Gardening Q and A

Chemical Composting Aids

Q: Are there any good chemical treatments to speed up and/or assist with the composting of dried leaves? A: Sure, add nitrogen of some form to the pile. My rule of thumb is 1 cup of 10-10-10 per pile with...

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Camellia – Tea Scale

Q: I have a camellia tree in front of my house in Savannah that is just gorgeous. But it’s dying!! A few months ago I noticed dense, very sticky webs strung along the low branches of the tree. The webs...

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Daffodils – Moving in Early Spring

Q: Can I move daffodil bulbs now? I want to plant some shrubs in a place where daffodil foliage is already an inch tall. A: If you are careful, the bulbs can be moved without harm. The best tool to...

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Pearlbush – Pruning

Q: I have a pearlbush that is many, many years old. It is almost 25 feet tall but it has lost several limbs over the years and is pretty scraggly now. Can I prune it drastically now without hurting it?...

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Zoysiagrass – In North Georgia?

Q: I would like to plant ‘Emerald’ or ‘Meyer’ zoysiagrass at my home but I don’t know if it will be to cold here for it to thrive. Would another type of turfgrass be better? A: Eddie Ayers, Fannin county...

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Erysimum

Q: Can you tell me more about ‘Bowles Mauve’ Erysimum? A: I haven’t grown it but I’ve seen it for sale in February at a home improvement center. As an annual it would probably do fine here – it doesn’t...

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‘Harvester’ Peach Tree – Spraying for a Full Harvest

Q: I have a five-year old ‘Harvester’ peach tree. It’s developing fruit the size of marbles in large numbers. Should I be spraying this tree with something to make sure I get a full harvest? A: You have already missed...

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Bermuda – Scalping

Q: When should I mow my dormant bermudagrass? A: Removing the brown winter foliage and stubble from a bermudagrass lawn (known as “scalping”) will cause it to green-up faster this spring. Since green-up is dependent on soil temperature and soil...

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Prune – Too Early or Too Late

Q: Is it too early or is it too late to prune my shrubbery? (January 2, 1999) A: Confusingly enough, it could be BOTH right now. Because December weather was so mild, some shrubs were late going into their winter...

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Burlap – Remove from Roots?

Q: I had some trees planted in October. As the soil around the root ball settled, I see that the burlap was left on it. Should it have been removed? A: You bet it should have! The synthetic burlap that...

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Crab Grass Preventer – When is too Early?

Q: Since it has been so warm lately, should I put out my crabgrass preventer earlier than normal? Several readers A: To know when to apply a weed preventer you first have to know when the seeds you are trying...

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Flowering Maple (Abutillon) – Care

Q: I have a flowering maple. How should I take care of it? Can it be transplanted? A: Flowering maple is the common name of a plant we’ll see much more of in coming years. It is also known by...

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Water – Wasted by Drips

Q: Could you tell me how many drops are in a gallon of water? Is there a measurement for a drip? We have a leak in our office kitchen sink, in Miami, and I’m trying to get the building supervisor’s...

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Royal Poinciana Tree – Growing

Q: I am writing to you hoping you know anything about the Royal Poinciana tree. It is very beautiful and it grows in Puerto Rico. You can see it along the country roads, with bright orange flowers starting in March....

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Potting Soil – Reusing

Q: I have a big pot from which I’ve pulled all of the petunias and other summer annuals. I want to plant it with pansies but I don’t know what to do with the old soil. Do I have to...

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Bulbs – Protection from Squirrels

Q: I’m on a big gardening kick this year and I want to plants lots of bulbs. People tell me that squirrels will dig them up if I don’t protect them the first year. How should I do this? A:...

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Hyacinth Bean – Saving Seed

Q: I bought some black grape hyacinth seeds when I visited Monticello because I liked the color of the flowers. I planted them and now the plant has produced a large purple bean pod. Can I save the seed and...

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Selaginella – Identification

Q: I have this low growing plant in the shade beside a hosta. It appeared on its own. I love it, but don’t know what it is. The leaves are finely divided–almost like the branch of a conifer. Can you...

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