Gardening Q and A

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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Compost Tumbler – Not Heating Up

Q: Three weeks ago I made a compost tumbler from an black trash can with lots of holes in it. I put green and brown landscape waste in it but it’s not heating up? What am I doing wrong? A:...

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Bluebird Boxes – Cleaning

Q: I know cleaning bluebird boxes is important, but doesn’t this contradict the law about not disturbing native bird habitat? A: Birding expert Georgann Schmalz http://www.birdingadventuresinc.com says it’s highly recommended to clean out and throw away the old nests in...

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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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Peonies – Transplanting From Clay to Sandy Soil

Q: I have a beautiful established peony. I am moving to Bryan County and I wonder if I can transplant the peony from clay to sandy soil. A: Much depends on the variety you have. In warm winters, like you’d...

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Corn Fertilizer Measurments

Q: Can you tell how to measure 1 1/2 lb. of fertilizer in cups? Would that be two cups? I need to feed my corn. A: My mother used to say “A pint’s pound the world around!” She was referring...

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Blooms – How Much to Clip Off

Q: When a flower has bloomed, does one pinch off the entire remainder of the flower or just part of it? A: Clip or pinch off the entire bloom, including its base. Many flowers, like petunia and zinnia will sprout...

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Redbud Trees – Pruning

Q: In early spring we planted three redbud trees. The bottom one-half of the trees leafed out, but everything above that point is dead. Can I prune that part off and still have good growth or do I need to...

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Sago Palm – Fronds are Dead

Q: Between the cold and wet this winter, some of the fronds on my sago palms are dead. What do I need to do about it? A: Just clip off the brown fronds and wait. If the center crown of...

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Homestead Purple Verbena – Perennial?

Q: Is Homestead Purple verbena a perennial in Atlanta? A: It’s considered a perennial but clumps generally wane after a few years. Verbena makes blooms at the tips of branches. As a plant spreads, the stems far from the center...

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Peonies – Ants on Flowers

Q: All my life I have been told that ants on peonies are a must. Recently I was told that this thinking is way out of date. Should I get rid of the ants? A: The new information is correct;...

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Oak Trees – Hedge Bushes

Q: We recently bought some rural property that has quite a few lovely old oak trees. At the base of the trees are thick hedge bushes. How can we get rid of them without hurting the oaks? A: Since you...

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Trilliums – Propagation with Seeds

Q: I have several trilliums in my yard, some with small blossoms on them. Is it possible to propagate them from seed? A: It’s not easy. Not all trilliums set seed each year. If you see a swollen pod in...

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Centipede Grass – Pre-Emergence

Q: I cannot find pre-emergence for centipedegrass at the local garden stores. What ingredient do I search for to use on my lawn? A: I think most, if not all, pre-emergent herbicides are labeled for use on centipedegrass. The window...

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