Gardening Q and A

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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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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Dwarf Fruit Trees – Winter Care

Q: I have three dwarf fruit trees: cherry, apricot, and nectarine, growing in large containers on my patio. They will be twelve feet high when mature. I would like to leave them outside for the winter but am concerned about...

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Apple Seeds – How to Grow

Q: I work with a pre-kindergarden class. We have been studying apples and the children are curious about the seeds turning into an apple tree. If we planted some of the seeds now would they sprout before the first frost?...

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Cannas – Dividing Bulbs

Q: I divided a canna clump into six pieces a year ago. Now they are about three times the size that I need or want. When is the right time of year to dig and divide the bulbs to share...

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Bermuda Grass – Last Fertilization Date

Q: I am confused. I was listening to your radio show and you said not to fertilize bermudagrass after mid-September. On your website you say late September. Which is right? A: Sometimes I get shot at from all sides! Clint...

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Granite Dust – Harmful?

Q: Recently I had a flagstone patio installed in my back yard. They used granite dust between the stones. A lot of it ended up in my empty planting beds. Will the stone dust harm any plants I put in?...

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Kentucky 31 Fescue – Spreading Seed

Q: What setting should I use on a rotary spreader to spread Kentucky 31 fescue seed? Or does it matter? A: It ^DOES^ matter! You need to apply only 8 – 10 lb. per 1000 sq. feet. If you put...

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Flowers for Coastal Georgia

Q: : I have some property on the Georgia coast that I’m trying to market. It would look far better if it had some flowers growing on it. What can I plant now? A: Roger Ditmer, director of horticulture at...

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Grape Tomato Vine – 14+ Feet Tall

Q: My grape tomato vine is fourteen-plus feet tall. Is this normal? I’m risking my life to climb on the roof where I have attached them to pick the ones at the top. A: Now you know what an “indeterminate”...

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