Gardening Q and A

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

Dwarf Fruit Trees – Winter Care

Q: I have three dwarf fruit trees: cherry, apricot, and nectarine, growing in large containers on my patio. They will be twelve feet high when mature. I would like to leave them outside for the winter but am concerned about...

READ MORE

Fescue – Last Call for Planting

Q: When is the absolute latest time to plant fescue seed in the fall? We have a Girl Scout outing in our backyard October 27th, so we really wouldn’t be able to plant until after that’s done. Any thoughts? A:...

READ MORE

Blackberry Lily Seeds – When to Plant

Q: I have several blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis) seeds I harvested from my plants. I want to sow the seeds in containers to give to friends next spring. Is this the right time to plant them? A: Spring is a...

READ MORE

Mulch – Reusing

Q: You suggest that we replace all mulch under roses. Can we reuse the old mulch elsewhere? We’ve got a ton of hardwood mulch under our roses and I can’t imagine throwing all that away. A: I like your recycling...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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,...

READ MORE

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,...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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?...

READ MORE

Cannas – Dividing Bulbs

Q: I divided a canna clump into six pieces a year ago. Now they are about three times the size that I need or want. When is the right time of year to dig and divide the bulbs to share...

READ MORE

Bermuda Grass – Last Fertilization Date

Q: I am confused. I was listening to your radio show and you said not to fertilize bermudagrass after mid-September. On your website you say late September. Which is right? A: Sometimes I get shot at from all sides! Clint...

READ MORE

Granite Dust – Harmful?

Q: Recently I had a flagstone patio installed in my back yard. They used granite dust between the stones. A lot of it ended up in my empty planting beds. Will the stone dust harm any plants I put in?...

READ MORE

Kentucky 31 Fescue – Spreading Seed

Q: What setting should I use on a rotary spreader to spread Kentucky 31 fescue seed? Or does it matter? A: It ^DOES^ matter! You need to apply only 8 – 10 lb. per 1000 sq. feet. If you put...

READ MORE

Flowers for Coastal Georgia

Q: : I have some property on the Georgia coast that I’m trying to market. It would look far better if it had some flowers growing on it. What can I plant now? A: Roger Ditmer, director of horticulture at...

READ MORE

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”...

READ MORE