Gardening Q and A

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? A: All of...

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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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Annual Bluegrass – Perennial Type

Q: I am trying in vain trying to control annual bluegrass. I put down pre-emergent four times this fall. There is noticeably less than last year, but still plenty of it. Could we have a species that survives the summers...

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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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Christmas Cactus – Seed Pod

Q: My cactus is blooming now. My question is what is next for this fruit from last year? As you can see, the withered blossom is still attached. Is it possible that there are viable seeds inside? A: I’ve never...

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Mondo Grass – Planting Seed

Q: I would like to plant dwarf mondo seed in my yard. If I bought plants it would cost me a fortune to do the yard. What do you suggest? Where can I buy the seed? A: It is difficult...

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Humate – For Lawns

Q: I read that one of best things to do for your lawn is to add humate, a soil conditioner. Do you know anything about it. A: Despite many glowing claims from promoters, very little unbiased, university-based research supports the...

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Pileated Woodpecker – Hole in Tree

Q: What is eating holes in our live sourwood tree? What should we do? A: Jim Rogers, at Nearly Native Nursery, says: “In my personal experience observing woodpecker holes, the size of the chips removed and the rectangular-shaped hole appear...

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Sheep Sorrel – Identification

Q: We have a hill that is planted with English ivy. It is doing very well but we now have a plant that is invading and choking the ivy. We do not want to harm the ivy but if it...

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Rhododendron Borer – Identification

Q: We noticed wilted leaves on some of our rhododendron this morning. When my husband removed the branch it had the dreaded hole in it. Some of the holes go all the way into the ground. Do we need to...

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Spring Crocus – Identification

Q: I noticed this unexpected beauty last weekend. It’s roughly 5 inches tall, as thin as a pine needle, with a white stripe, and a purple bloom. The bloom opens during the day, even during freezing weather. Any idea of...

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Tomato – Growing From Seed

Q: Can you give me a quick 1-2-3 on how to start my tomatoes indoors in spring? A: I can find no better resource than a summary of the process from the experts at GardenWeb #1 Get Fresh Seeds For...

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Alternative Ways to Grow Vegetables

Q: I saw you do a talk on “Alternative Ways to Grow Vegetables”. How do I get the sources you mentioned? A: Simple! Just download this: Alternative Ways to Grow...

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