Gardening Q and A

Hay – Different Smells

Q: What kind of hay has a spicy fragrance when it’s cut? A: Oconee County Extension agent Henry Hibbs says: “There is definite difference in the smell of alfalfa, bermuda and fescue hay. The most notable is the difference between...

READ MORE

Daddy Longlegs – Harmless to Flowers

Q: Should I be worried if I see “daddy long legs” spiders on my flowers? A: No, the daddy longlegs are harmless. Also known as harvestmen, these creatures are not spiders, though the body form is similar. They do not...

READ MORE

Pacifica Chrysanthemum – Propagating

Q: I purchased a Pacifica chrysanthemum two years ago. It has become my favorite ground cover and in fall, the daisy-like yellow flowers are thrilling. How do I propagate it to other parts of my garden? A: I think you’re...

READ MORE

Cannas – Damaged by the Cold

Q: I had a lot of cannas in my front yard. This year they have not sprouted at all. Could the cold have killed them? A: Yes, cold damage has been a major problem on marginally-hardy plants we typically leave...

READ MORE

Cucumbers and Watermelons Planted Near Eachother – Mistake?

Q: I’ve been told that I have made a mistake with my cucumbers and watermelon planted near each other. “They” have said that I can look forward to strange shaped watermelons and funny tasting cucumbers. Is this true? A: “They”...

READ MORE

Mulch – Wheat Straw OK To Use In Vegeatble Garden

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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?...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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:...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

Pussy Willow – Pruning

Q: I have a pussy willow tree that is so tall I never see the blooms in the spring. Are you supposed to cut these trees back? A: You’re lucky to have a pussy willow (^Salix discolor^) grow so tall....

READ MORE