Gardening Q and A

Pressurized Cans of Pesticide – How to Get Rid of Them

Q: I have several pressurized spray cans of pesticides. How do I get rid of them? A: Pesticide expert Paul Guillebeau says if the sprays can be used, you could give them to a neighbor who needs them. Alternatively, check...

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Compost Piles – Controlling Pests

Q: I like to compost but when I leave anything on the pile, roaches come to the feast. How do you control the varmints? A: Despite the “ick” factor, roaches are a natural part of the composting process. They chew...

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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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Tulips From Amsterdam – Survival

Q: I have recently returned from a trip to Amsterdam, where I ordered tulips. Will they do well here? A: I’m sure they will bloom well next spring as long as you keep the squirrels from digging them up. Unfortunately,...

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Spring-Flowering Bulbs – How to Move Them

Q: I am moving to Charlotte, NC this summer and want to move my spring-flowering bulbs with me. What’s the most efficient way? A: Buy a box of white plastic knives and a permanent marker. While the foliage is present,...

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Caladium Bulbs – Life Expectancy

Q: For the past three years I have stored my caladium bulbs per your instructions. What is their life expectancy? A: As you already know, caladium foliage emerges from a hairy underground tuber. Tubers have eyes and it is the...

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Pumpkins – Harvesting and Preserving

Q: My kids and I are growing a few pumpkins in the back yard for a “family competition”. They have already started turning orange and look to weigh about 35 pounds. How do we preserve them until Thanksgiving for the...

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Zoysia Grass – Mowing

Q: I installed ‘Emerald’ zoysiagrass sod three years ago and it’s awesome, like being on thick plush carpet. I have mowed it at 3.5 inches the same exact way since the beginning. I start on the outside edge, going counter...

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Hydranega – Aluminum Sulfate

Q: I think I poisoned my hydrangea bush. When I saw its pink blooms in May, I poured diluted aluminum sulfate directly onto the roots in order to change the acidity of the soil and get the flowers to turn...

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Roses – Banana Peel Providing Benefits

Q: Martha Stewart says roses love banana peels. How would I use them on my seven roses? What do they get from the peels? A: Martha is a knowledgeable gardener but I think she got carried away when she extolled...

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Bird Seed Causing Weeds?

Q: My husband and I have a dispute. We used inexpensive bird seed a few years ago that sprouted quite a harvest of weeds in our grass. For the past two years I’ve been buying “No Mess” bird seed. My...

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Bearded Iris – Dividing

Q: Is it too late to divide bearded iris in August? A: My rule is that you can divide iris and daylilies anytime between the last blooms and the first frost. Now is a fine time. Dig them carefully with...

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Experimental Flower Garden – University of Georgia

Q: I am going to visit my son at the University of Georgia and would love to visit the experimental flower garden. I am always so impressed when Dr. Allan Armitage describes the plants they are working on. Can you...

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