Gardening Q and A

Doublefile Viburnum

Q: I love this tree! I know of three in LaFayette, and I have seen one near the carousel at the Grant Park Zoo. The flowers bloom about the same time as dogwoods, and they are strung out all along...

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Snapping Turtle – Control

Q: Is there a company you would recommend to help me control the population of snapping turtles near my house? A: I certainly can recommend Urban Wildlife...

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Angel Trumpet – Poison Worries

Q: I have been told that angel trumpet plants are poisonous. Since we have a lot of small children living near us I don’t want to grow a possibly hazardous plant. A: If you’re worried about poisonous landscape plants, you’ll...

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Red Fescue – Suitable for Atlanta?

Q: Would the no – mow lawn mixes described at Prairie Nursery be suitable for the southeast, or the Atlanta area? (The description is, “This specially designed blend of six low-growing Fine Fescue turf grasses …”). A: In my experience,...

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Germander – Trimming

Q: We installed germander as a potential hedge plant, per instructions from our landscape planner. However, as the germander grows (10″-12″ long), the sprouts have begun to lie down due to their weight. How in the world do we make...

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Imidacloprid – Risks to Beneficial Insects

Q: I began treating my shrubs and woody plants with a systemic insecticide last year. Its active ingredient is imidacloprid. Despite its effectiveness, I’m wondering if a systemic insecticide in a plant’s system can be harmful to desirable insects that...

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Apple, Pear – Grafting

Q: I would like to experiment with grafting pear and apple trees. What kind of rootstocks are best and where can I get them? A: When choosing rootstock, it all depends on how big you want the mature tree to...

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Companion Plants – For Garden

Q: I read in a book that tansy is good for deterring Japanese beetles. I have roses and other flowers that the beetles have a good lunch on for a few months. I don’t like to use sprays due to...

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Protecting Garden Timbers from Termites

Q: We put in some raised beds last year using untreated wood (didn’t want to ingest any nasty chemicals). Now we’ve discovered an infestation of termites in one of the beds. How can we get rid of them in a...

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Manure in a Garden – Not Harmful

Q: We are new to gardening. My husband wants to put horse manure in our vegetable garden prior to planting. I don’t agree with this as I don’t want bacteria that close to my food. Can you please tell him...

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Pine – Fusiform Rust

Q: My wife noticed this on one of our pine trees. Do you have any idea what it is and how to treat it? A: The knots and orange powder are signs of fusiform rust disease. The orange spores will...

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Aralia – Propagate

Q: I have a dinner-plate aralia that needs to be pruned and I would like to propagate the cutting. I haven’t done this before so, do you have any tips? A: There is a wonderful site about aralias and their...

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Fertilizer – Burning Garden

Q: I broadcasted 13-13-13 granular fertilizer on some of my perennial beds and have made a mess. My monardas, mums, oriental lilies, hostas, hydrangeas, and black – eyed Susans are all showing signs of burn. Will the flowers survive or...

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Fescue – Not For Floods

Q: An area of my lawn floods to about a quarter of an inch depth occasionally, but to add top soil and level it would be a huge task.Is there a water resistant evergreen lawn seed that you can recommend?...

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Horticultural Oil – Application in Winter

Q: I want to spray horticultural oil on Magnolia scale. However, I understand that due to recently mild temperatures serious harm to the plant can occur. Once the weather becomes wintry again, how many days or weeks until I should...

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Strawberries – Keep Inside for Winter?

Q: I have strawberries planted in a strawberry clay pot. For the winter, I put them in my basement. When should I bring them out? A: Most people just bring them close to the house where they won’t get much...

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Gardenia – As a Memorial Plant

Q: I want to give my friend a gardenia bush, rather than flowers, for the loss of her child. I think it will be nice to give her the bush so she can plant it herself, as she is a...

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Raised Beds – Soil Settling

Q: Recently, I constructed raised beds for my vegetable garden. The book which supplied the directions for the bed building also tells me to wait one week before planting anything in the beds. Is this necessary, or can I use...

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