Gardening Q and A

Spring Starflower – Identifying

Q: I discovered a flower growing in the back yard of my home. I’d like to plant more, but I don’t know what it is. The leaves appear first in March followed by small white flowers with a touch of...

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Evergreens – Identifying

Q: I’ve found an unusual group of young trees at my back property line (in the woods). The bark is fairly smooth. It is an evergreen. The leaves look to be sort of a mixture between a Franklinia alatamaha and...

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Kudzu – Other Uses

Q: As a chemist and a plant lover, you seem to be the best person to answer this question. What’s the hold up on using kudzu to power cars? Think how many problems this would solve: no pollution, land under...

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Water Oaks – For Shade

Q: I am interested in planting some dogwood trees (for beauty) and some water oaks (for shade) in my yard. Are these good choices? When would be the best time to plant these trees? A: Theresa Schrum replies: “Both the...

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Tree – Climbing with Spikes

Q: I work for a tree maintenance company. Recently, we worked in a landscape a few weeks after the homeowner had had a television receiver installed up in one of his pine trees. The installer had evidently used spikes to...

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Plants – for Creek Bank

Q: Our property abuts Nancy Creek and when it floods the sandy creek bank (about 8 ft high) erodes and simply washes down stream. We prefer to plant something that has deep enough roots to stay when the floods come....

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Pesticides – Disposal

Q: I need to clean out a storage room on my carport that has many old containers of weed killer, bug spray and fertilizer. What is the safest way to dispose of them? A: The easiest way is to soak...

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Venus Flytrap – Care

Q: I was at the new Children’s Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden last weekend and wandered past the bog exhibit. Kids there were putting their fingers into the Venus Fly Traps to make them close. This made me wonder:...

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Slime Mold – On Wood

Q: We found on our deck banister a brightly-colored fungus. It is about 3/8-inch high. Are you able to identify it? A: Wow….very cool! It’s a myxomycete…one of the thousands of kinds of slime molds. Your example is basically a...

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Flowering Cherry – Sudden Death

Q: We came home last week from a week of vacation and found one of our cherry trees like this. It has since progressed to the entire tree – most of the leaves are completely brown. What is causing this?...

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Leaf Spot – On Poplar, Maple, Sweetgum

Q: I have a sweetgum tree in my back yard that appears to be dying. The leaves have all turned color as though it was fall and they have black spots on them. What is this? A: I’ve seen similar...

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Gardening Memorials

Q: Can you suggest small gardening charities that accept donations in memory of people? Some state organizations aren’t appropriate because donations have to begin at such a large amount. A: I am positive that any small garden organization would be...

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Yard of the Month – Criteria

Q: Our Neighborhood Asssociation would like to begin awarding a Yard of the Month. We need help with some criteria for judging each property in order to be fair. A: My friend J. D. sent this document his group uses:...

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Clerodendron – Harlequin Glorybower

Q: I have two small trees that my father gave me. He told me that they were Butterfly Trees. I would like to know the scientific name as well as the common name for them. The blooms are white and...

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Native Evergreens – For creek banks

Q: I know of deciduous plants for creek banks – but want to know some evergreen ones that will hold the soil during heavy rains when the water rises. Would nandina be good for this? A: Theresa Schrum replies: “Most...

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Climbing Hydrangea – Not blooming

Q: I planted a climbing hydrangea in the spring of 2001. The plant is doing well, almost covering one wall. Yet it still has not produced a flower. It gets sun about three hours a day. Anything I can do...

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Nitrogen – Applying too Much

Q: I have about 3200 square feet of grass, and I have made a terrible mistake. I have put down 4 bags of nitrogen (34-0-0) . I must have misunderstood the guy because he said nitrogen would not burn as...

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Rat-tailed Maggot

Q: I found the weirdest things I’ve ever seen in an old log-filled trash can that had rainwater in it. When I poured out the water there were several white grub-like things that each had a long tail. They wiggled...

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