Gardening Q and A

Removing Pine – Not Disturbing Nesting Squirrels

Q: I want to have several pine trees cut. However, I don’t want to impact nesting squirrels, particularly if they have litters. A: Squirrels are breeding right now so there’s not much chance of having babies in a nest. But...

READ MORE

Coir – Ordering In Bulk

Q: Is there a local source for coir in bulk? I am planning on making a hydroponic garden with raised strawberry beds. A: Coir, a processed coconut fiber used as a planting medium, has many attributes to recommend it. The...

READ MORE

Non-Monsanto – Equivalent To Roundup

Q: Is there a non-Monsanto equivalent to Roundup? A: There are several alternatives to Monsanto-made Roundup. Remember that glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup, is no longer patented by Monsanto and is manufactured or sold by several companies. You could...

READ MORE

Earthstar Fungi – Can It Be Removed?

Q: We have a few clusters of earthstar fungi under our oak tree. Are they something we should remove? Some of them are the size of cantaloupes. A: There’s not much you can do permanently. Earthstar is just the fruiting...

READ MORE

Erosion – Good Plants For Ground Cover

Q: We are clearing some property and need to control erosion. What would be a good ground cover that the deer and wildlife would benefit from? A: There are several plants that deer and other animals find attractive that are...

READ MORE

Oats – Growing In Pots?

Q: I saw a picture online of a wreath made from oat stems and seedheads. Can I grow oats in big pots? A: It should be no problem. It’s best to plant the seed in September, but there is still...

READ MORE

Hydrangea – Rooting During Winter

Q: My husband said that you mentioned on radio the possibility of rooting hydrangea plants in the winter. Was he kidding? A: Many and varied are the methods folks use to propagate hydrangea. One gardener says she takes twelve inch...

READ MORE

Daffodils – Popping Up During Winter!

Q: I noticed today that my daffodils are beginning to pop up. Is there anything I should do? A: Many are the anguished cries when gardeners notice that bulb foliage has emerged in early winter. The truth of the matter...

READ MORE

Stink Bugs – On Fruit Trees

Q: I have noticed a huge explosion in the population of stink bugs. I was assuming the cold weather would drive them away. How are they expanding so fast and are they going to be a nuisance? A: Like other...

READ MORE

Leyland Cypress – Re-establishing Roots

Q: Our six-year-old Leyland cypress, fifteen feet tall, blew over in a drenching rain and subsequent wind. Can it be uprighted and staked? Or is it a goner? A: It can be pulled back into place but it will need...

READ MORE

American Beech – Places To Find One

Q: My wife and I love the golden leaves of American beech. We want to plant one in our yard. We have had no success finding the tree at any local nurseries. A: Jim Rogers at Nearly Native Nursery in...

READ MORE

Soil – Tilling For Compost

Q: I would like to add some compost from the Athens/Clarke County landfill to my vegetable gardens this winter. Should I turn the soil before or after adding the compost? A: I think it would be better to till it...

READ MORE

Lorapetalums – Best Time To Prune

Q: Is it too late to prune my lorapetalums? A: The rule of thumb is to prune spring-flowering shrubs right after they bloom. If you prune loropetalums now, you’ll be cutting off all the buds that explode in pink profusion...

READ MORE

Whiteflies – On Tomatoes

Q: For the past three summers I have had a problem with whiteflies in my garden. I first notice them on the underside of leaves on my tomatoes. Before the summer is over, they have attacked any other plant that...

READ MORE

Identification – Books For Shrubs and Vines

Q: I’m looking for definitive books for identifying shrubs and vines, We have many identification books but none of them seem to have everything: color pictures, index by color, leaf shape, etc. I already have the shrub book by George...

READ MORE

Photinias – Down Sizing

Q: I have thirty-year-old red tip photinias that are twenty five feet tall. I’d like to “down size” them. Am I correct that this should be done only in early spring prior to new growth? And is it permissible to...

READ MORE

Winter Jasmine – Basic History

Q: I have an island of winter jasmine that blooms every year from December through February. I wonder why it flowers in the dead of winter if the primary purpose of showy flowers is to attract insects for pollination. A:...

READ MORE

Oak – No Acorns This Year

Q: There is a massive oak in my neighbor’s yard. Typically it drops huge numbers of acorns in our yard, but this year: nothing. Is that a sign of its health (or lack thereof)? A: If the oak had lots...

READ MORE