Gardening Q and A

Japanese Magnolia – Propagate

Q: I would like to try to propagate cuttings from a Japanese magnolia from my Grandmother’s yard in Thomasville, GA. The tree must be over 60 years old and has pink flowers. Could you please give me any advice other...

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Kingsnake – Consuming Another One

Q: Here are pictures of one kingsnake consuming another . I had to run back home and change the camera’s battery after the first picture, so that is why I did not get any more pictures of the “feast”. A:...

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Raccoon Tracks – Identification

Q: The attached photos are of animal tracks I found following the snow. I can’t identify them. Can you help? A: Let’s do some eliminating first: they’re not dog or cat tracks because those animals have only four toes that...

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Shrubs – Damaged by Boys

Q: My question is about my boxwoods that are at the front of my house. First they were used as a landing mat for my boys climbing down the drainpipes. It took me a few days to realize why the...

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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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Blueberry – Pallidum – Identified

Q: I can’t figure out what these plants are. The nursery knew it was some type of blueberry, but they weren’t sure. I would like to know a little more so I can figure out what they like and if...

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Baptisia – Identification

Q: I intended to write down the name of this plant but I didn’t do it. It has beautiful small dark blue/purple flowers when it blooms. Can you please tell me what this plant is and how I can propagate...

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Spring (for water) – Cleaning and Decontaminating

Q: We have a spring on our property that is overgrown with trees and brush. It has always run even during drought. How do we clean it? My grandparents had one instead of a well and it was lined with...

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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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