Gardening Q and A

Ginger lily

Q: I received a clump of ginger lily which I planted like an iris. There isn’t any foliage in winter. Is it dead or just dormant? A: Ginger lily (Curcuma and Hedychium species) is usually hardy in Atlanta, although a...

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Blueberry – Freeze Damage

Q: I have 9 blueberry plants in Fayette county. The plants are full of buds on the verge of blooming. The weather forecast is calling for mid to upper 20s temperatures this week, the last of February. Will the blueberry...

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Blueberry – Freeze Protection

Q: The weather in GA is turning sour, and my dwarf peach trees are in full bud, blooms only a few days away. With the temps getting into the mid 20′s this last week of February , is there anything...

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Fire Ant – Repellents

Q: I was out watering my cows and stepped into a big fire ant mound. Thankfully, I’m not very allergic to their bites but the experience brought up the question of repellents. Why aren’t mosquito repellents effective on fire ants?...

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Gardening – Teaching to Middle School

Q: I have taught high school physics and chemistry for the last 5 years but this year I am teaching 7th grade science. Soon I’ll be teaching a unit on the plant kingdom. Do you have any ideas to stir...

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Venus Fly Trap – Feeding

Q: I was at the Children’s Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden last weekend and wandered past the bog exhibit. Kids there were putting their fingers into the Venus Fly Traps to make them close. This made me wonder: does...

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Spurweed – Control

Q: Three years ago a weed appeared in our yard. Around Easter it will have little spurs on it that stick in your feet. My grandchildren and I like to go barefooted but this year my yard is full of...

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Acetic Acid – Use as Herbicide

Q: I have a dachshund who – even though we kept him away from the area for 24 hours – wheezed and got red eyes when we used Roundup the last time. Consequently, we stopped using it and now have...

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Japanese Maple – Sports

Q: I have this new growth in the top of my maple. The green leaves are on two stems, one of which is growing from the main trunk about twelve inches above ground level and another small branch is growing...

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Chinese Parasol Tree

Q: Can you tell me where I can go to identify this tree? A: Why go anywhere but here? Your tree is a Chinese parasol tree, Firmiana simplex. I’m sure you became curious about it due to its huge leaves....

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Japanese Beetle – Timing Insecticide Application

Q: I bought a product containing halofenozide to kill white grubs , hoping it will reduce our infestation of Japanese beetles. The instructions for application say that timing of the application is important, but then says to contact your local...

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Bahia – Remove from Centipedegrass

Q: I have a centipedegrass lawn with some bahiagrass mixed in. What can I apply that will handle the bahiagrass and leave the centipedegrass? A: The chemical imazaquin (Image ) should work. Its label states: “IMAGE Herbicide is a postemergent,...

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Slime Mold – In Mulch

Q: This fungus keeps popping up in my beds. It occurred once last year and three times this year. I have a feeling it has to do with the mulch. Last year’s mulch was bought in one bulk load and...

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Zoysiagrass – Late to Green Up

Q: Why is zoysiagrass so late to green up each year? Our lawn looks like it isn’t coming in well.   A: Yes – in some years zoysiagrass won’t be completely green until June. It might be caused by several...

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Olive Tree – Growing

Q:  I would like to try to grow a few olive trees in Gainesville. Am I setting myself up for failure? I am thinking of keeping them in large pots to give them very sandy soil. A: I am always...

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Fothergilla – Gall on Leaves

Q: I have about a dozen fothergilla bushes. I just noticed that one of them has strange cone-like shapes growing out of the leaves! None of the others have anything like this. What in the world is this? A: Fothergilla...

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Corn – Poor Pollination

Q: There doesn’t seem to be a good supply of bees this year. How will this affect the development of my corn? A: It won’t hurt your corn crop at all. Corn pollen is distributed by wind. Rainy weather, like...

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Mallow – Identification

Q: Do you have any idea what this plant in my garden is? A: It’s common mallow, Malva sylvestris. A look at the flowers and leaves reminds me that it is kin to the much-larger hollyhock. Mallow has striking flowers,...

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