Gardening Q and A

How to Start a Landscape Career

Q: I work full time but I have aspirations of becoming the best lawn service/landscape company in my area. Can you recommend a starting point, from an educational standpoint, and where I can obtain the certifications needed to reach this...

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Fertilizer – Improve Fall Leaf Color

Q: I recently bought a house with many trees in the back yard. Instead of the beautiful leaf colors I was expecting in the fall, the leaves turned dull yellow or brown, then fell off. What kind of fertilizer do...

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Silver Maple – Identifying

Q: I have a maple in my front yard, but am not sure what kind. I remember that you mentioned how weak the Silver Maple is, and I want to be prepared if that’s what I have. How do I...

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Chicken Litter – Use as Pasture Fertilizer

Q: I have about 30 acres in fescue pasture. On the first of December, I will have a good bit of chicken litter available. Would it help or hurt to put it down at this time of year? A: You...

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Chickens – How to Catch

Q: There is a roving flock of chickens that likes to search for food in my yard, ruining my grass from scratching and disturbing the mulch in the plant beds. Is there anything I can do to stop them from...

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Bloodgood Red Maple – Leaf Scorch

Q: I have a Bloodgood Red Maple, which has been mostly healthy and which I have cared for well. However, in late summer its leaves become crisp and brown. In spring, new leaves grow and the tree seems healthy again....

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Green Ash – Planting

Q: I am looking for a shade tree that will grow quickly but not have evasive roots. Recently, I found a book that says green ash grows quickly, can tolerate dry, compact soil and has a strong structure; it sounds...

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Mountain Ash – Rowan Tree

Q: I have been researching planting a rowan tree in honor of my son. I know this tree is typically associated with much colder winters than we have but I wondered if it could be pampered to grow here? A:...

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Crowder and Purple Hull Peas – Difference

Q: Are Crowder peas and purple hull peas one and the same? A: In my opinion, no. Crowder peas are usually “crowded” in the hull, but purple hull peas are just that: “purple...

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Sagittaria (Dutch Potato) – Finding Information

Q: I have Sagittaria growing like wildfire in my backyard. I need to find general information about it, to stop it, but I’ve only found information from the internet. Are there any resources or websites you would recommend? A: I...

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Smokebush – Pruning into Shrub

Q: I planted a Smokebush seedling last spring. It was about 18″ tall. It now has a shoot approximately 10 feet tall. That’s the only part that seems to be growing-straight up. Do I need to prune it? If so,...

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Currants – Growing

Q: As a child, we had a currant bush on out farm. I have never seen one before or since. Is this a viable plant for this area? If so, where would you get one? A: Are you sure you...

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Hydrangea – How to Move

Q: I am about to move. I would like to take at least a cutting from a hydrangea I got 30 years ago. However, my new sun-porch has a spot for the whole plant. What do I need to do...

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Glory Vine – Defoliation

Q: Last summer, I noticed that one of the 4 vines on an arbor (one planted on each corner) in my garden is dead. Then a second vine, from a completely different garden and location, died. Because one of the...

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White Eggplant – Turning Yellow

Q: This summer we planted two new white eggplant varieties. Towards late summer one of them started to bear yellow eggplants. The color is so beautiful and bright. Do you know what may have caused it to become so bright?...

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Mosquito Control – Mineral Oil

Q: After making several rain barrels we bought mosquito donuts to put in each one. Now we are unable to easily find them; the hardware stores are having a hard time keeping them in stock. Since birds and animals would...

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Wild Onion – Control

Q: What can I do to rid my Bermudagrass lawn of an infestation of wild onions? I’m a transplant from Illinois and have not faced this type of problem with my turf before. A: As with any weed, you have...

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New Home – Drainage Problem

Q: My husband and I are new homeowners and thought you might be able to give us some insight. We purchased our home in December 2000. We were excited and looked forward to this spring when our landscape would explode...

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