Gardening Q and A

Tomato – Won’t Ripen

Q: Our plants have *tons* of large green tomatoes, but they won’t ripen on the vine! They’re absolutely gorgeous, non-diseased green tomatoes that get lots of sunshine. Any tricks to make them ripen up? A: It’s mostly a waiting game....

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Pine Needles – Excessive Acidity

Q: After reading your answer to the question about leaving pine needles on the lawn last week, I’m still confused. I understand about not letting them make a mat on the grass but what about the acidity they produce? A:...

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Creosote – Formation in Chimney

Q: I heard part of a conversation with one of your radio callers. You were talking about firewood and the deposit of creosote in a chimney. Did I understand you correctly that if you burn a fire with the flue...

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Mosquitoes – Removing Breeding Areas

Q: My neighbor’s backyard is a marsh and a horrible mosquito breeding ground. We neighbors have been talking about helping her clear out the bamboo and English ivy so it would benefit all of us in summer. Do you have...

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Centipedegrass Fungus – Effective Control

Q: What is the best thing I can do to control centipedegrass fungus effectively? This past summer was a nightmare. My lawn company tried to treat it with liquid fungicide and the fungus came right back. I got some granular...

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Christmas Cactus – Coloring

Q: I have several colors of Christmas cactus that I am experimenting with in a planter. I was told these cacti will all be the same color after a period of time. Is this true? Is there one color or...

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Pine Needles – Leaving on Grass

Q: I have been good about raking my pine needles, until recently but I’d love to just leave them on the grass. My friend thinks pine needles will kill the grass. Is it okay just to leave the needles down...

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Biting Flies (Midges) (No-See-Um’s) – In Atlanta?

Q: Your website says we don’t have No-See-Um’s in the Atlanta area, then what the heck seemingly invisible bug is biting me? I have a nice Emerald zoysiagrass lawn that seems to be infested with something that bites the fool...

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Butterfly Bush – Pruning After Hard Freeze

Q: I’m sure I’ve heard you advise to prune a butterfly bush after a hard freeze. Did you say to cut it back to about twelve or eighteen inches? A: Many gardeners have found that a small butterfly bush quickly...

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Indoor Plants – Homegrown to Look Like Nursery-grown

Q: How is it that when I buy a small plant from a nursery, it usually has a large, leafy top but is in a small pot. I can’t get the plants I start indoors to do the same. What...

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Trees – Cutting So Bark Stays On

Q: I heard a caller on your radio show ask when to cut trees so the bark would stay on after the wood dries. I sell Amish bent hickory furniture to stores in north Georgia. The gentlemen who make the...

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Strawberry Planting – Square Pyramids

Q: Are you familiar with the square pyramids that garden catalogs sell for strawberry planting? Can I make one myself? What kind of soil do I use? A: A pyramid allows you to put more plants into a given space....

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Squirrels – Droppings

Q: I have been feeding squirrels in my backyard for over fifteen years but I have never seen squirrel droppings. Please note that I do NOT spend a lot of time looking for them! Do they bury the droppings? A:...

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Chinese Pistache Tree – Growth Information

Q: I am interested in Chinese pistache trees. How big do they get? I read they have good fall color. A: The pistache is an excellent small tree! It only grows twenty five feet tall and has terrific yellow color...

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Trees – Painting

Q: On your radio show you mentioned mixing hydrated lime with water and adding salt to create a paint for trees. I bought a bag of powdered lime, which a garden center employee said I could mix with water. I...

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Fertilizer – Excess Nitrogen

Q: My first attempt at growing turnips, beets and carrots resulted in mainly leaf growth. Should I have applied 5-10-10 instead of 10-10-10? A: Excess nitrogen would indeed cause lots of leaves and few roots. I don’t often see the...

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Bats – Droppings

Q: I am curious about some animal droppings that are on my driveway and front porch. They are dry and full of nothing but bug wings it seems. Could it be an armadillo or a skunk? A: I’m thinking of...

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Blueberry Bushes- For Fruit and Privacy

Q: I am looking for a blueberry plant for fruit and 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 was...

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