Gardening Q and A

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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Purple Vetch – Identification

Q: Can you identify this hideous weed that has invaded my garden? Any help that you can provide to identify it and eliminate this evil scourge would be very helpful. A: It’s purple vetch, Vicia americana. This legume has been...

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Hosta – Hail Damage vs Slug Damage

Q: Can you identify what is causing the damage to my hostas? I just noticed it today and we had a small hail storm yesterday. But could slugs have caused the damage? A: It’s definitely hail damage. Slugs eat the...

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Catesby’s Trillium – Identification

Q: We found this in the woods behind our home. Can you identify it? A: Catesby’s trillium and must be a fairly old plant as they usually only put out one stalk with a flower and leaves. –Theresa Schrum Nodding...

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Mondo Grass – Making a Lawn

Q: I have heard you talk about how hard it is to grow grass in deep shade. On a recent garden tour, one gardener had a spectacular “lawn” of mondo grass. The gardener said that she sprigged the yard with...

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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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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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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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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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