Gardening Q and A

Dwarf Fescue – Care

Q: What can you tell me about dwarf fescue grass? Does it grow and thrive in Atlanta? I read something about it in a magazine and want to know about using it here. A: Extension turf expert Clint Waltz says...

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Summer Tanager – Identification

Q: Can you help me identify this bird? It’s seems too yellow for a gold finch. The photo was taken at my brother’s home in Newton county. A: Local naturalist Charles Seabrook says it is a female summer...

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Greenhouse – Watering

Q: We need your help on the timing and frequency of our new water sprinkler system for our greenhouse. My husband is in the process of installing it. We need to know how often and how long to set the...

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Scotch Broom – Invasiveness

Q: In reading a 1996 “Horticulture” magazine I came across an article listing Scotch broom, Cytisus scoparius, as an invasive/noxious plant. I know it is a problem in California and the Northwest, but I want to make sure it would...

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Compost – Using Fertilizer

Q: In attempting to make compost, I have no difficulty in rounding up plenty of brown material such as dried leaves and wood chips but I can’t seem to find enough green material to make up a 2:1 green:brown ratio....

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Insecticide – Eating Fruit after Use

Q: I am in a dilemma! Recently we put a product containing the systemic insecticide imidacloprid around some blueberry bushes and figs. Will we be able to eat the fruit from these plants this year? A: My research reveals that...

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Carpetweed- Identification

Q: I have a problem with a weed that I can’t seem to get rid of. My friends call it carpetweed. Do you know this weed and if so what is the best way to get rid of it? A:...

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Bougainvillea – Winter Hardiness

Q: My wife and I bought a bougainvillea at a recent flower show. Is possible to plant bougainvillea in the ground? Will it come back next year? A: Bougainvillea definitely won’t live outdoors in the winter in Atlanta. You have...

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Aucuba – Identifying Seed

Q: Last year I bought a bunch of aucuba plants. In with them was a plant a lot like the rest but with a different leaf. The leaf is seven inches long and two inches wide and is a dark...

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Mulch – Pine Straw vs. Nuggets

Q: Which do you recommend: pine straw mulch or pine mini-nuggets for putting around plants. I know mulch serves two purposes: appearance and retaining water. A: I think it’s more your judgement of appearance than anything else. Some people like...

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Joseph’s Coat – Care

Q: Can you identify this small plant for me? I purchased it last spring. There was no information tag attached. All the garden center could tell me was that it’s a good border plant. It’s now 18″ wide and 10″...

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Citrus Plants – Protecting from Cold

Q: I am buying several citrus plants from a grower in South Carolina. He has recommended the best citrus trees for my 7b hardiness zone, including ‘Changsha’ mandarin orange, bitter lemon and pummelo. He says they need a “protected” 7b...

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Forsythia – Crown Gall

Q: As I inspected my forsythia recently, I saw several odd-looking knots on stems that had few flowers. Can you tell me what this is? A: Crown gall is caused by a bacteria. It induces the host plant to produce...

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Hydrangea – Identification and Pruning

Q: I have hydrangeas on some new property. I would like to prune them but am unsure which hydrangeas I have, and therefore when to prune them. How do I tell them apart? A: In my garden, the color and...

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Hydrangeas – Frost Damage

Q: I planted 9 ‘Annabelle’ Hydrangeas in March in an area on the North side of the house that receives almost no sun. The soil had a lot of clay so I amended with peat moss, composted manure and sand....

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Piedmont Azalea – Description

Q: I have a bush/shrub that I need to identify-I have been told it is a wild azalea. It has woody stalks, very similar to the 4 different varieties of azalea in my yard, but it sheds it’s leaves in...

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Climbing Rose- Encouraging Blooms

Q: Two years ago we planted Queen Elizabeth climbing roses against trellises at our back fence. I had envisioned the foliage disguising the board fence. What I got was bare branches to the top of the fence and then a...

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Granny Smith Apple – Determining Ripeness

Q: I have a producing ‘Granny Smith’ apple tree. This year I have a lot of apples on the tree and want to know when I am supposed to pick them. A: Since Granny Smith is a green apple, it’s...

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