Gardening Q and A

Soil Testing

Q: I am getting my lawn soil tested. My front yard looks good but my back yard has been a challenge. Should I do a soil test for the back and a second one for the front? A: If the...

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Cardboard to Control Weeds and Promote Earthworms

Q: My wife says that laying down cardboard in a garden will control weeds and promote earthworms. Have you heard of this? A: Cardboard works very well to control weeds and worms love living underneath it. Just cut the cardboard...

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Heirloom Tomatoes – Where to Buy

Q: My heart is broken! I ordered tomato plants from Burpee but they say they can not ship to Georgia because of our state regulations. Where can I buy heirloom tomatoes? A: Burpee can ship tomato plants to Georgia but...

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Was Myrtle Bushes – Brown Leaves

Q: I have several wax myrtle bushes that all have brown leaves now, I assume from freeze damage. A: I’d leave them alone until April, just to see if anything buds out. Wax myrtle is usually cold-hardy in Atlanta but...

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Mixing Fescue and Rye – Good or Bad?

Q: How do you feel about seeding a lawn with a mix of rye and fescue? Will ryegrass impact the fescue? A: I don’t like the idea. Ryegrass dies in summer heat and it competes with fescue when both are...

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Shrubs and Trees – Applying Horticultural Oil

Q: Is it a good practice to apply horticultural oil on shrubs and trees when they are dormant in order to prevent bugs this spring? A: Yes, applying plant-safe oil is a great way to kill insects in winter. At...

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Tree Chips – Covering Land

Q: During recent flooding in my back yard many tree roots were exposed. I’m having some trees removed and the contractor will leave the chips on my site. Any thoughts on how thick to spread them? A: This is a...

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Spring Bulbs – When to fertilize

Q: When is the time to fertilize spring bulbs like daffodils and hyacinths? A: One of the adages of garden fertilizing is to feed plants when the leaves are growing. When the leaves of spring bulbs poke out of the...

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Windmill Palm – Pods on the Trunk

Q: My windmill palm is blooming, with pods growing from the top of the trunk. Is it a good idea to remove them so the tree isn’t putting all its energy into flowering? A: You are correct, removing the seed...

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Rustic Arbor – How to Protect Pine Wood

Q: My wife has decided that I want to build a rustic arbor. I did not know I wanted to do this but I cut several skinny pine trees and used my grandfather’s draw knife to remove the bark ....

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Soil Preparation – 10-10-10

Q: In preparing the soil for a garden, my yard worker put 40 pounds of 10-10-10 on my little patch of 100 square feet. The recommended rate is1 pound per 100 sq. ft. What do you suggest I do? A:...

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How to Root Cuttings From Plants

Q: Can you tell me where to look for instructions on how to root cuttings from plants? I need professional information and instructions A: Mike Dirr’s “Reference Manual of Woody Plant Propagation” (Timber Press) is a great technical reference. “How...

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Clay Pot – Efflorescence

Q: I have some crusty-looking stuff on the bottom of a clay pot. Can you tell me what it is and how to get rid of it? A: I think you’re seeing efflorescence. This powdery material is the remains of...

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Avocado Seed – How to Move From Water to Soil

Q: I have an avocado seed in water with several roots on it. I’d like to plant it in a pot. Should I bury the seed completely? A: Lift the plant from the water and get a helper to hold...

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‘Natchez’ Crapemyrtles

Q: We have several ‘Natchez’ crapemyrtles and want to plant a red one between the white ones.What crapemyrtle blooms red at same time or close to ‘Natchez’? A: ‘Dynamite’ has a terrific red flower color and is a tree-form crapemyrtle,...

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Potato – How to Grow a Heart Shaped Potato

Q: I received a Valentine card which had a photo of a heart-shaped potato on the cover. I’ve found pictures of similar potatoes on the Internet. What causes potatoes to grow this way? A: White potatoes arise at the end...

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Grafting A Peach Branch to an Apple Tree

Q: Is it possible to graft a peach branch to an apple tree? A: Grafting a peach to an apple won’t work. An apple is in the genus Malus, while a peach belongs to genus Prunus. The two are both...

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Cutting Trees Down

Q: I have a large backyard with a creek that merges into the Chattahoochee. It is full of large and small trees. I would like to cut down all the trees to make it usable for my daughters. Can I...

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