Gardening Q and A

Pine Sawfly

Q: I just noticed that one of my deodar cedars is suddenly and rapidly becoming a skeleton. Upon closer inspection, I found it is being eaten alive by clusters of spotted yellow caterpillars with bright red lips! I would say...

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Giant Resin Bee

Q: I’ve noticed a large insect flying into holes already bored out by carpenter bees. They are one inch long or longer and have a large head, burnt orange thorax, and black abdomen. The eyes are big and easy to...

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Oxalis – Rust Disease

Q: I have an oxalis with the burgundy leaves and pink flowers. In late winter and early spring (through May) it looks great. Then with warmer weather the leaves get what looks like orange rust spots on them and they...

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Porcelain Berry Vine

Q: We have a vine (not kudzu) that has killed a dogwood tree in our yard and is about to do the same to several magnolias. The leaves look like grape leaves (but smaller) and it has small blue-black berries....

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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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Magnolia – Removing Roots to Plant Grass

Q: A landscaper advised me to remove the large magnolia in my front yard and plant grass in its place. We have wedding coming up in late June and I would like for the yard to be nice and green...

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Daphne – Planting and Care

Q: I have a question about daphne. I have both a pink and a white variety. I know they like shade but what else should I provide them? A: I planted a Daphne odora ‘Areomarginata’ beside my entranceway two years...

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Gardenia – Damaged by Freeze

Q: I have a gardenia on which most of the leaves turned black after the freeze a few weeks ago. Should I cut it down to the ground or hope that new leaves come back this spring? A: Hope springs...

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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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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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