Gardening Q and A

Duckweed – Control

Q: We have a lake of approximately 2 acres. My problem is duckweed, Wolffia columbiana that has covered the entire surface of the lake. This has happened for the past two years.Since the warm weather has returned the duckweed has...

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Pine Straw Mulch – Annual Replacement

Q: I have a question about pine straw mulch. I’ve used it for years and will be putting out new pine straw in a few days. For years I’ve read and heard that the old pine straw should be cleaned...

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Purple Smoke Tree- Pruning

Q: Can you tell me how to prune a purple smoketree? A: Mercy! There are statements of absolute conviction saying opposite things! See: Smoke Tree Plant Spotlight WeedPatch.com I think it is possible two avenues of confusion arise: if a...

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Bradford Pear – Fruit and Thorns

Q: There is a tree in our front yard that I always assumed was a Bradford pear. It blooms the same time, has the same a similar look, but it has berries. It also has thorns on it! Do Bradford...

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Elephant Ear – Protecting for Winter

Q: What is the botanical name of elephant ear? I need to know if now is the right time to dig them up, how to store them and when to replant in the spring. A: Elephant ear is Colocasia esculenta...

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Wild Poinsettia

Q: One day last month my attention was drawn to a new but attractive little weed that had come up in one of my plant beds and grown to a height of about 15 inches. It has all the characteristics...

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Effects of Temperature on Plant- Science Fair Project

Q: I am emailing you to ask for your help with my science fair project in botany. My topic is “How would various temperatures affect the growth of a ‘Baby Gold’ ivy?” I was intend to take 4 of the...

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Holly – Naming

Q: My father had a holly that he had found in the woods years ago. He grew 2 other plants from cuttings. One he gave to a special customer and the other was planted at my sister’s house. Her plant...

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Moreton Bay Fig- Growing

Q: On a recent visit to San Diego, my wife and I were awe-struck by a couple of Moreton Bay Fig trees (obviously the one in Balboa Park, but also a couple we saw on Coronado Island). Anychance at all...

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Number of Feet – in Acre

Q: Could you please tell me how many feet are in one acre of land? A: It depends on which creatures are standing there. Many more spider feet can fit on an acre than can elephant feet. Now of course,...

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Pampas Grass- Not Pluming

Q: I planted a three gallon pampas grass 2 years ago and it has not bloomed/plumed yet. It is growing, seems healthy, and gets plenty of sunshine. There are no other pampas grass plants in the near vicinity. Do you...

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Chinese Lantern- Propagation

Q: I have a Chinese Lantern (don’t know which) that had beautiful lantern blooms in August. The blooms are dying back and revealing a bright red berry or perhaps seed. How can I propagate the plant to share with my...

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Muhlygrass – ID and Care

Q: I heard you talk about Muhly grass on your radio show on Saturday. There are several varieties available. Do you prefer any of these best or will they all do okay in north Atlanta? A: Habersham Gardens says they...

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Tree – Planting on Steep Slope

Q: I will be planting a tree on a steep slope. How much of the root ball should be exposed on the up and down sides of the hill? A: None! Planting a tree on a slope correctly is a...

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Tater Vine (Air Potato) – Recipe for Cooking

Q: I have been growing for several years the “air potato” plant you wrote about recently. I grow mine on a fence so the bulblets don’t spread throughout the neighborhood. The tiny “potatoes” are edible and quite good if put...

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Alfalfa Farming- Getting Started

Q: My wife and I are nearing retirement and plan on staying in Fayette County. As a young man raised near Chicago, one of my favorate summers was spent on a farm in Michigan. We hauled hay the old fashioned...

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Rhododendron – Pinch off Buds in Winter

Q: I have noticed that my rhododendrons have large bulbs at the ends of the branches, not ready for bloom. Since winter is around the corner, should I pinch them off? A: Don’t, don’t, don’t!! Those swollen things at the...

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Aucuba – Pollinator

Q: I am needing a pollinator for an aucuba. I think I need Aucuba Crassifolia. A: Indeed Aucuba ‘Crassifolia’ is the only male pollinator for the female...

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