Gardening Q and A

Buffalonut – Identified

Q: Could you please tell me what these are? I found them on a walk in the North Georgia mountains and was wondering if they were poisonous to feed to a squirrel. A: Shannon Pable, expert on all plants native,...

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Bamboo – Escaped from Pots

Q: This showed up in one of my beds this spring. Can you identify it? We had some black bamboo nearby but we thought we had it contained. It was set in a pot that was inside a larger pot....

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Pothos – Leaf Spot

Q: My pothos seems to be healthy, with lots of new growth near pot and on ends. It’s growing very rapidly. But leaves are spotting in the middle. This is not an exterior window. Why only the middle ? You...

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Sugar Maple – Planted Too Deep

Q: Could you please give me your opinion on a problem I’m having with my Sugar Maple? I planted it about 21 years ago and I’m having a problem with the bark splitting and coming off near the bottom of...

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Trees – For Bees

Q: I want to learn more about the relationship between bees and trees. Can you recommend trees that are important to bees? A: There are a wealth of trees that bees love for nectar. My Dad would take his hives...

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Pumpkins – How To Grow

Q: I want to grow Halloween pumpkins this next year. I had no problems in California but here even powdery mildew resistant varieties in good soil don’t make it. A: Pumpkins are difficult to grow in a backyard garden. Bill...

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Sago Palm – Small Greenhouse for Winter Protection

Q: I have had a sago palm for seven years. We got tired of dragging it inside every winter so we planted it near our pool. I was worried about the cold weather, so I want to show you the...

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Vegan Garden – A Good Size

Q: My 23-year-old daughter has adopted a vegan diet and I’d like to garden with her. I don’t want to make it so large that it becomes a chore, or too small to have a number of varieties of food....

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Yew – Pruning

Q: What is the proper way to prune our yews? A: Yew is one of the few conifers that will sprout vigorously from the bare limbs and trunk when cut back hard. That said, yours don’t look like they need...

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Light Fly – Identification

Q: What is this insect? It is on the outside of my window. It looks as if it may have a stinger but I have never seen anything like it. A: Dr. Cecil Smith, Collection Manager at the Georgia Museum...

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Cottony Camellia Scale – On Holly

Q: I was trimming up one of my holly plants and noticed these furry white blobs on the underside of some of the leaves. Can you tell me what it is and or if it is harmful to the plant?...

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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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