Gardening Q and A

Chickweed – In New Lawn

Q: This past fall, I did all of my due diligence in prepping my yard for the fall fescue growing season. I aerated, seeded, and fertilized. In fact, when I rented the aerator, it had just rained, so I was...

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Terrarium – Building

Q: I would like to put together a simple terrarium with my grandchildren. Where can I get information on this? A: Terrariums have quite an interesting history. The original miniature glass house was invented by Nathaniel Ward in 1830 after...

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Hairy Vine on Tree

Q: I have always assumed that only poison ivy has a hairy vine clinging to a tree trunk. A friend tells me this is not true. What’s the story? A: Your friend is definitely correct – both poison ivy and...

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Pruning – Sky Pencil holly, Skyrocket juniper

Q: I saw your recent tips about preventing ice damage to ‘Sky Pencil’ holly. I have two young ‘Skyrocket’ junipers beside my front steps. A year after the December 2005 ice storm, the limbs are still drooping down like a...

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Clay Seedballs – Making

Q: I have lots of zinnia and other seeds from my cutting garden last year. I want to give them out this spring to friends. I’ve heard you can put the seeds in clay balls for a germination media. Do...

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Tobacco Budworm – On Rose

Q: On your radio show a couple weeks back a caller described a rose caterpillar that looked like a water moccasin. Did you guys ever figure out what it was? A: It was a fascinating description! My best guess is...

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Crapemyrtle – Failure to Leaf Out

Q: I called in to your radio show and spoke to Theresa. She said to email some pictures. I have two large crapemyrtle’s in my front yard that I have pruned back every spring for six years. One of them...

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Turfgrass – Bleeding If Cut at Night

Q: Is it a fact that you should cut your lawn at dusk or later to keep grass blades from bleeding? A: You’ve asked an interesting question but I have no idea of the correct answer. Instead, I turned to...

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Sweet Potato – Holes in Leaves

Q: I have two urns containing ornamental sweet potato vine. The leaves have tiny little holes, approximately one-eighth inch in diameter. Do you know what could be causing the holes? A: I’ll give you three choices: golden tortoise beetle, potato...

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Copper Sulfate – Use In Septic Lines

Q: Yearly we use a product that says it clears our septic tank lines of tree roots. Can these products really make a difference? A: I am neither a plumber or soil scientist so I can’t answer your question with...

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Irrigation – Timing

Q: Our yard irrigation company says that the best way to water is three times a week, with the timers set to run 40 minutes for a soaker hose zone and 8 minutes for each of the other zones. I’ve...

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Tree Conk – Treatment

Q: Does this growth mean trouble for my hickory tree? A: The source of any mushroom, whether on trees or soil, is a fungus growing somewhere beneath. In your case, a fungus is decomposing the interior of the hickory. It...

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Japanese Beetles – Plants They Don’t Eat

Q: I have Japanese beetles on my roses and grapes every year. Are there any plant’s they don’t eat? A: Japanese beetles can make lacework out of grape, rose, hollyhock and plum leaves in just a few days. You can...

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Orange Tree – Growing

Q: I’m a Clayton County amateur gardener and I want to show you my “little” orange tree that I purchased over 25 years ago in the supermarket. I think it was in a 6 in. pot. I brought it home...

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Funeral Plants – Keeping Alive

Q: My mother and father in law were killed in a car accident the day after Christmas. We have hydrangeas, azaleas and what looks like mountain laurels. The hydrangeas and azaleas are blooming. I have been watering them inside. When...

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Pansy – Weed Control

Q: My pansy beds have lots of chickweed in them each spring. How can I control this pest? A: When the chickweed has germinated and covered the pansy bed with a thick covering of green, about all you can do...

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Digger Bees (Miner Bees) – In Earthen Bank

Q: I have lots of bees coming out of the ground. They look like large bumble bees and I see them around my bushes in the front yard gathering the pollen. They are not very aggressive but I have lots...

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Boxelder Bug vs Red-Shouldered Bug – Identification

Q: What is this red bug ? There are a kazillion around my garden area? Are they harmful? Do they bite? A: You’ve found some boxelder (or box elder) bugs, Boisea trivittatus. These harmless insects feed on the seeds of...

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