Gardening Q and A

Mycorrhizae – Possible Benefits For Tree Growth

Q: I was wondering if you had an opinion on mycorrhizae? I’m thinking of buying some to use when planting trees and other things. A: Mycorrhizae are beneficial soil fungi. They associate with plant roots and bring them moisture and...

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Strawberries – Basic Care And Maintenance

Q: I’m growing strawberries for the first time. What should I do to the plants for winter? A: Strawberries are very tolerant of cold weather. Most strawberries will keep a few green leaves in winter and these leaves need sunlight...

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Sunflower Seeds – Inhibiting Grass Growth

Q: For several years I had a bird feeder hanging over my St. Augustine grass. I used sunflower seed and I began to notice that the grass beneath the feeder had stopped growing. I now have an eight foot circle...

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Mulching – Grass Clippings From A Bermuda Lawn

Q: I need suggestions on how I can recycle the grass clippings from my large bermuda lawn. Each mowing produces about ten large bags of clippings. A: The very best option would be to mow a bit more often with...

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Clover – Chemical Eradication

Q: Is it possible to chemically eradicate clover in a bed of dwarf iris? A: My friend Theresa Schrum points out that irises are monocots (single-leafed plants) and therefore should be immune to 2,4-D, the primary ingredient in broadleaf (dicot)...

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Pecan Trees – Good Zinc Application

Q: Which is best for mature pecan trees, broadcasting zinc sulfate or spraying leaves with liquid zinc? A: It’s far better to spray the leaves. Pecans need sufficient levels of zinc in their leaves to produce good nuts. Zinc applied...

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Asparagus – Little Sprouts Growing!

Q: I planted asparagus this past spring and cut down the foliage a few weeks ago. The other day, I noticed that each plant has a few asparagus stalks coming up! A: The little sprouts came up because we haven’t...

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Roses – Using Rose Waste

Q: Last year, when I pruned my Knockout roses I clipped the stems into short sections and used them as mulch under the plant. What would be the best method to incorporate rose waste back into the garden? A: Since...

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Date Palm – Re-establishing Roots

Q: I’m doing some research for a Sunday sermon which has a short discussion of date palms in it. Can a date palm re-root after being blown over? A: Yes, like most palms, date palm can be propped up for...

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Azaleas – Lots Of Yellow Leaves

Q: All of my azaleas have lots of yellow leaves. Is it drought or something else? A: We think of spring-blooming azaleas as being evergreen but in truth they are sometimes semi-evergreen. They drop a certain percentage of leaves each...

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Sweet Potatoes – Curing Process

Q: For Christmas, my eighty-year-old dad wants a bushel of sweet potatoes that have been laid out in the sun to dry after being dug up, like his family in Alabama did. According to him, sweet potatoes are now kiln...

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Leyland Cypress – Trimming The Top

Q: I have ten Leyland cypresses that provide a beautiful privacy fence for my back yard. But they have grown so tall that they are blocking sunlight to my zoysia grass. Is it okay to trim the top of the...

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Hellebores – Growing On Tybee Island

Q: Will hellebores grow on Tybee Island? A: If you keep them in the shade all day, I think Lenten rose would find Tybee Island very hospitable. One key factor is the amount of organic matter in your soil there....

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Vegetables – Tall Plant With Small Fruit

Q: Most of our vegetables grew very tall but with poor fruit. One tomato was ten feet tall but with only tiny fruit; cabbages grew long stems but the cabbages were size of a tennis ball. Our soil tests as...

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Roses – No Second Bloom

Q: I planted several Knock Out roses last year. They bloomed nicely last fall and spring but, unlike my neighbor’s bushes, I don’t see any blooms now. A: Like all roses, Knock Out blooms occur at the end of a...

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Ash Trees – Spreading Diseases

Q: We were in Northern Ireland recently and noticed sick ash trees. Looks like their government is stepping in to control this disease. A: At least they don’t seem to have emerald ash borer (EAB) insects in addition to the...

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Fescue – Basic Fertilizing

Q: I need to fertilize my fescue lawn. I used starter fertilizer in September when overseeding. Should this month’s fertilizer include a weed killer or pre-emergent? A: The general rule is that you can apply weed chemicals when the fescue...

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Collards – Controlling Whiteflys

Q: What are the small white flies on the back of my collard leaves? A: I wasn’t previously familiar with whitefly damage to collards bit it turns out that this is an important pest. They suck sap from the leaves,...

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