Gardening Q and A

Fescue – Keeping It Alive Over Summer

Q: How do I keep a fescue lawn alive during the summer if I seeded in April? I tilled the soil beforehand and added topsoil, lime, starter fertilizer. A: You’re off to a good start by having tilled before planting....

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Milorganite – In Place Of 10-10-10

Q: Can I use Milorganite in the place of 10-10-10 on vegetables? We have a good sized garden and I lightly strowed Milorganite last year to keep deer away. A: Yes, Milorganite (www.milorganite.com) can be used to supply nutrients to...

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Porterweed – Growing In Atlanta

Q: Can I grow porterweed in metro Atlanta? I saw some in the butterfly house at Callaway Gardens and I just fell in love with it! A: Porterweed, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis, is an excellent butterfly attractor. The blue flowers bring hungry...

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Geraniums – Planting In Pots vs. Ground

Q: Geraniums seem to always be grown in pots. Can you plant them in the ground in Atlanta or will they do better in pots? A: Geraniums grow fine in flower beds. I think they look best when placed to...

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Blood Meal – Not Dissolving In Water

Q: I ordered a bag of a blood meal online. It is very dark small granules. I tried to dissolve it in water. After a week, the stuff sits on the bottom of the glass, unaffected. Is this how blood...

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Chipmunks – Protected By Federal Law?

Q: I read where you said that chipmunks are protected by state law. A local landscaper disagrees. What’s the real answer on this? A: The Official Code of Georgia says “Except as otherwise provided by law, rule, or regulation, it...

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Vines – Going Down Your Wall

Q: We recently bought a house with two huge brick retaining walls on either side of the pool deck. Each one is twelve feet high and fifty feet long. Is there a vine that will trail down the walls? A:...

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Fertilizer – Storage And Subsequent Application

Q: I have been storing fertilizer in a galvanized garbage can with a lid in the garage. Is this safe? A: If you are worried about explosive potential, I very much doubt homeowner fertilizers would blow up. Open containers of...

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Inchworms – Getting Rid Of Them

Q: I’ve been battling inch worms in my Japanese maple for five years. They decimate the leaves and get all over everyone when they come up the walkway. Is there anything that can be sprayed to control them? A: Inchworms,...

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Bluegrass – Removing Now Or Pre-Emergent Later?

Q: I have annual bluegrass in my zoysia lawn. Will it do any good to dig up these plants? A: They have already dropped thousands of seeds. It’s best to wait until mid-September and control with a pre-emergent. Remember that...

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Pansies – How Long Will They Last?

Q: I have been enjoying my pansies and violas during the winter. How long will they continue to bloom? I hate to replace them for summer annuals if I can keep them blooming through summer. A: Heat will eventually be...

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Caladium – Winter Care and Storage

Q: I’m trying to simplify things as much as possible and I love caladiums. This past winter I left the bulbs planted in a container in my basement but they rotted. Anything else I can try? A: You’re right that...

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TifGrand Bermuda – Proper Trimming and Care

Q:We had TifGrand bermuda sod installed last year. We’ve noticed it has started to thin in areas, even though they receive full afternoon sun. The landscaper mows it three to four inches in height. Should TifGrand be treated differently from...

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Japanese Maple – Trimming Dead Branches

Q: I planted a Japanese maple last year on Mothers Day. The tree gets full sun two-thirds of the day. It seems pretty healthy but a few limbs have died. Should I remove them? A: Cut the dead limbs off....

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Tomatoes – Fighting Cold Damage

Q: We have had tomatoes in a pot for three weeks. The plant has some leaves that are washed out looking, almost as though some of the green was removed. What could cause this? A: My bet is cold damage....

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Cumberland False Rosemary – Planting Outside In Atlanta

Q: I inherited a Cumberland false rosemary planted in a large outdoor pot. Can this plant survive planted in the ground here? A: Native plant expert Shannon Pable (shannonpable.com) says Cumberland false rosemary, Conradina verticillata, naturally grows in sandy soil...

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Pruning – Chinese photinia

Q: An arborist has identified the tree at the front corner of my house as a Chinese plant with “serrulota” in the name. How and when should it be cut back? A: You have Chinese photinia, Photinia serrulata. It is...

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Beetles – Minimizing Dog Waste

Q: When we lived in Florida we used dung beetles to minimize dog deposits in the yard. It actually worked pretty well. Where can we get these critters here in Georgia? A: Any cow pasture will have lots of dung...

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