Gardening Q and A

Peonies – Ants on Flowers

Q: All my life I have been told that ants on peonies are a must. Recently I was told that this thinking is way out of date. Should I get rid of the ants? A: The new information is correct;...

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Oak Trees – Hedge Bushes

Q: We recently bought some rural property that has quite a few lovely old oak trees. At the base of the trees are thick hedge bushes. How can we get rid of them without hurting the oaks? A: Since you...

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Trilliums – Propagation with Seeds

Q: I have several trilliums in my yard, some with small blossoms on them. Is it possible to propagate them from seed? A: It’s not easy. Not all trilliums set seed each year. If you see a swollen pod in...

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Centipede Grass – Pre-Emergence

Q: I cannot find pre-emergence for centipedegrass at the local garden stores. What ingredient do I search for to use on my lawn? A: I think most, if not all, pre-emergent herbicides are labeled for use on centipedegrass. The window...

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Weeping Willow – No Bark

Q: We have a two year old weeping willow with a trunk about two inches diameter. Deer rubbed all the bark off for a length of about two feet. It looks like a slick pole now. Will the bark grow...

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Horticulture Degree – Job Options

Q: If I were to get an Associate Degree in Environmental Horticulture what job options would I have? A: Mary Kay Woodworth, Executive Director of the Metro Atlanta Landscape and Turf Association says there is a great variety of employment...

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Impatiens – Gathering Seeds

Q: I’ve got two beds of mixed impatiens and want to gather seed to sow next spring. Is there any particular method? A: Yes, you can snip off the swollen seed pods now and place them in an envelope for...

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Fescue – Wheat Straw

Q: I recently aerated my lawn, scattered some topsoil, overseeded with fescue and then covered the area with wheat straw. A neighbor told me that using wheat straw was a bad idea. Why? A: It is a common landscape practice...

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Young Trees – Roots Growing in Mulch

Q: To make the base of our young trees look pretty we decided to add fresh mulch, cutting a circle six feet in diameter and two inches deep around the mulch bed to make it look professional. To our surprise...

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Plum Tomato Plant – Making Them Last

Q: Our plum tomato plant is still going strong, with thirty eight tomatoes still on the vine, from dime-sized to full grown. The majority of them are mature sized but have been green for about three weeks. What can I...

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Azaleas – Ground Up Leaves as Mulch

Q: I would like to know if it would be harmful to put ground up tree leaves around my azaleas? My city gives away leaves they have picked up. Do you think it is safe? A: When leaves are picked...

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Sago Palm – Earth Salt

Q: A neighbor told me that a good fertilizer for a sago palm is something called “earth salt”. What is that material? A: I have no idea what “earth salt” is. Perhaps your neighbor meant Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate). Sago...

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Trees – Untangling Roots

Q: We purchased twenty five trees last weekend. Most of them were last year’s stock, so they are stuck in the pots with lots of tangled roots. How do we untangle and separate these tough roots? A: Use a strong...

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Carolina Jessamine – No Flowers

Q: I have Carolina jessamine that has filled in a lattice wall around my hot tub. It is growing great, but not a single flower this year. Do I prune in the spring with the assumption that flowers occur on...

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Fescue – Last Call for Planting

Q: When is the absolute latest time to plant fescue seed in the fall? We have a Girl Scout outing in our backyard October 27th, so we really wouldn’t be able to plant until after that’s done. Any thoughts? A:...

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Blackberry Lily Seeds – When to Plant

Q: I have several blackberry lily (Belamcanda chinensis) seeds I harvested from my plants. I want to sow the seeds in containers to give to friends next spring. Is this the right time to plant them? A: Spring is a...

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Mulch – Reusing

Q: You suggest that we replace all mulch under roses. Can we reuse the old mulch elsewhere? We’ve got a ton of hardwood mulch under our roses and I can’t imagine throwing all that away. A: I like your recycling...

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Dwarf Fruit Trees – Winter Care

Q: I have three dwarf fruit trees: cherry, apricot, and nectarine, growing in large containers on my patio. They will be twelve feet high when mature. I would like to leave them outside for the winter but am concerned about...

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