Gardening Q and A

Gardening – Teaching to Middle School

Q: I have taught high school physics and chemistry for the last 5 years but this year I am teaching 7th grade science. Soon I’ll be teaching a unit on the plant kingdom. Do you have any ideas to stir...

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Japanese Maple – Sports

Q: I have this new growth in the top of my maple. The green leaves are on two stems, one of which is growing from the main trunk about twelve inches above ground level and another small branch is growing...

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Chinese Parasol Tree

Q: Can you tell me where I can go to identify this tree? A: Why go anywhere but here? Your tree is a Chinese parasol tree, Firmiana simplex. I’m sure you became curious about it due to its huge leaves....

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Japanese Beetle – Timing Insecticide Application

Q: I bought a product containing halofenozide to kill white grubs , hoping it will reduce our infestation of Japanese beetles. The instructions for application say that timing of the application is important, but then says to contact your local...

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Bahia – Remove from Centipedegrass

Q: I have a centipedegrass lawn with some bahiagrass mixed in. What can I apply that will handle the bahiagrass and leave the centipedegrass? A: The chemical imazaquin (Image ) should work. Its label states: “IMAGE Herbicide is a postemergent,...

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Acetic Acid – Use as Herbicide

Q: I have a dachshund who – even though we kept him away from the area for 24 hours – wheezed and got red eyes when we used Roundup the last time. Consequently, we stopped using it and now have...

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Asparagus Fern

Q: I just purchased an asparagus fern and the roots have big bumps on them. Are these root galls or nematodes? Is this bad? A: The swollen parts are normal – just root nodules where water is stored. If you...

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Slime Mold – In Mulch

Q: This fungus keeps popping up in my beds. It occurred once last year and three times this year. I have a feeling it has to do with the mulch. Last year’s mulch was bought in one bulk load and...

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Zoysiagrass – Late to Green Up

Q: Why is zoysiagrass so late to green up each year? Our lawn looks like it isn’t coming in well.   A: Yes – in some years zoysiagrass won’t be completely green until June. It might be caused by several...

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Olive Tree – Growing

Q:  I would like to try to grow a few olive trees in Gainesville. Am I setting myself up for failure? I am thinking of keeping them in large pots to give them very sandy soil. A: I am always...

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Fothergilla – Gall on Leaves

Q: I have about a dozen fothergilla bushes. I just noticed that one of them has strange cone-like shapes growing out of the leaves! None of the others have anything like this. What in the world is this? A: Fothergilla...

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Corn – Poor Pollination

Q: There doesn’t seem to be a good supply of bees this year. How will this affect the development of my corn? A: It won’t hurt your corn crop at all. Corn pollen is distributed by wind. Rainy weather, like...

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Mallow – Identification

Q: Do you have any idea what this plant in my garden is? A: It’s common mallow, Malva sylvestris. A look at the flowers and leaves reminds me that it is kin to the much-larger hollyhock. Mallow has striking flowers,...

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Squash Bug – Control

Q: Do you have any suggestions for controlling squash bugs, not squash vine borers, on yellow squash? A: Adult squash bugs are a bit more than a half-inch long and a quarter-inch wide. They are dark brown, sometimes mottled with...

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Rose Mosaic Virus

Q: Last year I purchased a climbing ‘Constance Spry’ rose which really grew quite large, over 15 feet, in one season. This year I have noticed that many of the leaves have yellow speckling and the very, very few flowers...

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Mosquito Fern – Control

Q: Do you know how to control mosquito fern, Azolla caroliniana? It has completely covered the surface of my backyard ornamental frog pond. I’ve used a net to skim off much of it, but it reproduces so quickly that it...

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Musk Thistle

Q: I have a beautiful weed growing in my yard. The base of the plant has been growing all winter. It has very sharp thorny leaves. In the last month it has grown at least four feet and has a...

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Peony Leaf Disease

Q: When I grew up in Michigan, my mother had peonies that bloomed without trouble. I dug up some of the roots and brought them to Georgia. I have been unsuccessful in getting them to bloom. They flourish in the...

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