Gardening Q and A

Moles – Castor Oil As Repellent?

Q: I want to try castor oil on my fescue lawn to evict my little mole friends. Will this harm my grass or shrubs? A: There should be no distress to plants but I don’t think castor oil will repel...

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Corn Earworm – Control

Q: Our corn will soon be silking. How do I keep keep earworms out? A: Earworm caterpillars come from eggs laid by a moth at the first appearance of corn silks. Some gardeners try to physically exclude them by placing...

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Vegetable Gardening – On Septic Drainfield

Q: What is your recommendation for growing vegetables over a septic leach field? A: Although we commonly fertilize gardens with animal manure, the potential for vegetables to come in contact with human waste makes some folks queasy. That said, a...

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Kudzu – Not A Great Idea

Q: You might think I am crazy but I am planning on planting kudzu from seed for erosion control. I have a vacation home in Mexico with a very steep hillside that causes many erosion problems. A: Having seen the...

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Stepping Stones – Good Distance Placement

Q: I am constructing a twenty foot walkway using sixteen-inch square stepping stones. How far apart should the stones be placed? A: A good spacing is twenty four inches between centers. This will fit most folks’ gait but taller and...

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Roots – Growing How Deep?

Q: A few months back I heard you say that no trees have root systems exceeding eighteen inches in depth. I have heard opposing information that says that our big hardwoods have root systems measured in meters, not inches. Did...

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Cryptomeria – Planting Them

Q: I want to plant thirteen cryptomeria for privacy and a sound barrier. I was told this time of year is best for water usage. A: This is a great time to plant all shrubs and trees! Just remember that...

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Crapemyrtle – Planting From Seeds

Q: I’ve seen an online ad for crape myrtle seeds. What is the success rate when planting them? A: There’s no problem with planting the crapemyrtle seeds but you won’t be able to know what color you have until they...

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Seniors – College Classes For Retired Seniors

Q: I am into natural landscaping and the “enviro-realignment” of my acreage but I need more in-depth horticultural training. I’ve heard that the University of Georgia provides low-cost courses for retired people. A: Yes, the University System of Georgia provides...

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Fungus – Appearing In The Driveway

Q: My neighbor has earthstar fungus pushing up her driveway asphalt. Is there any to get rid of it? A: Like other mushrooms, earthstar fungi are saprophytic. This means they decompose organic matter in the soil using long thread-like strands....

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Compost – Encounters With Roaches!

Q: I’ve been composting for ten years. I’ve tolerated tiny spiders, worms, and bugs of other types without a problem. However, last week when I went out to turn the pile there were giant flying roaches in it! I don’t...

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Magnolia – Pruning?

Q: I have a tulip magnolia that’s gotten too big. Can I cut it back to about five feet tall like I do with my crape myrtle? A: Tulip magnolia blooms on branch tips produced the previous year. That means...

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Zoysia – Simple Maintenance

Q: I need information on the Empire zoysia sod I had installed this summer. I am particularly interested in how to fertilize and protect from disease. A: Zoysiagrass is an excellent lawn grass if maintained correctly. It needs less fertilizer...

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Sassafras – New Disease To Watch Out For

Q: On your radio show I heard a gentleman mention a new sassafras tree disease. I am a big fan of sassafras and don’t want mine to die. A: The problem is laurel wilt disease and it is spread by...

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Lotus – Winter Care

Q: I have a lotus plant in a large pot filled with water. What should I do now that winter is coming? A: Most folks just wait until frost nips the leaves and then clip the stems a couple of...

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Privet – Responsible Growth

Q: I am thinking about surrendering in the battle for privet control along my fence. It’s an ugly chain-link thing that I would love to hide. But I’m concerned about birds eating privet berries and spreading it to surrounding woods....

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Fescue – When Can It Be Applied

Q: What is the latest in the fall one could put down fescue sod? A: You can install fescue sod any time the ground isn’t frozen and supplies are available, typically September through April. If the soil has been tilled...

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Roses – Winter Protection Protocol

Q: I am growing roses in pots on a raised deck. What is the recommended winter protection for a container grown rose? A: The safest thing to do is to move them into an unheated garage or basement. If this...

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