Gardening Q and A

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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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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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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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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Compost – Maggots

Q: I found a worm/grub in mass in my compost pile and am very curious as to what it might be. They are very dark gray-brown and the head end is actually the pointed end. They are literally swarming in...

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Jonquil bulbs – Storing

Q: Someone recently gave me 3 bags of jonquil bulbs. Can these be stored during the summer so that they will keep until I can plant them in the fall? Can you give me suggestions for what to do with...

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Lime – Picking Fruit

Q: I have a small lime tree and it has 2 limes on it. How do I know when is the right time to pick them?   A: See Harvesting see also Limes, Oranges and...

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Magnolia – Moving

Q: I recently moved into a home where the previous owner allowed a volunteer (I’m assuming) magnolia to take up root three feet away from a 70+ inch circumference red oak. This magnolia is about two inches in diameter at...

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Giant Resin Bee – Carpenter Bee Foe

Q: Each spring I battle with carpenter bees in my log home. However, starting each July, I see somewhat smaller bees, lighter in color, entering the circular holes left by the carpenter bees. They don’t seem to be worsening the...

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TifBlair Centipede – Characteristics

Q: I thought I heard a show of yours in which you gave a good review for a new species of centipede called TifBlair. Would you still recommend this grass as a good low maintenance lawn? A: I have seen...

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Jacaranda Tree – Growing conditions

Q: About 7 years ago my son was in the Peace Corps in South Africa. On his return he presented me with a pot with a Jacaranda tree seed. I have placed the tree outside each year from late May...

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Coconut – Growing

Q: Can you tell me what variety of coconut tree might grow well and produce fruit in Griffin, Georgia? A: Your dreams of a backyard supply of pina colada ingredients will be unfulfilled. Coconut palms are damaged when temperatures drop...

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Fig – Conadria

Q: My mother and I need help identifying a fig. The fruit is different from any I have seen before. They are somewhat larger and “rounder” than regular figs. They have a shorter “neck”, are smoother, and have conspicuous white...

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Fairy Fan – Fungus

Q: We found on our deck banister a brightly-colored fungus. It is about three-eighths of an inch high. Are you able to identify it? A: Wow….very cool! Mary Woehrel, leader of The Mushroom Club of Georgia, says “Looking at these...

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Cucumber – Yellow

Q: I’ve noticed that over the last couple of years I’ve had one or two cucumbers that stay a yellowish color and never turn green. Is this due to a cross pollination with a squash or some other plant? A:...

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