Gardening Q and A

Pecan Phylloxera

Q: We have an enormous old pecan tree on our property. While planting some vegetables in mid-summer, we noticed some horrible looking leaves on the ground. We aren’t sure if it’s scab or something worse. Our main concern is if...

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Crapemyrtle – Roundup Damage

Q: OK, lets be up front about this, I did a stupid thing. I have made just about every mistake in the gardeners manual, but I make them only once. I forgot to purge my lawn tractor sprayer of Roundup...

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Cottony Maple Scale

Q: I have what I think is a fungus on the underside of my red maple. It looks like white puffs of rice with a black spot on one side of the puff. The fungus is on almost every leaf....

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Rabbit – Eating Ornamental Sweet Potato

Q: I planted several ornamental sweet potatoes in planters around my house. Immediately, something started gnawing them to the bare stems. I thought it was a chipmunk. Today I caught the actual muncher with a mouth full! A: CAUGHT IN...

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Leafcutter Bee – In Branch

Q: I’ve never seen anything like this. A small branch, about as thick as a man’s finger, fell from our mature oak tree. When my husband went to pick it up, he saw a small pile of sawdust at the...

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Asian Ambrosia Beetle – On Crapemyrtle

Q: I have toothpicks of sawdust coming out of the trunk of one of my crapemyrtles. The other one looks OK but this one can’t put out much new growth. A: I feel sure you have an infestation of Asian...

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Rustic Sphinx Moth

Q: I found a caterpillar hanging upside down on my lantana. Can you please tell me what kind it is and what those white things are attached to its back? A: It looks like Rustic sphinx moth caterpillar. The moth...

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Maple – Bark Splits

Q: Nine years ago I planted 4 red maples . I am concerned about two of the trees. Their bark has long cracks in it. Why? A: My initial answer is “That’s just what they do sometimes!” Notice how the...

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Crapemyrtle – Sprouts in Lawn

Q: Last year I had a very old crepe myrtle tree removed. The stump was removed but now the plant is coming up everywhere. Many of these sprouts are coming from various roots left from the removal. Other than digging...

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Squirrel – Chewing on Deck

Q: This past June we helped my son and his wife refinish their deck with Olympic water base stain. Since then the squirrels are chewing the edges of the boards. She has witnessed a squirrel tearing a stick off the...

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Hercules Beetle Grub

Q: I’ve seen grubs in my yard from time to time, but yesterday, I ran across a big one. This rascal has to be almost 4″ long when fully stretched out! Normally, grubs are about 3/4″, right? What is it...

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Naranjilla – Identification

Q: I took this picture at the North Carolina State Fair horticulture exhibit last fall. I’m curious what it is. It was a decent sized shrub – about 3 feet in height with a wider diameter. A: The plant  is one...

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Jerusalem Cherry – Identification

Q: This shrub “volunteered” at the base of a large sweetgum two years ago. I have never seen anything like it. It has small white flowers in the spring and the fruit is as shown; a bright, tomato red, sphere...

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Tomato Hornworm – Droppings

Q: My wife has a couple of tomato plants. This evening she noticed some “things” on a leaf of the plant. Could you please take a look and give us any information you might have about them? A: Somewhere on...

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Japanese Beetles – Organic Repellent?

Q: I contacted you regarding the use of various flowers, herbs, and horticultural oil as a mixture to get rid of Japanese Beetles. You wanted me to let you know how it worked. I steeped (like tea) Convolvulus leaves (and...

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Milkweed Bugs

Q: Last evening I noticed my Mexican butterfly flower’s seed pods were covered up in these little orange bugs that I have not seen before. They are orange with two black spots on their backs about where their shoulders would...

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Rabbits – Repelled with Milorganite

Q: On your radio show a caller asked for something to discourage rabbits from munching on their garden. Milorganite seems to work for me. Each spring, rabbits would make a meal out of the new, tender blades of mondo grass...

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Red Hot Poker – Identification

Q: My Mother calls the flower I’m sending you “Bread and Butter”. She could not remember the actual name so I researched it on the Internet and found that gladiolus are referred to as ‘Bread and Butter’. My sister took...

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