Gardening Q and A

Herbicide to Kill Grass but not Blackberry Bush

Q: We have a couple of rows of thornless blackberries on our farm. Thick grass grows all around the canes. Is there an herbicide that will get rid of grass but would not harm the plants? Sharon O’Neal Grant, Tiger...

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Screech Owl – Red Form

Q: I encountered this fine feathered fellow on a hike in Lumpkin county near Springer mountain. My first ID was a screech owl, but after consulting with my Audubon guide it appears that this is not the case. The bird...

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Kill Weeds in Healthy Dirt

Q: I want to use rich soil from my Dad’s old cow lot in my small garden. I’m worried about weeds in it. Can I sterilize the dirt somehow? Howard Betts, email A: You can’t sterilize the dirt but there...

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Yaupon Holly – Identified

Q: I just bought a house and it has several tall bushes that I cannot identify. It has no thorns, but is similar to a pyracantha. Can you help me to identify it? A: It’s a weeping yaupon holly, Ilex...

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Fill Dirt

Q: I recently had a water well drilled in a pine island. Now I need to remove the granite sand and sludge. Can this material be used to fill low spots and truck tire trenches? Richard H. Soard, East Cobb...

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Blueberry – Darowii

Q: I can’t figure out what these plants are. The nursery thinks they are some type of dwarf blueberry, but they aren’t sure. I would like to know a little more so I can figure out what they like and...

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How to Secure a Chicken Coop

Q: I have had chickens in the past but I now live in the mountains and am afraid to start again because of predators like coyotes. What suggestions do you have for a secure coop? Lenzy Bond, Cohutta A: The...

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Sweetgum – Copious Seeds

Q: Our sweetgum leaves are falling but the tree also rains tiny seeds. I thought only the gumball was the seed. A: The gumball from a sweetgum is actually the seed pod. Each one contains dozens of seed, which fall...

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Patchouli – Overwintering

Q: I am attempting to overwinter a patchouli plant indoors. Last summer it was a huge, gorgeous outdoor plant. I’ve moved it inside to a window where it gets pretty good light but the leaves continue to turn yellow. A:...

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Bushes Preventing Flooding?

Q: We have large, overgrown bushes along the front of our house that have become too difficult to maintain. If we pull them out would we have a problem with water getting into our now-dry basement? Shelley Winet, email A:...

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When to Water Potted Plants

Q: What do you recommend for determining when to water potted plants (indoor or outdoor)?Raleigh Burns, email A: I recommend using a digital moisture gauge, the one that you have on the end of your hand: your index finger. Push...

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Gooseberry – Growing

Q: I am new at gardening and would like to experiment. I want to grow gooseberry. Online nurseries says it will grow here in zone 7. What is your opinion? Melissa Poston, Marietta A: : Cold hardiness zone 7 includes...

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Ivy – Able to Root after Shredded?

Q: We have removed lots of ivy climbing our trees. We were thinking about renting a chipper/shredder to chop the vine. Afterwards, will it still be able to take root? Gwen Kemmerick, Duluth A: You face two concepts: the possible...

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Hydrangea – Damage After Frost

Q: What do I do now that freezing weather has taken its toll? These were hydrangeas but they look pretty pitiful now. A: I have good news! This is exactly how hydrangeas are supposed to look. The leaves will fall...

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“Shade Champ” Grass Seed

Q: My yard gets too much shade from oak trees. I’ve found “Shade Champ” grass seed for sale. It contains creeping red fescue, PennLawn red fescue, Chewings fescue and Pizzazz ryegrass. Can it really grow in Georgia? John Hibbard, Dunwoody...

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Flowering Magnolia – Bloom Cold Tolerance

Q: I noticed last week that my flowering magnolia has huge buds on it. Will it have black blooms due to the cold? Jimmy W. Mize, email A: Flowering magnolias, including star magnolia and saucer magnolia, are extremely cold tolerant....

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Autumn Blaze Maple – Trimming

Q: We have an Autumn Blaze maple tree that we built a deck around. The branches at the bottom are very close to the floor of the deck. Should we prune off the bottom branches or will the branches grow...

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Cottonseed Meal – Azaleas

Q: I know you recommend cottonseed meal to feed azaleas. I need to know when and how much to put around each plant. Joan Brown, email A: I like cottonseed meal because it provides slow, consistent feeding over several months....

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