Gardening Q and A

Fertilizer – Storage

Q: How long can fertilizer be stored before it loses its effectiveness? A: One of my jobs as a child was to put chunks of old fertilizer on a sheet of roofing tin so my father could run over it...

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Mulch – Composting

Q: I had some tree stumps ground up and have a lot of mulch. How can I make this into compost at an accelerated rate? A: The key is to regularly feed the fungi and bacteria which break down the...

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“Weed and Feed” – Okay on Flowers?

Q: Can you use “weed and feed” on flowers? I have applied it on some of mine. Are they going to die? A: It depends on which kind of “weed and feed” you used. Some products contain fertilizer plus a...

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St. Augustine Grass – Acidic Soil

Q: I have had St. Augustine grass for many years. Someone once told me to never apply lime to it. However, I see on your website that in some instances it is advisable. Can you confirm? A: Lawn grasses, including...

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Horsetail – Control

Q: I want you to discuss horsetail. I bought some at a garden shop several years ago and made the mistake of planting in the open ground. No one warned me that it is invasive. I’ll never make that mistake...

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Limes – No Seeds?

Q: Why do limes not have seeds? I assume they’re propagated the same way lemons are, but I’ve had a fresh lime every day for the last two years and have yet to see a seed. A: It’s because the...

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Deer – Keeping Out Of Beds

Q: I want to have a huge raised bed vegetable garden this year but I wonder about deer in the woods behind us. Can I put a chicken wire fence around the plot to keep the critters out? How high...

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Primroses – When To Plant

Q: My sweetie gave me beautiful blooming primroses for Valentine’s Day. What do I do with them? Do I plant them outside now or keep them inside until spring? A: The bright colors of primrose are eye-catching in nurseries and...

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Plum Trees – Planted On Septic Drain Field

Q: I’ve just found out our plum trees may be planted in a septic system drain field. Will the plums still be safe to eat? A: I don’t think there’s any way that water absorbed by the plum roots could...

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Soil – Reusing From Container

Q: I have many containers on my deck. I have recently read that you should dispose of last season’s soil and sterilize the pots before planting for a new season. Is that really necessary? Some of my pots are huge!...

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Mulch – Part of Planting Depth

Q: Various seeds and bulbs require being planted at a certain depth; when you plant at a specific depth, does the addition of mulch add to the depth? Or should the gardener consider the layer of mulch “as part of”...

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Herbicides – Vinegar and Water

Q: A year and a half ago I had a yard man dig up the old shrubs around my house and plant new ones. He assured me that no weeds would come back, but the newly landscaped area is full...

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Ferns – Information

Q: Could you recommend some books on ferns? I am very interested in using as many different kinds as possible. I live near a garden which is growing peacock fern. I would love some information on growing it in my...

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Ponytail Palm – Propagating

Q: I have a ponytail palm that has a couple of “pups” at the bottom. There’s one on the bulb and one shooting off of the main stem of the plant. How do I propagate these into new plants? A:...

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Peach Trees – Peach Scab

Q: Please tell me what to do with peach trees this time of year. Last year our trees were loaded with peaches but as they ripened they became covered with black blotches and were wormy. How can we prevent this?...

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Sweet Peas – When To Plant

Q: is the best time to plant sweet peas? Would mid-February be too early? A: Mid February would be just right for starting sweet pea seed indoors in north Georgia but you should wait until early March to plant seed...

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Bermudagrass – Cutting Like a Golf-course

Q: I cut my ‘Tifway’ bermudagrass lawn with a reel mower at one-half inch high. I was at The Masters this year and I know they cut the fairways at three-eighths inch. They are perfectly green and beautiful, but when...

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Garlic – Requirements

Q: I want to know the requirements of garlic. I planted two kinds last year and have let it winter over to gather in the spring or early summer. I don’t think it has what it wants since the Italian...

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