Gardening Q and A

Squirrels – Repelling with Hot Pepper

Q: I need information about putting red pepper on birdseed. Does this work to repel squirrels and, if so, how much should I use? I hate to quit feeding the birds, but I can’t afford to fill my feeder every...

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Termites – Attracted to Wood Chips?

Q: I have a drop-off of more than twelve inches at the edge of my patio. I want to fill the area with several inches of soil and cover it with pine bark chips. Will the bark chips attract termites...

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Dowsers – Locating

Q: We own approximately an acre of land, all of it landscaped. I would love having a well dug in order to save money on watering. How does one contact a dowser? I know they exist and they would be...

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Hummingbird Moth (Hawkmoth) – Pupa

Q: We found this laying in our garden right where we had pulled out some red tip photinias. Can you tell us what this is? Is it alive or dead? A: This is the pupal case of a sphinx moth....

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Oak – Crown Gall

Q: What in the world is this on our tree? It’s been there for as long as I can remember – since before 1990. It grows a little each year. The tree seems unaffected. If it is a burl, how...

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Amaryllis – Fall Care

Q: I have an amaryllis in a large pot with potting soil. How should I care for it? A: You can keep the amaryllis in a pot if you like but it probably will not bloom again, particularly if you...

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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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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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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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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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Asparagus Fern

Q: I just purchased an asparagus fern and the roots have big bumps on them. Are these root galls or nematodes? Is this bad? A: The swollen parts are normal – just root nodules where water is stored. If you...

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