Gardening Q and A

Confederate Rose – Rooting

Q: I have a six-foot high Confederate Rose. What is the best way to propagate this plant? Can it be rooted ? A: Propagating a Confederate rose is easy. You can do it by seeds or cuttings. After the flowers...

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Hollyhock

Q: I bought a hollyhock plant last spring in Tennessee. It did nothing last year but profusely put out leaves. This spring it has grown enormously and has this weird looking thing on the end of the stalk. Is this...

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Chicken Manure – Spreading too Much

Q: I spread chicken manure on my vegatable garden area in the spring. I think I got too large a concentration in a few areas because plants are dying. Is there anything I can do to neutralize the effect of...

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Native Plants – Neighborhood Covenants

Q: This may seem like a ridiculous question, but the covenants for my subdivision require plant material “native to the southeastern U.S.”. What qualifies as “native”? The contract also refers to “natural” landscape material. Would you consider “pea gravel” a...

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Windmill Palm – Flower

Q: I have a ten-year old windmill palm that has gotten a bloom on it for the first time. In fact it has three separate pods. Are these seeds or what? A: The yellow sprays are not seed – they...

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Wire Cage – Remove When Planting a Tree

Q: Is it necessary to remove the wire cage from the root ball of a tree? I’ve discovered that the pin oak planted in my yard a year ago still has its cage. There seem to be varying opinions about...

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Small Farm – Starting

Q: I will be retiring soon and would like to investigate buying land and starting a small farm. I don’t know what I can raise on a small acreage and still hope to make money. Do you have any information?...

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Sweetshrub – Identification

Q: There is a wooded area behind our house which has an apparently native blooming shrub. It has odd-looking red blossoms. It also seems to spread easily and I’m wondering how to get it under control. A: Your plant is...

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Peppers – Determining Ripeness

Q: I have a quick question about determining if Tabasco peppers are ripe, when they can be picked and if they need to be red to eat. What I want to know is if they are good for pickling and...

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Resurrection fern – Transplanting pieces

Q: I am fascinated by resurrection ferns and happened to cut a 10 inch diameter branch, 12 feet long, off of a dead oak covered in resurrection ferns and get it into my native plant garden. I had to lift...

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Termites – Comparing Treatment Options

Q: Regarding liquid soil treatment vs. a monitoring system for termites, I prefer using as few chemicals as possible, yet want my house to stay in one, uneaten piece. What is your opinion of the two options? A: Both baiting...

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Soil Amendment – Crushed Granite

Q: I am looking for a source for crushed granite M3 or M3 screened. Could you please point me in the right direction? I am in the Stone Mtn. vicinity. A: Vulcan Materials 770-458-4481 has several plants around Atlanta. If...

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Spider Lily – Bulbs above soil surface

Q: I have a rather large stand of spider lily, Lycoris radiata. For the first time in years the bulbs are showing above the soil surface (about 20 – 25% of the bulb). Is this normal, or do I have...

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Osmosis – Science Experiment

Q: My daughter is doing an experiment with carrots, leaving one in water, another in salt water, another in a dry bowl. Her question is, does water leave plant cells? These were her results: Cup – no water: carrot drying...

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Meyer Lemon Tree – Hardiness

Q: I recently purchased a beautiful Hybrid Meyer Lemon tree. The accompanying tag said it was hardy to minus 20 degrees. I don’t think that it has ever been that cold here so I planted it outside. Can I believe...

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Birds – Harmful Ingredients in Peanut Butter Suet

Q: You talk about making a suet mixture for birds. My concern is with the Crisco, lard, & peanut butter, that you use. Would you research the ingredients in these products? The main one I’m concerned about is Propylene glycol....

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Native Azalea

Q: I have a large area of this flowering plant growing at the back of my property. The plant looks like honeysuckle of some variety. Could you help me identify it? A: The flowers certainly resemble honeysuckle but you have...

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Japanese Bloodgrass

Q: This grass appeared in one of my flower beds three years ago. It is massively aggressive, and has choked out everything in the bed. Frequent attempts at pulling it up are futile. It is about waist high, tough, like...

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