Gardening Q and A

Grasshopper Control

Q: In mid-September, my yard is full of grasshoppers. I have every size and color you can imagine. What happened to cause this and what can I do to get rid of them? A: Just about any landscape insecticide will...

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Wax Scale – On Maple

Q: Our Japanese maple appears to have some type of fungus. Actually, it looks like small mushrooms. Is this harmful to the tree and what causes this? A: You have an excellent example of wax scale. The adult females you’ve...

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Christmas Tree – Additives in Water

Q: I’ve heard a lot over the years about additives to the water I put in my Christmas tree stand that will help the tree stay fresh longer. Is there any thing like that commercially available? A: I check my...

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Pine Beetle – Damage to Pine

Q: I have a dead tree, 20′ – 30′ tall, in my backyard. It appears to have been gnawed, like by a beaver, around 10′ – 15′ off the ground. Any idea as to what is doing this? A: Your...

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Stings – Avoiding (and the only rude gardener I’ve ever met!)

Q: Q: My name is Ann, and I really need your help! I am trying to plan some landscaping for my front yard and backyard and around the front sidewalk and around my brick mailbox. Normal people would have no...

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Coral Bark Maple – Identification

Q: I have a tree that seems to have a sunburn. The trunk and all the limbs are red and very showy. What is it? A: You have a coral bark maple. Most likely it is the...

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Bermudagrass – Killing for a Garden

Q: I want to start a vegetable garden in a pasture with bermudagrass. I want to go ahead and plow it up now and add some leaves and compost to sit over the next few months, but feel I need...

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Alphabet Gardening – Plants with “U” and “X”

Q: I am planting an alphabet garden with my son. We are choosing plants with common or scientific names that begin with each letter of the alphabet. However, we are stuck with the letters “U” and “X”. Do you have...

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Tools – Sharpening

Q: My hand pruner is getting dull after a few years of hard work. Could you please tell me if it is easy to sharpen it? A: A hand pruner is not terribly difficult to sharpen. All you need is...

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Blueberry – Ochlockonee

Q: I am looking for a blueberry plant for fruit and for privacy screening. I’ve heard the ‘Ochlockonee’ rabbiteye blueberry is a good one. Do you have any better suggestions? A: The blueberry you’ve chosen has a great reputation. It...

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Siberian Iris – Dividing

Q: I have Siberian irises that need to be divided. Can I do this now? I read that irises should be divided in August, but that seems like a hot time to do it. A: Siberian iris are almost indestructible....

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Peach vine – Identification

Q: I saw an advertisement in the paper for a “Peach vine”. Is there really a peach that grows like a vine? A: It took some digging (in the phone book, not in the dirt!) to find out about the...

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Night-blooming cereus – Care

Q: How should I care for a night-blooming cereus? I was given one last year and I have it in a heated sunporch. A: Night-blooming cereus has been a “passalong” plant for decades. As you can tell from looking at...

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Gourd Seed – Sources

Q: I would like to purchase a variety of fancy / exotic gourd seed. I need to find a source that will sell enough for several acres. Most of the seed catalogs sell packets with only a few seed per...

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Earthworm – Castings

Q: I have mounds of what look like lilliputian guinea pig droppings all over our front yard. Can’t find any one who can I.D. Any thoughts? A: I’m not sure how you’d know what lilliputian guinea pig droppings look like...

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False Aloe

Q: I found some interesting looking plants on a building lot that I was about to grade. The plants appeared to be a native orchid of sorts, so I planted them in a raised bed at my home. I was...

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Sports Turf – Maintaining

Q: Can you give me a good resource on caring for sports turf? Our football and soccer fields need an “extreme makeover.” A: As the father of a soccer-playing son, I see wide variations in field conditions. Some are pristine...

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How To Make a Hypertufa Container

Q: Can you tell me the recipe for making trough containers out of portland cement and peat moss? A: It’s a simple recipe: • one part Portland cement • one part sand • two parts peat moss. Once you have...

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