Gardening Q and A

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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Bermudagrass – Removing Thatch

Q: We have a bermudagrass lawn. The thatch is terribly thick. My husband doesn’t use a bag with the lawn mower, so the thatch has built up. Could a professional company dethatch our lawn? A: Thatch is a layer of...

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Pine Straw – Origins

Q: Having relocated from the Pacific Northwest, we had never seen pine straw used in landscaping. Where does it come from and how is it harvested? What are the benefits, if any, over “beauty bark” which is popular back home?...

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Huckleberry – Identification and Growing

Q: When I was growing up, my mother used to make huckleberry jam. The taste was quite different from blueberries. She was from East Tennessee, but I don’t remember if she gathered the huckleberries there or in Georgia. Do you...

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Persimmon (young tree) – Identification

Q: My daughter lives near Washington DC. Her new home has this tree in the back yard. It has just sprouted little bell-shaped flowers. Her husband thinks I might be a fruit tree. A: Her husband is right! My genius...

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Dogwood – Club Gall Midge

Q: Many of our dogwood trees seem to be ‘afflicted’ and have no bloom buds on them this year. There are many swollen nodules toward the tips of the branches where the blooms should be. What is the problem and...

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Pine Straw – Replacing old

Q: A family discussion is left for you to resolve: A pine straw island surrounded with liriope has fall leaves on it along with the clippings from cutting back the liriope. I say to leave the clippings and leaves and...

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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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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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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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