Gardening Q and A

GG Gerbing azalea – Sport

Q: I have three large-leaved azaleas in my garden. The other day, I noticed two perfect lavender-colored (Formosa)blossoms on an otherwise all-white (G.G. Gerbing) plant. How unusual is this? A: It’s not unusual if you understand the origin of ‘Mrs....

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Hydrangeas – Coloring With Epsom Salt

Q: I’ve been thinking about the notion of applying Epsom salts to hydrangeas to enhance the blue color. Since I have an old box of Epsom salts, I would like to try this, but the word “salt” sent up a...

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Oak Sower Gall

Q: We found a fuzzy, gall-like thing on an oak at Cochran Mill Nature Center. It was white with brownish-red spots. Upon breaking it open, it has seeds inside and appears to have pierced the bark of the tree branch...

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Bridge – Building at Home

Q: I am making a small wood bridge to go over a creek. Is there a book that you know of that tells how to build a bridge? A: Here are some ideas off the Web: Petes Bridge Garden Bridge...

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Gall Insect – on Turfgrass

Q: I’ve found what looks like little cotton balls in my turf. The mass is the same size as spittlebugs but the material is like cotton. Does not appear to be damaging the turf. Any ideas? A: Extension agent Todd...

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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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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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Blackbird – Dropping Feces in Pool

Q: We are having problems with black birds defecating in our swimming pool and do not know how to resolve this. We watch them fly over the pool and drop feces. Is there anything we can put in the pool...

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African violets – Online resources

Q: I am trying to find out what local retailer or online nursery retailer offers SEVERAL varieties of African violets. Online websites offer descriptions of many types of African violets, some with different foliage, etc. I would like to try...

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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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Vegetable garden – Using Pre-emergent

Q: Could you please tell me what I can put in my vegetable garden before I till the soil to keep from having weeds and grasses take over this year? I try to plant a nice vegetable garden each spring,...

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