Gardening Q and A

Goldenrain tree – Not Blooming

Q: I planted a goldenrain tree, per your suggestion, four years ago. Although you promised bright yellow blooms in June, that has never happened. Will it ever bloom? A: My wife is an elementary reading specialist. Practically every week she...

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Flowers – Drought-proofing

Q: I enjoy replanting my flower beds twice a year (spring & late fall), but I am concerned that the drought will result in a change from our current restricted watering to a total water ban. Can you please recommend...

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Daffodil vs Jonquil – Identification

Q: We were having a discussion at the office about daffodils and jonquils, and we would like to know the difference between them. Would you please enlighten me? A: Bringing light to the dark corners of garden knowledge is my...

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Pecan – Flood Tolerance

Q: I want to plant pecan trees in a low lying area that floods every eight to ten years. The water can get as deep as one meter and stays there for two to four weeks. Can a pecan tree...

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Japanese Beetle – Control with Nematodes

Q: Would spreading nematodes be helpful to combat the coming onslaught of Japanese Beetles? Would nematodes be a better option than Milky Spore? Also, I would like to put a systemic pesticide under my crepe myrtles so they also can...

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Vermiculite – Finding

Q: I am a new gardener trying to find vermiculite for my Square Foot garden. I haven’t been able to find grade #3 coarse vermiculite. Can you help me find a supplier? A: Coarse vermiculite won’t be too much of...

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Drain Fly – Control

Q: A friend’s house has been invaded with a type of fly or gnat. They are very small and have almost clear wings that begin halfway down their back. They have invaded his kitchen and seem to be coming from...

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Banana – Growing From Seed

Q: While contemplating a banana split at an ice cream shop, I noticed the seeds in the banana slices. Afterwards, feeling too porky to move for a few minutes, I began to wonder if bananas can be grown from seed....

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Pruning – To Reduce Bare Lower Limbs

Q: I have a number of variegated privets that are becoming thin near the bottom. I usually prune the tops but these have now grown to eight feet tall. I am thinking about cutting these off at about four feet...

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Weeping Cherry – Pruning

Q: For the first four years I had a very nice weeping cherry: all the branches wept downward and all of the flowers were pink. In the spring of 2000, after flowering all pink again, new branches began to grow...

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Stump Sprouts – Developing Into a Tree

Q: In my yard I have an oak tree stump that remains from a tree cut down two years ago. In the meantime, several new sprouts have emerged from the stump. I have kept one of these sprouts and cut...

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Fever Tree (Pinckneya) – Care

Q: A few weeks ago on your radio show you had a guest from Callaway Gardens who spoke about a plant that is ideal for a lake or wet area. She called it a fever tree, but I did not...

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Roach – Control

Q: I need a recipe for roach bait. I have tried the boric acid, bacon grease, onion, dough recipe but wondered if there isn’t a better one. I’ve tried bait stations but they didn’t work. A: The bait stations from...

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Banana Tree – Frozen

Q: I covered my banana tree with straw and plastic bags for the winter. Recently, I removed the coverings and am not sure it survived. The top of the plant looks rotten, so should I cut the stalk back to...

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Soil – Over Amended?

Q: My son is building a large garden for a project. Because the soil in the area was packed clay when he began, he tilled it, added a dump truck load of compost and a truckload of old horse manure....

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Bell Pepper – Growing From Seed

Q: I just bought a red bell pepper last night from Publix and saved some of the seeds that fell out while I was slicing it. Would these seeds actually grow or produce peppers? A: The seed probably wouldn’t produce...

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Mountain Laurel – Fertilizing

Q: My land is covered with mountain laurel, which I love. However, it looks rather scraggy and not well kept. I have lightly pruned it, but admit I don’t know what else to do. How can I care for and...

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Purple Passion Plant – Identification

Q: I was given a cutting of a nice looking houseplant vine. It grows like “designer kudzu”. It has very fuzzy leaves, mostly purple and green. A: Purple Velvet Plant, Gynura...

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