Gardening Q and A

Ornamental Grass – Privacy Wall

Q: I want to use ornamental grass in pots to provide privacy around our deck. What might you suggest? A: I could easily see using fountain grass, Pennisetum (several species) or maiden grass, Miscanthus sinensis (several varieties) in eighteen-inch wide...

READ MORE

Poinsettia Seeds – Where to Buy

Q: Do you have any recommendations of where I could find poinsettia seeds.? A: Poinsettias have been hybridized for so many years that the ones you buy at a nursery rarely set seed. Poinsettia growers buy cuttings from large greenhouses...

READ MORE

Privet Bushes – Pruning vs Pulling Out

Q: The variegated privet bushes on the side of our house look pretty sparse at the bottom. Would we kill them if we cut them to sixteen inches above the ground or should we just pull them out and start...

READ MORE

Soil Testing

Q: I am getting my lawn soil tested. My front yard looks good but my back yard has been a challenge. Should I do a soil test for the back and a second one for the front? A: If the...

READ MORE

Cardboard to Control Weeds and Promote Earthworms

Q: My wife says that laying down cardboard in a garden will control weeds and promote earthworms. Have you heard of this? A: Cardboard works very well to control weeds and worms love living underneath it. Just cut the cardboard...

READ MORE

Heirloom Tomatoes – Where to Buy

Q: My heart is broken! I ordered tomato plants from Burpee but they say they can not ship to Georgia because of our state regulations. Where can I buy heirloom tomatoes? A: Burpee can ship tomato plants to Georgia but...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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 ....

READ MORE

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:...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

‘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,...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE