Gardening Q and A

Irrigation – Timing

Q: Our yard irrigation company says that the best way to water is three times a week, with the timers set to run 40 minutes for a soaker hose zone and 8 minutes for each of the other zones. I’ve...

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Tree Conk – Treatment

Q: Does this growth mean trouble for my hickory tree? A: The source of any mushroom, whether on trees or soil, is a fungus growing somewhere beneath. In your case, a fungus is decomposing the interior of the hickory. It...

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Japanese Beetles – Plants They Don’t Eat

Q: I have Japanese beetles on my roses and grapes every year. Are there any plant’s they don’t eat? A: Japanese beetles can make lacework out of grape, rose, hollyhock and plum leaves in just a few days. You can...

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Orange Tree – Growing

Q: I’m a Clayton County amateur gardener and I want to show you my “little” orange tree that I purchased over 25 years ago in the supermarket. I think it was in a 6 in. pot. I brought it home...

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Funeral Plants – Keeping Alive

Q: My mother and father in law were killed in a car accident the day after Christmas. We have hydrangeas, azaleas and what looks like mountain laurels. The hydrangeas and azaleas are blooming. I have been watering them inside. When...

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Pansy – Weed Control

Q: My pansy beds have lots of chickweed in them each spring. How can I control this pest? A: When the chickweed has germinated and covered the pansy bed with a thick covering of green, about all you can do...

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Tobacco Budworm – On Rose

Q: On your radio show a couple weeks back a caller described a rose caterpillar that looked like a water moccasin. Did you guys ever figure out what it was? A: It was a fascinating description! My best guess is...

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Crapemyrtle – Failure to Leaf Out

Q: I called in to your radio show and spoke to Theresa. She said to email some pictures. I have two large crapemyrtle’s in my front yard that I have pruned back every spring for six years. One of them...

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Digger Bees (Miner Bees) – In Earthen Bank

Q: I have lots of bees coming out of the ground. They look like large bumble bees and I see them around my bushes in the front yard gathering the pollen. They are not very aggressive but I have lots...

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Boxelder Bug vs Red-Shouldered Bug – Identification

Q: What is this red bug ? There are a kazillion around my garden area? Are they harmful? Do they bite? A: You’ve found some boxelder (or box elder) bugs, Boisea trivittatus. These harmless insects feed on the seeds of...

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Hydrangea – Making Blooms Purple

Q: I know you have covered how to make pink hydrangea flowers turn blue and vice versa. But how do people get purple blooms? A: You make a hydrangea have purple blooms by manipulating the pH, just as you do...

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Hydranges – ‘Nigra’ variety

Q: I recently bought a hydrangea that was called ‘Nigra’ however, there were no details about the plant attached to it. Not sure what color, does it need some sun, etc. It is lovely with blackish stems and nice green...

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Polyphemous Moth

Q: I found this giant moth in the yard. What is it? A: You found a beautiful polyphemus moth! This flying creature is found in wooded areas. Its equally distinctive caterpillar is bright green and up to three inches long....

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Creeping Cucumber – Identification

Q: We have a creeping vine that produces a seed pod which looks like a tiny watermelon about an inch long. The leaves are about 1″ across. It climbs up through existing bushes and also will climb under/behind wood siding....

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Dog Vomit Fungus

Q: We have something growing around the base of some shrubs. It looks like some kind of fungus. The first day we noticed it, it was spongy looking. A couple days later it looked like a stiff meringue. Now it’s...

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Oak Leaf Miner

Q: These diseased areas appeared on most of our oak trees. The trees have been healthy for the 40 years we’ve lived here. I think some of the trees are also affected down the street. From the pictures, do you...

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Pipsissewa – Identification

Q: What is this interesting-looking plant I found flowering in the woods? A: Striped pipsissewa, Chimaphila maculata, was one of the first forest plants taught to me by Dr. Frank Fitch, wildlife biologist at Rock Eagle 4-H Center. Like you,...

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Poison Ivy vs. Poison Oak ID

Q: Does Georgia have Poison Oak plants? A: Poison oak, Toxicodendron pubescens, does grow in Georgia but it is MUCH less common than people think. Poison oak leaves tend to have rounded lobes rather than pointed lobes; it always grows...

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