Gardening Q and A

Lawn – Which Fertilizer to Use

Q: How do I know which is the best fertilizer for my lawn? A: A confusing array of fertilizer brands awaits homeowners at the garden center. Fortunately, grass cannot read the advertisements! Fertilizer bags with similar nutrient numbers will perform...

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Peach – Japanese Beetle Control

Q: We have a peach tree that was covered in beautiful blooms. However, when the peaches ripen Japanese beetles cover each peach. I don’t like using insecticides but what can I do? A: This is why peaches are so hard...

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Hairy Vetch – Sources

Q: I’m looking for some hairy vetch seed. I’ve called all over Atlanta but no one has any for sale. A: Hairy vetch is used for a ground cover on steep banks and as a winter cover on gardens. One...

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Gardening in Tires

Q: I was inspired this year by ECHO (Educational Concerns for Haiti Organization) Farms in Florida to do a tire garden! They are doing great things for global farming! With tires there is always a fine line between usefulness and...

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Rose – Black Spot Canker on Stem

Q: Can you tell me what is causing the brown spots on my Knockout rose stalks? A: At first I thought it was rose cane canker but pathologist Jean Williams-Woodward says: “Cytospora canker tends to have a tanner center and...

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Leyland Cypress – Too Close to Patio

Q: I live in an in-fill community with our patio’s facing the back of another small community. The homes are seven years old. During construction the builders planted Leyland cypress along the common property line, for privacy. The trees are...

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Shredding Ivy

Q: We have removed lots of ivy climbing our trees. We were thinking about renting a chipper/shredder to chop the vine. Afterwards, will it still be able to take root? A: You face two concepts: the possible and the practical....

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Fire Power Nandina – Not Coloring

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? A: Probably the plants are just too young to color up very well. It takes a year for...

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Palm Trees – Growing in Georgia

Q: I have noticed palm trees planted around lake homes and hotels in my area. I want to have a tropical garden around my screened porch. What palms are they using? A: Needle palm, Rhapidophyllum hystrix and windmill palm, Trachycarpus...

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Blackberris – Harmless Herbicide

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? A: No herbicide will...

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Dirt Sterilization

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? A: You can’t sterilize the dirt but there is another way...

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Yaupon Holly – Psyllid Gall

Q: My 7′ yaupon holly has been getting these weird things for two years now. They stunt the growth by taking over the new leaves. When you cut open the “pod”, there are tiny little light green bugs inside, like...

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Granite and Sludge – Filling Low Spots and Tire Trenches

Q: I recently had a water well drilled in a pine island. Now I need to remove the granite sand and sludge. Can this material be used to fill low spots and truck tire trenches? A: I don’t believe there...

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Crape Myrtles – Protection

Q: At the end of last summer, we noticed our crape myrtles were covered with a black soot-like powder. It even discolored the pinestraw beneath. When we pruned back the trees recently we still noticed it. How should we treat?...

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Zoysia Lawn Care

Q: I have a large zoysia lawn. I’m looking for the best type of pre-emerge to put down now. Is 5-10-15 the way to go? A: I am totally against fertilizing zoysia, bermuda, centipede or St. Augustine lawns when they...

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Bamboo – Control With Chicken Wire?

Q: I’m planting some running bamboo and I want to be a good neighbor by ensuring it won’t spread out of control. Can I bury a type of fencing that’s like chicken wire but the holes are the size of...

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Growing Gooseberry

Q: I am new at gardening and would like to experiment. I want to grow gooseberry. Online nurseries says it will grow here in zone 7. What is your opinion? A: Cold hardiness zone 7 includes all of north Georgia,...

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Citrus Trees – Geothermic Heating

Q: I am thinking of building a greenhouse. Can I do geothermic heating and use warmth from the soil to keep citrus trees alive? A: It’s theoretically possible to use geothermic heating or cooling but I don’t think you’ll find...

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