Gardening Q and A

Birch Tree – For North Georgia?

Q: I would love to plant a white birch, also known as “clump birch”. They display a wonderful white bark. Will it grow well north of Athens? A: Gray birch, Betula populifolia, is commonly known as clump birch but paper...

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Zoysia and Bermuda – Scalping

Q: Can I cut my Zoysia and Bermuda grasses very short while they are still dormant? A: You can cut both kinds of grass to one inch but not now in early February. The winter cold can freeze them. Wait...

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Tree Value – Formula to Calculate

Q: About a month ago on your radio show you discussed a formula to use to determine the dollar value of a tree. Can you tell me more about that formula? A: Members of the International Society of Arboriculture use...

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Indoor Plants – Homegrown to Look Like Nursery-grown

Q: How is it that when I buy a small plant from a nursery, it usually has a large, leafy top but is in a small pot. I can’t get the plants I start indoors to do the same. What...

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Trees – Cutting So Bark Stays On

Q: I heard a caller on your radio show ask when to cut trees so the bark would stay on after the wood dries. I sell Amish bent hickory furniture to stores in north Georgia. The gentlemen who make the...

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Strawberry Planting – Square Pyramids

Q: Are you familiar with the square pyramids that garden catalogs sell for strawberry planting? Can I make one myself? What kind of soil do I use? A: A pyramid allows you to put more plants into a given space....

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Squirrels – Droppings

Q: I have been feeding squirrels in my backyard for over fifteen years but I have never seen squirrel droppings. Please note that I do NOT spend a lot of time looking for them! Do they bury the droppings? A:...

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Chinese Pistache Tree – Growth Information

Q: I am interested in Chinese pistache trees. How big do they get? I read they have good fall color. A: The pistache is an excellent small tree! It only grows twenty five feet tall and has terrific yellow color...

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Trees – Painting

Q: On your radio show you mentioned mixing hydrated lime with water and adding salt to create a paint for trees. I bought a bag of powdered lime, which a garden center employee said I could mix with water. I...

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Fertilizer – Excess Nitrogen

Q: My first attempt at growing turnips, beets and carrots resulted in mainly leaf growth. Should I have applied 5-10-10 instead of 10-10-10? A: Excess nitrogen would indeed cause lots of leaves and few roots. I don’t often see the...

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Bats – Droppings

Q: I am curious about some animal droppings that are on my driveway and front porch. They are dry and full of nothing but bug wings it seems. Could it be an armadillo or a skunk? A: I’m thinking of...

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Blueberry Bushes- For Fruit and Privacy

Q: I am looking for a blueberry plant for fruit and privacy screening. I’ve heard the ‘Ochlockonee’ rabbiteye blueberry is a good one. Do you have any better suggestions? A: The blueberry you’ve chosen has a great reputation. It was...

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Christmas Cactus – Coloring

Q: I have several colors of Christmas cactus that I am experimenting with in a planter. I was told these cacti will all be the same color after a period of time. Is this true? Is there one color or...

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Pine Needles – Leaving on Grass

Q: I have been good about raking my pine needles, until recently but I’d love to just leave them on the grass. My friend thinks pine needles will kill the grass. Is it okay just to leave the needles down...

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Biting Flies (Midges) (No-See-Um’s) – In Atlanta?

Q: Your website says we don’t have No-See-Um’s in the Atlanta area, then what the heck seemingly invisible bug is biting me? I have a nice Emerald zoysiagrass lawn that seems to be infested with something that bites the fool...

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Butterfly Bush – Pruning After Hard Freeze

Q: I’m sure I’ve heard you advise to prune a butterfly bush after a hard freeze. Did you say to cut it back to about twelve or eighteen inches? A: Many gardeners have found that a small butterfly bush quickly...

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Floral Preservatives -Over the Counter Drugs and Plant Growth

Q: Can you tell me where I can get information on the effects of over-the-counter drugs on plants? I know some people put aspirin in potting soil near the root of their plants and in the water of flowers in...

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Henbit – Applying Weedkiller in Fescue

Q: In early October I completely killed my front lawn and reseeded. The grass is coming in great. However, along with the grass, I have a lot of what looks like henbit weed coming in. How long should I wait...

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