Gardening Q and A

Cumberland False Rosemary – Planting Outside In Atlanta

Q: I inherited a Cumberland false rosemary planted in a large outdoor pot. Can this plant survive planted in the ground here? A: Native plant expert Shannon Pable (shannonpable.com) says Cumberland false rosemary, Conradina verticillata, naturally grows in sandy soil...

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Pruning – Chinese photinia

Q: An arborist has identified the tree at the front corner of my house as a Chinese plant with “serrulota” in the name. How and when should it be cut back? A: You have Chinese photinia, Photinia serrulata. It is...

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Beetles – Minimizing Dog Waste

Q: When we lived in Florida we used dung beetles to minimize dog deposits in the yard. It actually worked pretty well. Where can we get these critters here in Georgia? A: Any cow pasture will have lots of dung...

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Fertilizing – 3-4 Times A Year

Q: I’ve heard you recommend fertilizing fescue 3 or 4 times a year. Are your recommendations designed for water-soluble fertilizers like 10-10-10? With the higher nitrogen slow-release fertilizers, the pounds of nitrogen per thousand square feet would exceed the recommended...

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Aeration – Sand Afterward?

Q: What is the best type of sand to use following aeration of our bermuda lawn to help provide better drainage for the Georgia red clay? A: I don’t recommend using sand after aeration. Experts say that you need to...

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Tomatoes – Planting With Lime

Q: Should we put lime in the bottom of the hole when planting our tomato plants? How much? A: Garden lime supplies calcium that prevents blossom end rot in tomatoes. It also counteracts soil acidity. However, you don’t need much...

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Zoysia – What With The Lime Application?

Q: We have zoysia grass and have never put lime on it. Should I do so now or do I have to test the soil first? A: All lawn grasses benefit by having the proper soil pH. If your soil...

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Fescue – Aeration Leading To Weeds?

Q: I had my fescue lawn aerated last fall and put fescue seed out at the same time. The fescue is growing great but there are lots of weeds. A: The aeration probably brought up some dormant weed seed, which...

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Raised Beds – Plans and Tips

Q: Do you have plans for a raised vegetable garden? A: Raised beds make a lot of sense because they are easier to manage and the soil can be amended to make it perfect for vegetables. Personally, I use 2″...

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Color – What To Plant For Color!

Q: We have a Bradford pear tree in the front yard and grass does not grow under it. What would suggest I put there for color instead of a pine straw island? A: You have lots of choices! Some of...

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Bottlebrush – Surviving In Atlanta

Q: On a recent trip to Jekyll Island I saw several beautiful bottle brush shrubs. Will they grow here? A: This Australian native is certainly tempting! But I spoke with three experienced landscapers and all had seen examples of “experimental”...

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Heirloom Tomatoes – Where To Get Them

Q: Where can I buy heirloom tomato plants in or near Washington County? A: Heirloom tomatoes taste great and many community farm markets and hardware stores now carry them. Don’t forget online tomato suppliers as well. I have lots of...

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Protecting Peaches – Using A Net?

Q: Last year I noticed that my peaches were gone and the tree seemed to attract birds. My neighbor suggested that I put netting over the tree to prevent the birds from eating my fruit this year. Is this wise?...

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Earthworms – Help Aerate Red Clay?

Q: I have been told that Alabama Jumper earthworms are the best type of worms to help aerate red clay. Is this true? A: Although we think of earthworms as always good for the garden, such is not always so....

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Seedlings – Relatively Inexpensive

Q: I have a large pine straw island in the back of my property and I plan to plant several pine trees and maybe some bushes in between. Is there any place where I can get free tree seedlings? A:...

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Seed Club – Checking Seed Viability

Q: Last year I subscribed to a seed club but not many were planted. I have a plethora of seeds that I would love to plant this spring. Is this possible? A: It’s easy to test their viability. Put five...

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Squirrel – In The Attic

Q: We have a squirrel in our attic. I had a roofer fix the hole in the eaves but it is still finding a way in. Do you have a recipe to keep out squirrels? A: I don’t know of...

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Label Holders – Where To Get Them

Q: In a recent column you mentioned using metal label holders to identify plants in a garden. Where do you get these? A: Local nurseries have them, typically made from copper or zinc. Two online suppliers include www.metalgardenmarkers.com and...

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