Gardening Q and A

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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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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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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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Clemtine Oranges – Seeds

Q: I am an 11 year old gardener. I was wondering if clementine oranges have no seeds how do they grow more? A: Clementines are a hybrid variety of mandarin orange that originated in China. A flower of this orange...

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Red Currant Tomatoes – Good Pest Control

Q: I have heard that a weak bleach solution is a good pest control to apply to soil during the winter. I grow red currant tomatoes which reseed each year. Will applying bleach have an adverse affect on the reappearance...

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Emerald Green Arborative – Spacing

Q: I took down a couple of huge Leyland cypress and have a few ‘Emerald Green’ arborvitae for replacements. How far do I need to space them to make a screen? A: ‘Emerald Green’ arborvitae makes a nice substitute for...

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