Gardening Q and A

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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Alberta Spruce – Dying

Q: I have had a dwarf Alberta spruce in a large pot for two years. Now it is showing signs of dying, one branch at a time. It appears that it isn’t getting enough water but that isn’t the case....

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Blueberries – Caterpillars

Q: Some large, fuzzy, black caterpillars with yellow stripes are devouring the leaves of my blueberries. Should steps be taken to eliminate them? A: You are seeing yellow neck caterpillars. Notice how they lift their front and hind quarters to...

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Leyland Cypress – Pruning

Q: I would like to prune some Leyland cypress trees standing next to our house. Shall I do the sides as well as the top to restrain it from growing A: You can’t restrain it from growing, but Norm Mittleider,...

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Best Plants for Shade

Q: Which does better in shade, plants that have solid colored leaves or those that are variegated, hosta for instance? A: Solid green plants are typically stronger because their green leaves can photosynthesize more readily. In the case of hosta,...

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Gallon Pots – Reusing

Q: What steps are necessary when reusing one gallon pots when transplanting plants? Is it necessary to sterilize the pots from the previous soil source? A: Do you re-use, without cleaning, a fork that drops to the floor during a...

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Oak Trees- Protecting From Beetles

Q: Not long ago my neighbor lost a hundred year old oak tree. The problem was diagnosed as ambrosia beetles. Is there any way I can protect trees in my adjacent yard? A: I recently attended a lecture presented by...

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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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Container Gardening – Reusing Soil

Q: I did container gardening this year and used a lot of potting soil for tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, spinach and romaine. Should I discard all of the potting soil or can I use some of it next year? A: Two...

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Clematis Vines – Pruning

Q: I have two clematis vines that were beautiful this past summer. They are now hibernating for the winter. What should I do now to insure that they are just as vibrant next year? Should I cut the dying vines...

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St. Augustine Grass plugs

Q: I am tired of fighting hot, dry summers to get my fescue to survive. Next summer I plan to mix St. Augustinegrass plugs into my fescue in hopes that as the fescue deteriorates in summer, the St Augustine will...

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Climbing Knock Out® Roses

Q: Any chance there’s a climbing Knock Out®  rose in the works? My shrub Knock Out® s have done so well, that’s the only way I’ll go at this point in my life. A: There are two kinds of climbing roses. Ramblers...

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How to Garden in Fannin County

Q: We live in southern Florida and are building a house in Fannin county. Once the house is built, how do we learn to garden in this new area? A: What a marvelous gardening opportunity you have! You won’t have...

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Pumpkin Seeds – Planting Sprouts Indoors

Q: My children collected seeds from our pumpkin this year. We placed several of them in damp paper towels on top of the refrigerator. Now we have several four-inch long sprouts. What do I need to do to keep them...

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Zoysia Grass – In the Sun

Q: I heard you talking on the radio about zoysiagrass that is shade tolerant. Could you tell me more? I already have ‘Meyer’ zoysiagrass in my backyard . My front yard does not get as much sun but I would...

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Dianthus – Killing Invasive Bermuda Grass

Q: Several years ago I planted beds of ‘Firewitch’ dianthus close to a bermudagrass lawn. Over the years the bermudagrass has infested the dianthus beds to the point of covering them up! Is there anything that I can use to...

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Rose Trees – Winter Care

Q: I have two lovely rose trees in pots that did very well this summer. They are five feet tall and two feet wide. As cold weather arrives, should I cut them back? Should I bring them inside for the...

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Wax Myrtle – Pruning in November

Q: Is it OK to prune my wax myrtle in the month of November? I have not found a good guide for when to prune certain plants. Any suggestions? A: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Home & Garden section put together a...

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