Gardening Q and A

Creeping Fig – Invasiveness

Q: I have a concrete retaining wall that is attached to my house on one end. I am thinking about planting creeping fig along the south face (filtered shade), starting about fifteen feet away from the house. I’ve read that...

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Fir – Concolor as Xmas Tree

Q: When I went to buy my cut Christmas tree several weeks ago, the guys at the lot described it as a “Cuculla” fir. It was very attractive throughout the holidays – especially since it smells nicely of tangerines when...

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Pecan – Fertilizing

Q: I would like to know how to fertilize my pecan trees. I have two large trees and they have always produced more than I could ever use or even give away. A: I have strong memories of my Dad...

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Evolvulus ‘Blue Daze’

Q: Can you tell me what the name of this flower? I want to do some research & take proper care of it during the winter months. A: You have Evolvulus glomeratus ‘Blue Daze”. It is a semi-woody perennial shrub...

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Black-eyed Susan – Flower Petals Disappear

Q: My black-eyed Susans were beautiful last year, but this year the growth is stunted by a very small black beetle. It eats the upper bud and leaves. What organic insecticide can I use to eliminate this pest? A: I...

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Muhlygrass – ID and Care

Q: I heard you talk about Muhly grass on your radio show on Saturday. There are several varieties available. Do you prefer any of these best or will they all do okay in north Atlanta? A: Habersham Gardens says they...

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Tree – Planting on Steep Slope

Q: I will be planting a tree on a steep slope. How much of the root ball should be exposed on the up and down sides of the hill? A: None! Planting a tree on a slope correctly is a...

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Tater Vine (Air Potato) – Recipe for Cooking

Q: I have been growing for several years the “air potato” plant you wrote about recently. I grow mine on a fence so the bulblets don’t spread throughout the neighborhood. The tiny “potatoes” are edible and quite good if put...

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Alfalfa Farming- Getting Started

Q: My wife and I are nearing retirement and plan on staying in Fayette County. As a young man raised near Chicago, one of my favorate summers was spent on a farm in Michigan. We hauled hay the old fashioned...

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Rhododendron – Pinch off Buds in Winter

Q: I have noticed that my rhododendrons have large bulbs at the ends of the branches, not ready for bloom. Since winter is around the corner, should I pinch them off? A: Don’t, don’t, don’t!! Those swollen things at the...

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Fire Ants – Controlling in Veg, Garden, Animal Pen

Q: I have a pet pig; recently I found a big fire ant mound in the pen. What can I do to control them? I also have a vegetable garden and there are fire ant mounds in it. What can...

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Japanese Beetle Traps – Alternatives

Q: In you article in June, you said that you preferred hand-picking Japanese beetles and that we should never use traps. Well, I have too many beetles to hand-pick so what should I do? A: You’re right – some gardeners...

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Strawberry – Fertilizing

Q: What sort of fertilizer should I use on my strawberry bed? A: If your bed is more than a year old, you can get by with a single fertilization each spring. You should have done it in mid-March, but...

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Dogwoods – No Blooms

Q: I have some wild dogwoods in my yard that don’t bloom very well. How can I make them do better? A: Have you ever marveled at reports that a Kentucky Derby winner is worth millions of dollars? Why would...

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Tater Vine (Air Potato) – ID & Control

Q: I have a problem with a lovely but horribly invasive vine that grows little potatoes on its stem. It sprouts and spreads like a demon – nearly taking over a 3 acre lot! What is it and what can...

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Lady Banks Rose – Naked at Bottom

Q: I was hoping you could give me some advice on a problem I have with my four year old Lady Banks rose bush. It is on a west-facing brick wall and over the years, I have attached a double...

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Worms – Raising

Q: I am interested in learning about the raising of fish worms and the collection and sale of worm castings. A: As a worm explores the soil, it ingests tiny organic particles, digests any nutrients present, then excretes what it...

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Identification – Red Spider Lily

Q: I live in the Candler Park neighborhood, and for several years now, this time of the year, I get red flowers sprouting up several feet apart on my lawn (which is mostly weeds). There are more each year. I...

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