Gardening Q and A

Deer Control

Q: I heard you mention on your radio show a motion-operated sprinkler. I could use one for deer control. Could you tell me where I can buy one? A: I don’t have a deer problem but I know gardeners who...

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Bermuda Grass – Best Mower

Q: I will soon have a new bermudagrass lawn and I want to get the best mower. After reading about how rotary mowers rip the grass and seeing the “swirls” they leave sometimes, I’m not sure that’s what I want....

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Hummingbirds – Eating Insects

Q: While watching hummingbirds with a friend, I saw a female bird eating what I call gnats. My friend said that hummingbirds eat nothing but nectar. Who’s right? A: Hummingbirds do eat insects. Nectar (or sugar water) supplies them with...

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Annabelle Hydrangea – Mixed Up With Lacecap

Q: I’ve had Annabelle Hydrangeas for three years around our home. My wife took a picture of the prettiest but kookiest blooms amongst the usual beautiful white globes that we’ve enjoyed since they were planted. It looks like it tried...

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Raspberries – ‘Heritage’ and ‘Boyne’

Q: I am interested in raising raspberry’s. What do you think of the ‘Heritage’ and ‘Boyne’ varieties? A: ‘Heritage’ and ‘Boyne’ are erect, rather than trailing, raspberries. They do best where it stays cool in summer. Upper north Georgia is...

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Laying Hens – Attracting Them to One Spot

Q: I have four laying hens but I am an amateur at country life. The birds are free-ranging during the day. Someone told me to leave an egg marked with an “X” in the nest that the chickens most use...

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MacroScope – Where to Buy

Q: My mother-in-law mentioned something on her Christmas wish list that I cannot locate. She describes it as “a special garden monocular/microscope that allows you to look at plant leaves for signs of bugs, disease, etc.”. Please advise. A: She...

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Frost – Forming

Q: How and why does frost form? A: I guess you could say that frost is the same as dew, except colder. When I pour myself a glass of iced tea in summer, humidity from the air condenses on the...

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Winter Red Holly – Pollinator

Q: Will you please clarify for me the proper pollinator for my ‘Winter Red’ holly? ‘Jim Dandy’ was recommended as the male pollinator, but after more research I planted ‘Apollo’ in its place. Now I read that the proper pollinator...

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Bermuda Grass – Brown Swirled areas

Q: After I mow my bermudagrass, brown swirled areas are left in the yard. I use a self propelled push mower with mulching blades. Would the mulching blades cause this? A: The swirls are normal at this time of year,...

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Marbled Orb Weaving Spider – Identification

Q: My daughter and I found this guy in our yard. We’ve never seen a spider quite like him. He was pretty evil looking! A: Evil is in the eye of the beholder! To her boyfriends, this marbled orb weaver...

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Information – Building a Garden

Q: A coworker and I have received a grant to build a wheelchair-accessible garden at our school. We are unsure what to plant for our limited growing season but we’d like to have vegetables and some flowers. Is there a...

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‘Magilla’ Perilla – Winter Care

Q: Last spring I purchased a perennial and accidentally disposed of the tag. The plant leaf closely resembles a coleus and is magenta, cream and green. I do remember the name on the tag was something like Magilla. The plant...

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Boston Fern – Florescent Light

Q: Now that I’ve brought my plants in for the winter they only get a couple of hours afternoon sun each day. Will leaving the florescent lights on in the room be sufficient light? If so, how long should the...

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Root Zone Drainage – Planting on a Soil Mound

Q: Why do some folks mound up their soil and then plant right on the mound? I see that done a lot around town. Is it better to plant them high? It seems like the soil will just wash away....

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Centipedegrass – Overseeding With Ryegrass

Q: Can you tell me the pros and cons of overseeding my centipedegrass lawn with winter ryegrass? A: Some folks enjoy green turf so much they overseed their bermudagrass lawn with ryegrass each fall to have a green front yard...

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Sweet Potatoes – Scurf

Q: I have been raising sweet potatoes for several years. Now, about five percent of my potatoes have black skin. The potato underneath the skin is good but the black skin is unsightly. What is wrong? A: I have sour...

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Blackberries and Raspberries – Fruit Growth

Q: Do blackberries and raspberries produce fruit off of old growth or off new growth? A: It depends on which varieties you have. Brambles (which can describe both blackberries and raspberries) typically send up green, leafy stems (primocanes) initially. The...

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