Gardening Q and A

Lawn Fungus – How to Prevent

Q: What is an appropriate product and application schedule for preventing fungus in my lawn for the coming year? Last year brown patch was a particular problem. A: Lawn fungus problems are best addressed by correcting your lawn management practices,...

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Staghorn Fern – How to Re-pot

Q: A friend of mine wants to know how to repot their large staghorn fern. A: A staghorn fern is composed of several rounded brown shield fronds and even more green “staghorn” fronds. Before dividing a plant, soak it thoroughly...

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Aquaponics Training – Where to Find

Q: We are looking for aquaponics training or somebody who uses the system in Georgia. We have a 16′ x16′ fenced area. A: Aquaponics is the system of growing fish alongside edible plants, using water from the fish tank to...

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Pest Insects – Cold Enough to Kill?

Q: Has it been cold enough, long enough, this winter to kill the larvae of ants, fleas, ticks and mosquitoes? A: Whenever we have a cold winter, gardeners wishfully hope that the frigid temperatures will diminish the insects they’ll face...

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How to Clean a Spring

Q: We have a spring on our property that is overgrown with trees and brush. It has always run even during drought. How do we clean it? My grandparents had one instead of a well and it was lined with...

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Plant Repiration – Need to Turn the Lights Off?

Q: I have an office cohort who says I should turn the lights off so the plants can respire. I’ve left them on and the plants seem to grow quite well. Should I indeed turn the lights off when I...

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Soil- Purifying

Q: What is the best way to purify soil to remove any diseases from it. Would adding bleach work? A: Sterilizing soil is impossible in a practical sense. Even if you removed disease organisms from the soil it would quickly...

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Roots – How to Kill

Q: I recently had two trees cut down because their roots passed beneath my sidewalk. The stumps and roots remain. I’m concerned that the roots will continue to grow. How can I kill them? A: Some trees, like oak and...

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Poet’s Laurel – Growing Successfully in Georgia

Q: I recently read about Poet’s Laurel. Can you grow it in Atlanta successfully? The area of our yard I was thinking of gets full sun about 90% of the day. A: Poet’s laurel, Danae racemosa, is a slow-growing evergreen...

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Foxtail Ferns – Repotting

Q: I am repotting two large foxtail ferns. There are hundreds of potatoes in the soil. Do they reproduce from these, and can I pot them to make new plants? A: Foxtail fern is actually an inedible asparagus, Protoasparagus densiflorus...

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Peppercorn Plant – How to Make Black or White Pepper

Q: How do you grow a peppercorn plant to make either black or white pepper? A: Peppercorn, Piper nigrum, is a tropical vine that produces 5-inch long spikes of berries. Black pepper is made by soaking the berries until the...

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Leylands – Spacing for a Privacy Screen

Q: We want to plant quite a few Leyland’s at the back of our property to create a 100 foot long and tall privacy screen between us and the neighbors. If we start with twelve-foot high trees, what spacing should...

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Topiary Azaleas – How to Plant

Q: How are the topiary azaleas with braided stems best planted? A: Florist azaleas are not usually as winter-hardy as the smaller-leaved Japanese azaleas that bloom reliably each spring. If yours has been indoors since you received it, wait to...

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Climbing Fig – Sudden Growth Spurt

Q: Four years ago I bought two small containers of climbing fig to cover my brick chimney. In a few years it grew only a few inches. In the past summer however it took off and has runners five feet...

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Black Walnut Tree – Fertilizing

Q: We have a black walnut tree about 50 feet tall in the back yard. We got walnuts but they were small. Can I fertilize a tree that large? A: Black walnut is a fun tree to own, if a...

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Tobacco – Legal to Grow in Georgia

Q: Is it legal to grow tobacco in my garden? A: It is perfectly legal to grow tobacco. But once you’ve tried it, you may not want to do it again! The process starts when you plant the tiny seed...

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Bay Laurel Shrub – Protecting

Q: I live on the shores of Lake Oconee. Would a bay laurel shrub survive being put in the ground now? A: Bay laurel, Laurus nobilis , is the source of aromatic leaves used in cooking. The shrubby tree is...

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Flower Bed – Rejuvenating

Q: My mother has an old flower plot containing phlox, sedum, and many other perennials. The bed is in decline and needs to be rejuvenated. Considering the variety of plants, what needs to be done? A: Wait until April and...

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