Gardening Q and A

Bermuda Lawn – Proper pH

Q: I have a bermuda lawn. Soil analysis by a private lab shows that the soil pH is 6.2 . My lawn company wants to put down lime to raise the pH to 6.5. Do I really need to do...

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Jonquil Bulbs – Planting

Q: For thirty years I have planted yellow jonquil bulbs in the open spaces among trees and other ornamentals in my back yard. I’ve recently had to relocate some of the plants. In doing so, I’ve sliced up many jonquils....

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Oak Trees – Tendrils Falling

Q: I have more than forty oaks in my yard. I have huge numbers of these tendril-like things dropping everywhere from the trees! What are they and can I use them in compost? A: The “tendrils” are male oak tree...

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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....

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Peach Blossoms – How Many to Remove

Q: Please tell me how many peach blossoms to remove from my tree. There were quit a few on it and I was told you should take them off to have bigger fruit. Two years ago we didn’t remove any...

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Fescue – Wheat Straw

Q: I recently aerated my lawn, scattered some topsoil, overseeded with fescue and then covered the area with wheat straw. A neighbor told me that using wheat straw was a bad idea. Why? A: It is a common landscape practice...

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Young Trees – Roots Growing in Mulch

Q: To make the base of our young trees look pretty we decided to add fresh mulch, cutting a circle six feet in diameter and two inches deep around the mulch bed to make it look professional. To our surprise...

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Plum Tomato Plant – Making Them Last

Q: Our plum tomato plant is still going strong, with thirty eight tomatoes still on the vine, from dime-sized to full grown. The majority of them are mature sized but have been green for about three weeks. What can I...

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Azaleas – Ground Up Leaves as Mulch

Q: I would like to know if it would be harmful to put ground up tree leaves around my azaleas? My city gives away leaves they have picked up. Do you think it is safe? A: When leaves are picked...

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Sago Palm – Earth Salt

Q: A neighbor told me that a good fertilizer for a sago palm is something called “earth salt”. What is that material? A: I have no idea what “earth salt” is. Perhaps your neighbor meant Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). Sago...

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Trees – Untangling Roots

Q: We purchased twenty five trees last weekend. Most of them were last year’s stock, so they are stuck in the pots with lots of tangled roots. How do we untangle and separate these tough roots? A: Use a strong...

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Carolina Jessamine – No Flowers

Q: I have Carolina jessamine that has filled in a lattice wall around my hot tub. It is growing great, but not a single flower this year. Do I prune in the spring with the assumption that flowers occur on...

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Weeping Willow – No Bark

Q: We have a two year old weeping willow with a trunk about two inches diameter. Deer rubbed all the bark off for a length of about two feet. It looks like a slick pole now. Will the bark grow...

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Horticulture Degree – Job Options

Q: If I were to get an Associate Degree in Environmental Horticulture what job options would I have? A: Mary Kay Woodworth, Executive Director of the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association says there is a great variety of employment...

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Impatiens – Gathering Seeds

Q: I’ve got two beds of mixed impatiens and want to gather seed to sow next spring. Is there any particular method? A: Yes, you can snip off the swollen seed pods now and place them in an envelope for...

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Fescue – Last Call for Planting

Q: When is the absolute latest time to plant fescue seed in the fall? We have a Girl Scout outing in our backyard October 27th, so we really wouldn’t be able to plant until after that’s done. Any thoughts? A:...

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Blackberry Lily Seeds – When to Plant

Q: I have several blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis) seeds I harvested from my plants. I want to sow the seeds in containers to give to friends next spring. Is this the right time to plant them? A: Spring is a...

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Mulch – Reusing

Q: You suggest that we replace all mulch under roses. Can we reuse the old mulch elsewhere? We’ve got a ton of hardwood mulch under our roses and I can’t imagine throwing all that away. A: I like your recycling...

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