Gardening Q and A

Bull Thistle

Q: I moved last year and had this come up in the yard of my new home. It grew to about 6ft. The spines were amazing and the plant was so spectacular I started some seeds. Do you recognize it?...

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Cherry – Canker

Q: I have a cherry tree on which I noticed a place oozing sap about halfway up the main trunk. I looked it up in a reference book and it diagnosed it as bacterial canker. The book says to prune...

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Swallowtail Caterpillar – On Parsley

Q: I found a bunch of these happily munching on and devouring my parsley. Any idea what they are? A: They are the caterpillars of swallowtail butterflies. They are sometimes called parsley worms. The butterflies laid their eggs on your...

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Creeping Raspberry – Locating

Q: A few weeks ago I wrote to you asking if you could recommend a shade vine to plant on a topiary. Theresa Schrum recommended using a creeping raspberry. My question now is where can I locate this vine? A:...

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Saddleback Caterpillar – Attacked by Parasitic Wasp

Q: I was cleaning some leaves from my small pond a week ago and my leg brushed up against this little devil. It stung worse than a bee sting! It is the weirdest little “caterpillar” I’ve ever seen. And it has...

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Book – A Garden of Fragrance

Q: You mentioned some books on your show. I believe you mentioned a book on fragrant plants, but missed hearing a title. A: Theresa Schrum replies: “The book that Walter discussed is “A Garden of Fragrance” by Suzy Bales. It...

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Kousa Dogwood – Fruit

Q: I would love to know the name of this tree. I took this picture at Stone Mountain Park near the Plantation parking lot. A: It’s a kousa dogwood. The fruit you noticed has been particularly prominent this year. I...

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Deer Repellent – Make Your Own

Q: I have had pretty good luck with a product called Grant’s Deer repellent, but I can’t find it anymore. Walter has mentioned another spray product. Can you recommend anything else? A: I mentioned that you could make your own...

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White-marked Tussock Moth – Identification

Q: One of my first grade students found a pretty caterpillar. It was about an inch and a half long, mostly white with yellow accents. It was very skinny and had what appeared to be very large antennae that were...

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Shrubs – Stuffed into Container

Q: I recently purchased azaleas in 3 gallon containers only to discover at planting that the container had 2 one gallon plants replanted into a 3 gallon container. The nursery owner was not receptive to my questioning this and stated...

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Gardenia – Getting Continuous Blooms

Q: I’m originally from Chicago. My ‘August Beauty’ gardenias, are doing fine but I would like to get more than one bloom period from them each summer. When the bloom is spent, is it proper to pluck the brown bloom...

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Corn – Falling Over

Q: How do you keep corn stalks from falling over? I have a small vegetable garden with three rows of ‘Silver Queen’ corn. After every heavy rain just about all the stalks are on the ground! So far most have...

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Cherry – Quick Death

Q: We purchased in June an eight foot tall flowering cherry tree. The nursery was pretty far from the house so I put the tree in the back of my pickup to bring it home. When I unloaded it, the...

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Japanese Maple – Watering Properly

Q: My mother has a Japanese maple which did very well after being planted in the fall of 2000. However, over the last two weeks, the leaves have begun to curl and dry and subsequently fell off the tree. She...

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Lizard – Hatching Eggs

Q: I was in the process of moving plants in a container and lo and behold a lizard scrambled out. It had a blue tail so I assume it is a blue-tailed skink. After moving the plant I found a...

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Ceanothus – Growing Information

Q: I would like to grow ceanothus and wonder whether you have had any experience with it. A: Horticulturist Mike Dirr says his camera almost imploded when he saw a sky-blue ceanothus in Edinburgh. There are dozens of other ceanothus...

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Christmas Tree – Flocking

Q: What is the stuff used to make Christmas trees white, like they are covered with snow? Is it poisonous? A: The flocking material that is applied to Christmas trees is composed of finely ground cellulose (in other words, paper!)...

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Guinea Fowl – For Tick Control

Q: Ticks are a real problem on my property in Fayette county. Do guinea fowl eat ticks? I live in a rural area and would gladly raise a few if they would control these insects. A: With Peachtree City using...

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