Gardening Q and A

Potato – How to Grow a Heart Shaped Potato

Q: I received a Valentine card which had a photo of a heart-shaped potato on the cover. I’ve found pictures of similar potatoes on the Internet. What causes potatoes to grow this way? A: White potatoes arise at the end...

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Grafting A Peach Branch to an Apple Tree

Q: Is it possible to graft a peach branch to an apple tree? A: Grafting a peach to an apple won’t work. An apple is in the genus Malus, while a peach belongs to genus Prunus. The two are both...

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Cutting Trees Down

Q: I have a large backyard with a creek that merges into the Chattahoochee. It is full of large and small trees. I would like to cut down all the trees to make it usable for my daughters. Can I...

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Weed Control – Effectiveness of Salt

Q: What is your opinion about using salt for weed control under my birdfeeder? A: As a rule, I don’t recommend using salt for weed control. The sodium part of the salt molecule makes clay soil harder plus it dissolves...

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Dogwood Tree – Change in Bloom Colors

Q: I have a fifteen-year-old dogwood tree that has always had white blooms. This year it has produced pink ones. Why is this? A: It’s not terribly unusual for a white-flowering dogwood to pop out a limb that has pink...

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Pressurized Cans of Pesticide – How to Get Rid of Them

Q: I have several pressurized spray cans of pesticides. How do I get rid of them? A: Pesticide expert Paul Guillebeau says if the sprays can be used, you could give them to a neighbor who needs them. Alternatively, check...

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Compost Piles – Controlling Pests

Q: I like to compost but when I leave anything on the pile, roaches come to the feast. How do you control the varmints? A: Despite the “ick” factor, roaches are a natural part of the composting process. They chew...

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Spring Bulbs – When to fertilize

Q: When is the time to fertilize spring bulbs like daffodils and hyacinths? A: One of the adages of garden fertilizing is to feed plants when the leaves are growing. When the leaves of spring bulbs poke out of the...

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Windmill Palm – Pods on the Trunk

Q: My windmill palm is blooming, with pods growing from the top of the trunk. Is it a good idea to remove them so the tree isn’t putting all its energy into flowering? A: You are correct, removing the seed...

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Pumpkins – Harvesting and Preserving

Q: My kids and I are growing a few pumpkins in the back yard for a “family competition”. They have already started turning orange and look to weigh about 35 pounds. How do we preserve them until Thanksgiving for the...

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Tulips From Amsterdam – Survival

Q: I have recently returned from a trip to Amsterdam, where I ordered tulips. Will they do well here? A: I’m sure they will bloom well next spring as long as you keep the squirrels from digging them up. Unfortunately,...

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Spring-Flowering Bulbs – How to Move Them

Q: I am moving to Charlotte, NC this summer and want to move my spring-flowering bulbs with me. What’s the most efficient way? A: Buy a box of white plastic knives and a permanent marker. While the foliage is present,...

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Caladium Bulbs – Life Expectancy

Q: For the past three years I have stored my caladium bulbs per your instructions. What is their life expectancy? A: As you already know, caladium foliage emerges from a hairy underground tuber. Tubers have eyes and it is the...

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Elephant Ear – Poisonous

Q: I have an elephant ear that has shiny, leathery leaves with stalks that are thick and tough. I had a leaf fall over and turn yellow, so I pulled it off. A little while later, my hands and arms...

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Sweet Poataoes – When to Harvest

Q: I planted sweet potatoes this spring and the vines are growing well. How I will recognize the right time to harvest them? A: You can harvest them anytime you like before frost hits the leaves. The longer you wait,...

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Zoysia Grass – Mowing

Q: I installed ‘Emerald’ zoysiagrass sod three years ago and it’s awesome, like being on thick plush carpet. I have mowed it at 3.5 inches the same exact way since the beginning. I start on the outside edge, going counter...

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Hydranega – Aluminum Sulfate

Q: I think I poisoned my hydrangea bush. When I saw its pink blooms in May, I poured diluted aluminum sulfate directly onto the roots in order to change the acidity of the soil and get the flowers to turn...

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Roses – Banana Peel Providing Benefits

Q: Martha Stewart says roses love banana peels. How would I use them on my seven roses? What do they get from the peels? A: Martha is a knowledgeable gardener but I think she got carried away when she extolled...

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