Gardening Q and A

Zoysia sod – Redo soil bed

Q: This past summer I put down Meyer zoysia sod but one area was not well plowed and as a result is not growing as well. After the sod has gone dormant, would it harm the sod to take it...

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Mondo grass – Weed control

Q: I have a dry stream bed with stone and dwarf mondo grass that has some weeds in it. How do I control them? A: Imazaquin (click for sources) kills many broadleafed weeds plus fescue, ryegrass and crabgrass. Sethoxydim (click...

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Landscape plants – 1800s

Q: We have a home built in the 1800’s but would like to design with trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants used from 1900 – 1920. Can you give me a list of landscape plants for that period? A: The Cherokee...

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Loropetalum bush – Pruning

Q: I planted a loropetalum bush where I should not have, too close to the driveway. Is it OK to prune a loropetalum so that it stays a small bush? A: Loropetalum cultivars range in size from the tree-form ‘Zhuzhou...

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Cherry – Severely Pruned

Q: I have four Yoshino Cherry trees, about 8-10′ tall, and all get trimmed to about 6′ in early February. The sicker one lost a branch a couple of months ago – completely dead, so we lopped it off. Also...

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Luna Moth Caterpillar – Identification

Q: My son found this in the wood chips. It latched onto him when he carried it, and had small little spines on its back. A: A: It’s a luna moth caterpillar. Note the white stripe down the side, which...

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Pansy – Crown Rot

Q: I planted a large bed of pansies in mid- October. Most have been growing well. However, I noticed one plant that appears extremely wilted. Upon examination, it seems the stem of the plant at soil level narrows to the...

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Wheat Sprouting in Fescue Lawn

Q: I planted seed three weeks ago. The grass has come up nicely but there are some tall sprouts that are twice as big as the rest of the grass. What are they? A: Did you use wheat straw to...

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Tree – Dead Root

Q: I have a 20-ft tall, ten-year old maple in my front yard. This summer I noticed a chunk of bark near the base of the tree splitting and peeling up. Recently a big chunk broke off leaving a huge...

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Flapjack Plant – Identification

Q: My wife and I have been trying for a year to identify this plant to no avail. It was a hand-me-down plant, given to us last fall. It was an outdoor plant, we took it inside when the weather...

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New Garden – Not Thriving

Q: We want to know if you have insight as to why our garden failed this year so we can avoid issues next season. We planted our garden in August, with mushroom compost and landscape soil turned into it. You...

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River birch – Dropping Leaves

Q: We have a birch tree in the front yard which I think has exceeded its water resources. I have to rake every other week to prevent the brown dry leaves that fall in that period from blowing into the...

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Tree Limb – Orange Fungus

Q: I recently noticed a couple of leafless limbs on my sawtooth oak. They also have a scaly orange fungus and one had a gelatinous, drippy mass of some sort. A: It looks like both limbs were shaded out by...

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Hornet – Eating Yellowjackets

Q: An unidentified wasp camps out in my garden next to the entrance to a yellow jacket nest. I call him “Super Wasp”. Throughout daylight hours a Super Wasp remains on station conducting an aerial patrol in front of the...

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Giant Swallowtail Caterpillar (Orangedog) – Identification

Q: I found these creepy critters on a small citrus tree at my home. What could they be? A: They are indeed creepy but these caterpillars turn in a giant swallowtail butterfly, Papilio cresphontes. Their markings effectively deter predators…even humans,...

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Leaf-Footed Bugs – On Tomatoes

Q: These insects are attacking my tomatoes. Please tell me what they are and how I can get rid of them. A: You’re seeing leaf-footed bugs. These insects are close kin to stinkbugs and have the same piercing-sucking mouthparts. They...

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Maple – Mechanical Injury

Q: I found a full looking Legacy sugar maple at a local nursery. Now that it’s in the ground I started noticing these canker looking things on some of the branches. The cankers are always on the outside of the...

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Maple – Planted Too Deep

Q: I have a five-year-old October Glory maple whose bark is peeling off in long chunks. Underneath, the trunk is smooth with dark spots. The leaves began turning colors and now are drying out. I have a second tree within...

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