Gardening Q and A

Blue Velvet Fungus

Q: Have you ever seen anything like this growing on the bark of a dead limb? It is a beautiful cobalt blue which I hope shows up in the picture. A: Mushroom expert Mary Woehrel says it’s called Velvet Blue...

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Chandelier Plant – Identification

Q: I know you are not a Florida gardener but, I thought you might be able to send me to someone who can identify this plant. It was blooming at Christmas near our home in Port Charlotte. It is so...

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Chickweed – In New Lawn

Q: This past fall, I did all of my due diligence in prepping my yard for the fall fescue growing season. I aerated, seeded, and fertilized. In fact, when I rented the aerator, it had just rained, so I was...

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Terrarium – Building

Q: I would like to put together a simple terrarium with my grandchildren. Where can I get information on this? A: Terrariums have quite an interesting history. The original miniature glass house was invented by Nathaniel Ward in 1830 after...

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Hairy Vine on Tree

Q: I have always assumed that only poison ivy has a hairy vine clinging to a tree trunk. A friend tells me this is not true. What’s the story? A: Your friend is definitely correct – both poison ivy and...

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Pruning – Sky Pencil holly, Skyrocket juniper

Q: I saw your recent tips about preventing ice damage to ‘Sky Pencil’ holly. I have two young ‘Skyrocket’ junipers beside my front steps. A year after the December 2005 ice storm, the limbs are still drooping down like a...

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Clay Seedballs – Making

Q: I have lots of zinnia and other seeds from my cutting garden last year. I want to give them out this spring to friends. I’ve heard you can put the seeds in clay balls for a germination media. Do...

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Plant Salt Tolerance

Q: We have a beach house at Carrabelle, Florida, which was hit hard by hurricane Dennis. The landscape was drenched in salt water. We have crepe myrtles and some small oaks that we’re especially concerned about. Should we cut them...

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Italian arum – Identification

Q: An elderly friend gave me a couple of these plants last spring. He’s not sure what it is. They looked sickly all summer after I planted them. Then when fall and cooler weather came they took off like crazy....

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Organic Sources of Nutrients

Q: I am trying to have an organic garden. I know that I need to feed my corn heavily. How do I know how much fertilizer chicken manure contains? A: My friend Dr. Wayne McLaurin compiled a list of common...

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Aphids – On Pansies

Q: My container pansies are being attacked by these bugs. They hold on for dear life through bug sprays, water, and January wind. I have tried using Schultz’ Household and Garden Insect Spray and they just keep coming back. They...

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Hollyhock – Identify Seedlings

Q: These two identical plants sprouted in my flower bed after a flood. Even though they look familiar I cannot seem to identify them. Can you? A: They look like hollyhock to me. Hollyhock plants drop numerous seed after they...

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Cherry – Badly Pruned

Q: This was a healthy tree about 15 to 20 feet tall, the diameter of the trunk was 18 inches. My Homeowners’ Association landscape maintenance sub-committee requested that this tree be pruned so the people that cut the grass came...

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White Pine – Yellowing

Q: I have a white pine turning yellow. It is located 20 feet from my pond. Is there any thing I can do or is this normal? A: Although I see plenty of white pines planted in metro Atlanta, I...

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Goosegrass – Identification

Q: Is this poa annua, nutsedge, or something else, and how do I get rid of it? I have kept it out of my beds by pulling it out but it is taking over all the other areas of the...

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Copper Sulfate – Use In Septic Lines

Q: Yearly we use a product that says it clears our septic tank lines of tree roots. Can these products really make a difference? A: I am neither a plumber or soil scientist so I can’t answer your question with...

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Irrigation – Timing

Q: Our yard irrigation company says that the best way to water is three times a week, with the timers set to run 40 minutes for a soaker hose zone and 8 minutes for each of the other zones. I’ve...

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Tree Conk – Treatment

Q: Does this growth mean trouble for my hickory tree? A: The source of any mushroom, whether on trees or soil, is a fungus growing somewhere beneath. In your case, a fungus is decomposing the interior of the hickory. It...

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