Gardening Q and A

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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?...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

Potted Plants – When to Water

Q: What do you recommend for determining when to water potted plants (indoor or outdoor)? A: I recommend using a digital moisture gauge, the one that you have on the end of your hand: your index finger. Push it into...

READ MORE

Pyrethum Plants – Will It Harm Bees?

Q: I am planning to grow pyrethrum plants in my garden to cut down on pesticide use. Do these plants harm bees and diminish pollination? A: Pyrethrum insecticide is produced from a particular chrysanthemum, Chrysanthemum cinerariifolium. A bug-killing dust can...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

Cottonseed Meal for Azaleas – How Much to Use

Q: I know you recommend cottonseed meal to feed azaleas. I need to know when and how much to put around each plant. A: I like cottonseed meal because it provides slow, consistent feeding over several months. Rake away mulch...

READ MORE

Overgrown Bushes – Effecting House Leaks

Q: We have large, overgrown bushes along the front of our house that have become too difficult to maintain. If we pull them out would we have a problem with water getting into our now-dry basement? A: I highly recommend...

READ MORE

Thanksgiving Cactus – Pruning

Q: I have a thirty-year-old Thanksgiving cactus. A few years ago it fell down and is now badly lopsided. Is it possible to prune it by cutting back the large thick branches? A: Because it is such a treasure and...

READ MORE