Gardening Q and A

Was Myrtle Bushes – Brown Leaves

Q: I have several wax myrtle bushes that all have brown leaves now, I assume from freeze damage. A: I’d leave them alone until April, just to see if anything buds out. Wax myrtle is usually cold-hardy in Atlanta but...

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Mixing Fescue and Rye – Good or Bad?

Q: How do you feel about seeding a lawn with a mix of rye and fescue? Will ryegrass impact the fescue? A: I don’t like the idea. Ryegrass dies in summer heat and it competes with fescue when both are...

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Shrubs and Trees – Applying Horticultural Oil

Q: Is it a good practice to apply horticultural oil on shrubs and trees when they are dormant in order to prevent bugs this spring? A: Yes, applying plant-safe oil is a great way to kill insects in winter. At...

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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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Rustic Arbor – How to Protect Pine Wood

Q: My wife has decided that I want to build a rustic arbor. I did not know I wanted to do this but I cut several skinny pine trees and used my grandfather’s draw knife to remove the bark ....

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Soil Preparation – 10-10-10

Q: In preparing the soil for a garden, my yard worker put 40 pounds of 10-10-10 on my little patch of 100 square feet. The recommended rate is1 pound per 100 sq. ft. What do you suggest I do? A:...

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How to Root Cuttings From Plants

Q: Can you tell me where to look for instructions on how to root cuttings from plants? I need professional information and instructions A: Mike Dirr’s “Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation” (Timber Press) is a great technical reference. “How...

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Clay Pot – Efflorescence

Q: I have some crusty-looking stuff on the bottom of a clay pot. Can you tell me what it is and how to get rid of it? A: I think you’re seeing efflorescence. This powdery material is the remains of...

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Avocado Seed – How to Move From Water to Soil

Q: I have an avocado seed in water with several roots on it. I’d like to plant it in a pot. Should I bury the seed completely? A: Lift the plant from the water and get a helper to hold...

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‘Natchez’ Crapemyrtles

Q: We have several ‘Natchez’ crapemyrtles and want to plant a red one between the white ones.What crapemyrtle blooms red at same time or close to ‘Natchez’? A: ‘Dynamite’ has a terrific red flower color and is a tree-form crapemyrtle,...

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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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