Gardening Q and A

Green Thumb – Origin of Phrase

Q: This isn’t a question, just a bit of garden trivia. Do you know how the expression “green thumb” originated? According to James Underwood Crockett, it comes from the fact that algae growing on the outside of earthenware pots will...

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Lawn – Vandalized

Q: Someone has poured something on my lawn killing it instantly, within 24 hours, turning it blackish in stripes. I called the police and asked if they would test the grass to see what was used. They say they do...

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Pineapple – Forcing Fruit

Q: I have heard that to make a pineapple produce you have to put a rotten apple in the middle of it. Can you please send me the information we need to make our pineapples have fruit? A: Once a...

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Flowers – For Blooming Clock

Q: My college architecture project this semester focuses on issues surrounding the landscape at Hartsfield International Airport. Part of my proposal is to create a rooftop garden that would use flowers as a way of telling time. Do you know...

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Pampas Grass – Dividing

Q: I’m having a problem with my two pampas grass plants. They are ten years old. The last two years they gradually dry up each winter and only partially grow back in the spring. Each fall, I cut the dry...

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Muscadine – Rejuvenating Old One

Q: We have an old muscadine vine in the back yard and would like some information on how to revitalize it. There are several dead limbs towards the bottom and the entire vine is only producing a few grapes. We...

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Tree – Repairing Split

Q: We have a redbud tree with an eight inch trunk that has split straight down the middle. Both sides are still very much alive but we are wondering if we should cut one side completely off or tie the...

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Honeybees – In Wall

Q: For the second time at my mother’s house honey bees have decided to swarm/nest in her walls. The first time we shot them with some good bug poison and sealed the holes. This time they are coming in the...

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Tomato – Heirloom not like Parent

Q: This spring I planted seeds I saved from a single ‘Cherokee Purple’ tomato I had eaten. One of the seeds produced a plant and fruit that was completely different from the rest of the plants. This particular plant had...

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Plastic – Use Under Tree

Q: Six years ago I planted a silver maple on my front lawn. About a year ago I noticed branches growing from the base of the trunk of the tree, almost at the soil line. I trimmed these branches off....

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Tulips – Planting in Pots

Q: I have some tulip bulbs I would like to plant in pots on the deck. Do I need to pre-chill the bulbs for eight weeks and then plant in December? Can I re-use the bulbs next fall? A: You...

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Outdoor Plants – Double-potting

Q: I recently purchased two dwarf-looking little shrubs with a named spelled like Thuia (or Thuja) Homstrup. I hope to keep them in containers on the patio throughout the year. I remember the nursery salesperson saying that if I planned...

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Norway Spruce – Planting

Q: I planted a Norway Spruce in December of last year. The tree was five feet tall when I planted it and has grown approximately one foot since planting. In the last few months, needles on some branches have turned...

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Daylily – Fertilizing Stella d Oro

Q: For the past four years, I have purchased plants that I thought would be prolific all-summer bloomers: ‘Stella de Oro’ daylilies, carpet roses and the ‘Nearly Wild’ rose. While they bloom abundantly in the early summer, it is only...

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Rose – Rainbows End

Q: I visited the rose gardens at the Chattanooga Choo Choo last week and found a rose there I must have! It is a multicolored (red-orange-yellow- gold) miniature rose bush. It was labeled ‘Rainbow’s End’. I thought it would be...

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Fungus in the Ground – Diagnosing

Q: I have an area in my yard where everything I plant there does terribly. I think it is a fungus in the ground. My lilac tree has white-like curled up leaves, the summer phlox turns yellow at the bottom,...

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Obscure Scale – Control

Q: I recently got a note from a tree company that had been out inspecting my neighbor’s trees. It stated that they had discovered a insect pest known as “obscure scale” ravaging my neighbor’s pin oak trees. The tree man...

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Apple – Jonathan Red

Q: We are looking for a source to purchase a ‘Jonathan Red’ dwarf apple tree. We had been buying trees from one nursery, but we understand they are out of business. Can you provide a source for this tree? A:...

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