Gardening Q and A

Maple – Mechanical Injury

Q: I found a full looking Legacy sugar maple at a local nursery. Now that it’s in the ground I started noticing these canker looking things on some of the branches. The cankers are always on the outside of the...

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Maple – Planted Too Deep

Q: I have a five-year-old October Glory maple whose bark is peeling off in long chunks. Underneath, the trunk is smooth with dark spots. The leaves began turning colors and now are drying out. I have a second tree within...

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Devil’s Claw – Identification

Q: What kind of flower is this in the wildflower garden at my home? The plant is sticky and has a funny smell. A: Photos of this distinctive plant were originally sent to me by Vicki H., who had queried...

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Irish potato – Planted in June

Q: Upon digging for potatoes I came up empty: not a spud to be found. They had full sun, great soil, and they were nice plants with blooms. I planted them June 12. Kennebec is a mid/late variety so I...

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Tomatoes – Growing Indoors

Q: I am growing tomatoes in my garden. Is there any way that I could trim the plant back and pot it for indoor growing through the winter? A: The tomato won’t bear fruit unless you give it VERY bright...

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Tomato – Whitefly Control

Q: I have a problem bug that has been killing my tomato plants and caused them to have black fungus. The same insects have destroyed my garden every year. A: Whiteflies are having a feast at your expense! This prolific...

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Canada Geese – Control

Q: Is there a way to control Canadian geese that won’t leave our pond? A: Extension agent Jule-Lynne Macie says Mike Mengak, UGA Extension Wildlife Specialist, always reminds people that, “A Canadian is a human being from the country of...

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Prostrate Spurge (Spotted Spurge) – Identification and Control

Q: I have a plant in my lawn that spreads out like a mat in August and September. What can I do to control it? A: You probably have prostrate spurge, Euphorbia supina, but you might have spotted spurge, Euphorbia maculata....

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Cucumber – Not Turning Green

Q: I am growing a cucumber that is supposed to be 10″ long when ripe. I watch them daily to make sure to pick them before they start turning yellow. Unfortunately, they never “greened up”. I applied fertilizer about 4...

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Tomato – How Long to Ripen (Extending Summer Season)

Q: I would like to have ripe tomatoes throughout the summer. Are there early, mid and late season varieties? A: Yes – there are varieties that claim to ripen earlier or later than others but predicting exactly when a tomato will...

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River birch – Dropping Leaves

Q: We have a birch tree in the front yard which I think has exceeded its water resources. I have to rake every other week to prevent the brown dry leaves that fall in that period from blowing into the...

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Black Pepper Plant – Growing

Q: How do you grow a peppercorn plant to make either black or white pepper? A: Peppercorn, Piper nigrum, is a tropical vine that produces 5-inch long spikes of berries. Black pepper is made by soaking the berries until the...

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Pipe Ice – Explained

Q: I can’t even begin to explain this phenomenon, but it looks pretty cool. This is just a hollow metal fence post at the end of the driveway. There is nothing hanging above it that could have dripped down, so...

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Fire Power Nandina – No Color this Winter

Q: My fall-planted Fire Power nandina didn’t turn red this winter. They’re in full sun and the soil looks good. Any ideas? John Payne, email A: Probably the plants are just too young to color up very well. It takes...

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Lichen – Golf Tee Moss

Q: We encountered this patch of plants on the Pinhoti Trail in Alabama back in the fall. We named it Golf Tee Moss. Does have a real name ? A: I see more than one organism in your picture. The...

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Herbicide to Kill Grass but not Blackberry Bush

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 plants? Sharon O’Neal Grant, Tiger...

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Screech Owl – Red Form

Q: I encountered this fine feathered fellow on a hike in Lumpkin county near Springer mountain. My first ID was a screech owl, but after consulting with my Audubon guide it appears that this is not the case. The bird...

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Kill Weeds in Healthy Dirt

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? Howard Betts, email A: You can’t sterilize the dirt but there...

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