Gardening Q and A

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...

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Yaupon Holly – Psyllid Gall

Q: My 7′ yaupon holly has been getting these weird things for two years now. They stunt the growth by taking over the new leaves. When you cut open the “pod”, there are tiny little...

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Blackberris – Harmless Herbicide

Q: We have a couple of rows of thornless blackberries on our farm. Thick grass grows all around the canes. Is there an herbicide that will get rid of grass but would not harm the...

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Dirt Sterilization

Q: I want to use rich soil from my Dad’s old cow lot in my small garden. I’m worried about weeds in it. Can I sterilize the dirt somehow? A: You can’t sterilize the dirt...

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Granite and Sludge – Filling Low Spots and Tire Trenches

Q: I recently had a water well drilled in a pine island. Now I need to remove the granite sand and sludge. Can this material be used to fill low spots and truck tire trenches?...

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Crape Myrtles – Protection

Q: At the end of last summer, we noticed our crape myrtles were covered with a black soot-like powder. It even discolored the pinestraw beneath. When we pruned back the trees recently we still noticed...

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Zoysia Lawn Care

Q: I have a large zoysia lawn. I’m looking for the best type of pre-emerge to put down now. Is 5-10-15 the way to go? A: I am totally against fertilizing zoysia, bermuda, centipede or...

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Pyrethum Plants – Will It Harm Bees?

Q: I am planning to grow pyrethrum plants in my garden to cut down on pesticide use. Do these plants harm bees and diminish pollination? A: Pyrethrum insecticide is produced from a particular chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum...

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Potted Plants – When to Water

Q: What do you recommend for determining when to water potted plants (indoor or outdoor)? A: I recommend using a digital moisture gauge, the one that you have on the end of your hand: your...

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Leylan Cypress – Re-growth of Stripped Limbs

Q: Two of my ten-foot tall Leyland cypress trees have been vandalized by neighbor kids. They stripped all of the middle limbs so they are green at the top and bottom but bare in the...

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Dominicker Hens – Egg Laying

Q: I have had two fully grown Dominicker hens since September and they have not laid one egg. Do they get too old to lay? Do they not lay in the winter? A: One of...

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Citrus Trees – Geothermic Heating

Q: I am thinking of building a greenhouse. Can I do geothermic heating and use warmth from the soil to keep citrus trees alive? A: It’s theoretically possible to use geothermic heating or cooling but...

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Pre-Emergent – Date to Apply

Q: You recommend that, in Atlanta, gardeners should apply pre-emergent on March 1 to prevent crabgrass. What date you recommend in Americus? A: It all depends on soil warmth. Cranbgrass germinates when soil temperatures are...

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Strawberries – Protecting Against Bugs

Q: I have little bugs eating all my strawberries. When I disturb them they roll up into a ball. A: Sowbugs (roly-polies) are not usually a pest but they can be a problem on soft...

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Nemacide – Toxic

Q: I have looked for Nemacide to no avail. Once upon a time it was easily purchased at any garden center but now it is gone. A: Nemacide was once used to control soil nematodes....

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Magnolia Budding

Q: I noticed last week that my flowering magnolia has huge buds on it. Will it have black blooms due to the cold? A: Flowering magnolias, including star magnolia and saucer magnolia, are extremely cold...

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Autum Blaze Maple Tree – Pruning

Q: We have an Autumn Blaze maple tree that we built a deck around. The branches at the bottom are very close to the floor of the deck. Should we prune off the bottom branches...

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Cottonseed Meal for Azaleas – How Much to Use

Q: I know you recommend cottonseed meal to feed azaleas. I need to know when and how much to put around each plant. A: I like cottonseed meal because it provides slow, consistent feeding over...

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