Gardening Q and A

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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Bird Seed Causing Weeds?

Q: My husband and I have a dispute. We used inexpensive bird seed a few years ago that sprouted quite a harvest of weeds in our grass. For the past two years I’ve been buying “No Mess” bird seed. My...

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Bearded Iris – Dividing

Q: Is it too late to divide bearded iris in August? A: My rule is that you can divide iris and daylilies anytime between the last blooms and the first frost. Now is a fine time. Dig them carefully with...

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Experimental Flower Garden – University of Georgia

Q: I am going to visit my son at the University of Georgia and would love to visit the experimental flower garden. I am always so impressed when Dr. Allan Armitage describes the plants they are working on. Can you...

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Sod – Too Late to Put Down?

Q: Is it too late to put down sod before it starts turning cooler? A: Turf expert Clint Waltz says you can do it ^IF^ you properly prepare beforehand. Till the soil at least six inches deep so roots can...

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Hay – Different Smells

Q: What kind of hay has a spicy fragrance when it’s cut? A: Oconee County Extension agent Henry Hibbs says: “There is definite difference in the smell of alfalfa, bermuda and fescue hay. The most notable is the difference between...

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Daddy Longlegs – Harmless to Flowers

Q: Should I be worried if I see “daddy long legs” spiders on my flowers? A: No, the daddy longlegs are harmless. Also known as harvestmen, these creatures are not spiders, though the body form is similar. They do not...

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Pacifica Chrysanthemum – Propagating

Q: I purchased a Pacifica chrysanthemum two years ago. It has become my favorite ground cover and in fall, the daisy-like yellow flowers are thrilling. How do I propagate it to other parts of my garden? A: I think you’re...

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Cannas – Damaged by the Cold

Q: I had a lot of cannas in my front yard. This year they have not sprouted at all. Could the cold have killed them? A: Yes, cold damage has been a major problem on marginally-hardy plants we typically leave...

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Cucumbers and Watermelons Planted Near Eachother – Mistake?

Q: I’ve been told that I have made a mistake with my cucumbers and watermelon planted near each other. “They” have said that I can look forward to strange shaped watermelons and funny tasting cucumbers. Is this true? A: “They”...

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Mulch – Wheat Straw OK To Use In Vegeatble Garden

Q: I am a greenhorn gardener with a quick question about mulch. Is it ok to use wheat straw in my vegetable garden. A: Wheat straw is an excellent mulch. I use it myself to attract harmless spiders because they...

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Forage – Testing

Q: I will be buying alfalfa hay for several horses this year. How can I know it is of the best quality? A: The only way is through a forage test, available from your local Extension office (1-800-ASKUGA-1). According to...

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Roses – Alfalfa Tea

Q: Someone told me alfalfa tea was good for roses, that they would literally bloom themselves crazy. How do you make it? A: Some rose growers swear by the magical powers of alfalfa pellets (sold at seed and feed stores...

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Centipede Lawn – New Seeding

Q: Our centipede lawn gets four hours of morning sun. As a result, the grass has started to thin a good bit, with a little help from three kids and two dogs. Recently I seeded with fescue. Any better choices?...

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Bats – Building Houses

Q: For the past two years we have found bats have curled up in our folded patio umbrella. My husband freaks out and says all bats have rabies and we need to get rid of them. I say rubbish! I...

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Composting Fruit and Vegetables – OK to Add Paper?

Q: I’ve been composting my fruit and vegetable trimmings and coffee grounds. Can shredded office paper be added to the pile? A: Office paper is fine to compost as long as you can deal with the practical matter of its...

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Ceramic Pots – Need to Waterproof?

Q: We recently purchased ten very large ceramic pots. We plan to have evergreen plants in the center with seasonal annuals around them. Should we waterproof them somehow? A: My friend Mildred Fockele oversees dozens of large containers at the...

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Oaks – Worm Infestation

Q: We are overrun with worms in our oaks. They are totally defoliating large trees around my house. A: We’re enduring a big outbreak of common oak moth this year. This small gray/brown moth lays her eggs on oak tree...

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