Gardening Q and A

Zoysia – Thin Due to Cold Spring

Q: My Zeon zoysia lawn sod was put down in August. I did it using the recommendations from your web site. The grass is not coming back this spring, even though I’m watering it. Do you have any recommendations? A:...

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Seed Starting – Under Lights

Q: I have a rack with grow lights. I would like to plants seeds so I can grown my own flowers and then put outside. What type of potting soil should I use? This grow light is down in my...

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Poplar Weevil – Identification

Q: What’s wrong with my poplar tree? I just noticed this damage covering my leaves. A: It’s damage from the poplar weevil, a small “snout beetle” that feeds on poplar and sassafras leaves. The population varies greatly from year to...

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Wheat Straw – Garden Mulch

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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Centipede Lawn – Compaction Damage

Q: I am having an unusual problem with my centipede lawn. Our lawn was planted in the spring of 2008. It appears to be healthy. But purple streaks begin to appear a few days after I mow. The streaks are...

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Squirrel – Damage to Bird Feeder

Q: Two of my bird feeders have been destroyed. I thought they were squirrel proof. Can a squirrel do this type of damage or could it be a deer? A: Definitely squirrel damage. They will chew through anything plastic near...

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Mock Strawberry – Edible?

Q: Are these edible strawberries? They are growing in the shady parts of my yard. The fruit is very small. A: Mock strawberry is a non-native weed only slightly related to “real” strawberry. It’s flowers are yellow while those of...

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Oak Tree – Leaf Tufts Falling

Q: I read about the oak moth that eats oak leaves and I wondered if that’s what’s going on with my two trees. They are dropping clumps of leaves like crazy. I’d love to get back to gardening instead of...

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Lawn – Which Fertilizer to Use

Q: How do I know which is the best fertilizer for my lawn? A: A confusing array of fertilizer brands awaits homeowners at the garden center. Fortunately, grass cannot read the advertisements! Fertilizer bags with similar nutrient numbers will perform...

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Peach – Japanese Beetle Control

Q: We have a peach tree that was covered in beautiful blooms. However, when the peaches ripen Japanese beetles cover each peach. I don’t like using insecticides but what can I do? A: This is why peaches are so hard...

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Hairy Vetch – Sources

Q: I’m looking for some hairy vetch seed. I’ve called all over Atlanta but no one has any for sale. A: Hairy vetch is used for a ground cover on steep banks and as a winter cover on gardens. One...

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Gardening in Tires

Q: I was inspired this year by ECHO (Educational Concerns for Haiti Organization) Farms in Florida to do a tire garden! They are doing great things for global farming! With tires there is always a fine line between usefulness and...

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Rose – Black Spot Canker on Stem

Q: Can you tell me what is causing the brown spots on my Knockout rose stalks? A: At first I thought it was rose cane canker but pathologist Jean Williams-Woodward says: “Cytospora canker tends to have a tanner center and...

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Leyland Cypress – Too Close to Patio

Q: I live in an in-fill community with our patio’s facing the back of another small community. The homes are seven years old. During construction the builders planted Leyland cypress along the common property line, for privacy. The trees are...

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Growing Gooseberry

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? A: Cold hardiness zone 7 includes all of north Georgia,...

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Shredding Ivy

Q: We have removed lots of ivy climbing our trees. We were thinking about renting a chipper/shredder to chop the vine. Afterwards, will it still be able to take root? A: You face two concepts: the possible and the practical....

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Fire Power Nandina – Not Coloring

Q: My fall-planted Fire Power nandina didn’t turn red this winter. They’re in full sun and the soil looks good. Any ideas? A: Probably the plants are just too young to color up very well. It takes a year for...

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Palm Trees – Growing in Georgia

Q: I have noticed palm trees planted around lake homes and hotels in my area. I want to have a tropical garden around my screened porch. What palms are they using? A: Needle palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix and windmill palm, Trachycarpus...

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