Gardening Q and A

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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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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Leylan Cypress – Re-growth of Stripped Limbs

Q: Two of my ten-foot tall Leyland cypress trees have been vandalized by neighbor kids. They stripped all of the middle limbs so they are green at the top and bottom but bare in the center.Will these stripped trees regrow...

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Dominicker Hens – Egg Laying

Q: I have had two fully grown Dominicker hens since September and they have not laid one egg. Do they get too old to lay? Do they not lay in the winter? A: One of the quirks of managing laying...

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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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Pre-Emergent – Date to Apply

Q: You recommend that, in Atlanta, gardeners should apply pre-emergent on March 1 to prevent crabgrass. What date you recommend in Americus? A: It all depends on soil warmth. Cranbgrass germinates when soil temperatures are 50 degrees and rising. In...

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Strawberries – Protecting Against Bugs

Q: I have little bugs eating all my strawberries. When I disturb them they roll up into a ball. A: Sowbugs (roly-polies) are not usually a pest but they can be a problem on soft fruit that is close to...

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Nemacide – Toxic

Q: I have looked for Nemacide to no avail. Once upon a time it was easily purchased at any garden center but now it is gone. A: Nemacide was once used to control soil nematodes. Its no longer available due...

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Autum Blaze Maple Tree – Pruning

Q: We have an Autumn Blaze maple tree that we built a deck around. The branches at the bottom are very close to the floor of the deck. Should we prune off the bottom branches or will the branches grow...

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