Gardening Q and A

Birds – Identifying by sound

Q: I want to see if you can identify this bird noise. He (or she) is usually out at night. It will be hard to describe the sound in words but it sounds like “tisk, wow, wow”. I can never...

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Aspen Tree – Growing in Atlanta

Q: I love the aspen trees in Colorado and would like to plant some here. Could I plant them here in the city (Atlanta)? A: Theresa Schrum replies: “I just loved the Aspen trees when I was in Wyoming in...

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Leyland Cypress – Poor Watering

Q: I planted 4 Leyland Cyress trees last spring. By late summer one had turned pale green with droopy branches. The branches eventually turned brown and died. The landscaper who planted the trees replaced the tree in late fall. The...

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Mondo Grass – Controlling Weeds In

Q: I think that you mentioned on one of the shows that there is a chemical that will kill zoysia that has creeped into my mondo bed. Could you send me the name? A: The chemical sethoxydim (Vantage) is labeled...

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Dogs – Urinating in the garden

Q: I have an area in my yard where I plan to plant a new bed soon. The problem is that a dog has been urinating in that area. Is there anything I can use to neutralize the area before...

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Blue potato bush – Growing

Q: I have a blue potato bush, I believe the scientific name is Lycianthes rantonnei. How do I grow this? A: Having the scientific name makes it easy. Unfortunately, your plant is not hardy outdoors here. You might be able...

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Treated Wood – Safety of ACQ

Q: My wife and I were advised to use ACQ treated timbers when considering cedar alternatives for raised vegetable gardens. I would have thought cedar a good choice, but was told that it would deteriorate within a year given direct...

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Bermudagrass – Common vs Hybrid

Q: How can you tell if you have common or hybrid bermudagrass? A: Even an expert would have a hard time telling them apart if presented with just a blade or two. The difference is most obvious to me when...

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Annuals – Determining Light Levels

Q: What do the term “partial sun” mean when planting annuals and shrubs. I never know what will work. Can a plant that says “shade” take morning sun, but not afternoon sun? And can a plant that says sun handle...

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Tree Well – Constructing

Q: We’ve built a home with a large tree in the front yard. The builder, in order to protect the tree, created a tree well that’s about six feet deep. The problem is that it is clearly a safety hazard...

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Plants – Determining pot size

Q: I have a lantana and a ‘Siskiyou Pink’ gaura that I would like to plant in pots on my deck. Is there a formula for determining the size of the pot necessary based on the average height and/or width...

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Roundup – Safe for the Environment

Q: Do toxins in Roundup harm the environment as they rapidly break down into harmless chemicals? Do you have any suggestions for herbicides that won’t harm either me, my cats, or the environment? A: I think years of Roundup use...

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Oakleaf Holly – Dropping Leaves

Q: I have two oakleaf hollyies that I planted in a container about 6 months ago. This spring after the new growth appeared, the edges of the new and some of the old leaves appeared burned and began dropping. I...

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Pampas Grass – Turning brown

Q: We have one large pampas grass clump in the front yard and 2 in the back. They are brown and droopy. Is May too late to cut back to a few feet off the ground now..should we fertilize? A:...

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Pencil Tree – Poisonous

Q: Recently my wife and I were at a restaurant. I saw there a plant that I was told was a pencil tree plant. I asked for a cutting. The wound produced a white sticky sap which got on my...

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Cherry – Sudden Death

Q: I have two two-year old ‘Yoshino’ cherry trees in full sun planted thirty feet apart. They were both thriving but over the past month one tree’s leaves are drooping, turning yellow, and falling off. The other tree looks great....

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Fire Ant – Control in Garden

Q: Is there a safe and effective way to control fire ants in a vegetable garden? I’ve had strawberries in a raised bed but the fire ants took over. I was afraid of using chemicals for fear of contaminating the...

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English Ivy – Killing

Q: I have a large mass of ivy and it is in terrain that keeps me from mowing it. Would you please recommend an available spray and how to most effectively use it to kill the ivy? A: It’s not...

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