification and Control

Q: What is this weed and how do I kill it without killing the grass. I have sprayed it with Weed-B-Gone and I can not kill the weed that has made its way into my new sod. A: This looks...

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Goats – Milk is Safe after They Consume Poison Ivy

Q: If goats eat poison ivy is the milk safe to drink? A: Goats enjoy poison ivy foliage very much. As with dogs and cats, if the goats brush against a vine you can get a rash after petting them....

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Okra – Holes in Leaves (Hibiscus Sawfly)

Q: I noticed my okra leaves beginning to show some holes. The leaves also have a lot of worms on them. What can I do for this? A: It’s hibiscus sawfly damage. Early on a humid morning you can find...

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Leyland Cypress – Corrugated Pipe at Base

Q: I just purchased an older home . The property line has a fair number of Leyland cypress and each one has a section of corrugated black pipe going vertically down into the ground at its base. What purpose do...

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Poplar – Black Ooze from Large Cut

Q: A tulip poplar sits right over our koi pond. It had a fork in the trunk about four feet above the ground. A year ago the smaller trunk of the two showed obvious signs of dying. A tree service...

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Loropetalum – Bacterial Stem Gall

Q: In the summer of 2013, I lost 28 loropetalums to bacterial gall, diagnosed by the Extension pathology lab. I replanted loropetalums there in the spring of 2016. That winter all the leaves dropped, but in the spring of 2017...

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Oak – Severe Root Damage

Q: I have a big red oak in my yard about twenty feet from our new pool. It was quite fancy and elegant until now. This year, it decided to produce lots of shoots from ten feet off the ground...

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Dogwood – Herbicide Damage

Q: Ever seen this? My young dogwood leaves were very delayed and deformed. Strange gnarled masses forming. No blooms. Our lawn service sprayed it in mid-March with horticultural oil for scale. Also treated the surrounding lawn in May with broadleaf...

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