Gardening Q and A

Callery Pear – Fruit

Q: What are these mini pears? My tree is loaded with them! A: They’re most likely fruit from a “wild” callery pear but they could be the fruit from a callery pear that cross-pollinated an edible pear. I doubt they...

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Pandorus Sphinx Moth Caterpillar – Identification

Q: Any idea what this is? (The caterpillar, not the quarter ;o) A: It’s a pandorus sphinx moth caterpillar. I’ve never seen one before. I suspected it was a sphinx moth due to the body shape and the prominent spots....

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Winterizing Warm-Season Lawns – Not Necessary

Q: I heard you say on radio that it is not necessary to apply a winterizer to bermuda lawns. Why not? A: Mostly because you will be wasting your money except in limited cases. Bermudagrass starts slowing its growth rate...

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Squirrel Damage – To Bluebird House

Q: What happened to my bluebird house? Was it squirrels or raccoons? A: I think either a gray squirrel or a flying squirrel did the damage. I lean toward flying squirrel because I took down a damaged bluebird box one...

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Tomatoes – Growing in Cinderblocks

Q: This is amazing! Check out these tomatoes growing in cinderblocks. A: Looks like the gardener put small plants into the compost-filled holes in the cinderblocks and the plants grew roots down into the soil underneath. Nice...

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Sweetgum – Deeply Lobed Leaves

Q: This is located in a residential yard in Southern Alabama. It is not a sweetgum tree. No “balls” underneath and the leaves are similar, but not exact. We have sweetgum trees here and the leaves do not look the...

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Muscadine/Scuppernong – Fruit Disease Identification

Q: I have black spots on my scuppernongs. What disease could it be? A: Several diseases cause spots on muscadine grapes. I don’t know which one you have but this guide has excellent pictures. Muscadine...

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Japanese Maple – Moving a Big One

Q: I am in the process of moving my girlfriend from Dunwoody to Woodstock Ga. She wants to take her 2 Japanese Maples with her. One is about 3 feet tall, with a 6 ft canopy and a 3″ diameter...

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Raising Chickens – Rules for DeKalb County

Q: I’ve heard that the DeKalb chicken-keeping ordinance has recently changed. The problem is, I cannot find any official documentation about that. Do you happen to know the latest? A: Anne-Marie Anderson (The Celtic Gardener, (404) 667-1219, www.facebook.com/thecelticgardener_ says” As you are no doubt aware,...

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Puss Caterpillar – White (and Venomous)

Q: I’ve never seen a white caterpillar before, nor one that looks like it is covered with fur like an angora kitten. Do you know what kind it is? Is there such a thing as an albino caterpillar? A: Yikes...

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Leaf-footed Bug – Nymph

Q: We noticed this pretty bug on the side of our car. The bug was gesturing at us with its antennae and abdomen. A: It just wanted to be friendly! It’s a nymph (i.e. juvenile) of a leaf-footed bug, Acanthocephala...

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River Birch Sawfly Larvae – Proper Control

Q: In March I drenched the ground around our two river birches with the Ortho product which has imidacloprid. Each tree has 3 trunks, each about 6 inches in diameter. I used a 40 oz. bottle and divided it between...

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English Ivy – Mature Form, Flowers, Berries

Q: This aggressive ivy look-alike has covered up English ivy and everything in its path while making stubborn mounds several feet high! A: It’s what experts call the “mature” form of English ivy, as contrasted with the “juvenile” phase we...

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Millipedes – Identification

Q: We have an abundance of these things in and around our home. What is it and how do we get rid of them? This one is nearly five inches long. A: It’s a North American millipede, Narceus americanus. There...

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Goats/Sheep – Using for Weed Removal

Q: What do you know about using goats for removal of ivy, privet and the like? A: Goats or sheep can be pretty effective, especially in places where it’s too steep or overgrown to mow. Here are some articles about...

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Barklice – On Crapemyrtle

Q: Can you identify these bugs? I have several clusters of them on my crepe myrtle trees. A: They’re barklice. They feed on bits of bark and lichens but don’t hurt trees. Exotic though they look, there’s no need to...

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Blueberries – Dying Due to Soggy Soil

Q: Blueberries are my all-time favorite food so I was very excited when my husband planted three bushes in the backyard this spring. Two of the three are holding their own, but not really growing, and the third looks absolutely...

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Bean – Flat Pods

Q: For many years I’ve grown pole butter beans but this year the vines look great but there are few beans and they are flat. P. Etchison, Alpharetta, A: Flat beans usually mean poor pollination. Butterbeans are self-pollinating but produce...

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