Gardening Q and A

Sago Palm – Fronds are Dead

Q: Between the cold and wet this winter, some of the fronds on my sago palms are dead. What do I need to do about it? A: Just clip off the brown fronds and wait. If the center crown of...

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Homestead Purple Verbena – Perennial?

Q: Is Homestead Purple verbena a perennial in Atlanta? A: It’s considered a perennial but clumps generally wane after a few years. Verbena makes blooms at the tips of branches. As a plant spreads, the stems far from the center...

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Peonies – Ants on Flowers

Q: All my life I have been told that ants on peonies are a must. Recently I was told that this thinking is way out of date. Should I get rid of the ants? A: The new information is correct;...

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Oak Trees – Hedge Bushes

Q: We recently bought some rural property that has quite a few lovely old oak trees. At the base of the trees are thick hedge bushes. How can we get rid of them without hurting the oaks? A: Since you...

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Trilliums – Propagation with Seeds

Q: I have several trilliums in my yard, some with small blossoms on them. Is it possible to propagate them from seed? A: It’s not easy. Not all trilliums set seed each year. If you see a swollen pod in...

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Centipede Grass – Pre-Emergence

Q: I cannot find pre-emergence for centipedegrass at the local garden stores. What ingredient do I search for to use on my lawn? A: I think most, if not all, pre-emergent herbicides are labeled for use on centipedegrass. The window...

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Bermuda Lawn – Proper pH

Q: I have a bermuda lawn. Soil analysis by a private lab shows that the soil pH is 6.2 . My lawn company wants to put down lime to raise the pH to 6.5. Do I really need to do...

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Jonquil Bulbs – Planting

Q: For thirty years I have planted yellow jonquil bulbs in the open spaces among trees and other ornamentals in my back yard. I’ve recently had to relocate some of the plants. In doing so, I’ve sliced up many jonquils....

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Oak Trees – Tendrils Falling

Q: I have more than forty oaks in my yard. I have huge numbers of these tendril-like things dropping everywhere from the trees! What are they and can I use them in compost? A: The “tendrils” are male oak tree...

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Pussy Willow – Pruning

Q: I have a pussy willow tree that is so tall I never see the blooms in the spring. Are you supposed to cut these trees back? A: You’re lucky to have a pussy willow (^Salix discolor^) grow so tall....

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Peach Blossoms – How Many to Remove

Q: Please tell me how many peach blossoms to remove from my tree. There were quit a few on it and I was told you should take them off to have bigger fruit. Two years ago we didn’t remove any...

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Impatiens – Gathering Seeds

Q: I’ve got two beds of mixed impatiens and want to gather seed to sow next spring. Is there any particular method? A: Yes, you can snip off the swollen seed pods now and place them in an envelope for...

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Fescue – Wheat Straw

Q: I recently aerated my lawn, scattered some topsoil, overseeded with fescue and then covered the area with wheat straw. A neighbor told me that using wheat straw was a bad idea. Why? A: It is a common landscape practice...

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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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