Gardening Q and A

Alternatives – Purple Fountain Grass

Q: I read that the purple fountain grass I planted last year will not come back this spring because it freezes in winter. I really like the way it looks but can’t afford to plant it every year. Is there...

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Water Oak – Protecting Damage

Q: A vehicle struck a water oak tree in our yard yesterday. There are several deep cuts in the bark Is there anything we should do to the tree to make sure it survives? A: Use a razor knife to...

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Onions – Cutting Off The Flowers?

Q: I started some onions from seed this fall. They are Red Delicious Hybrid from Burpee. They are doing well, however I now see them beginning to form flowers. Should I cut off the flowers at the bottom of the...

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Plants – Bringing in to Georgia

Q: I’m moving from New Mexico to Alpharetta in a few weeks and just received a beautiful Goldfinger cinquefoil plant as a gift. Am I allowed to bring it in the state? A: We are all excited to hear of...

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Forsythia – Pruning Tips

Q: I have a large happy forsythia. It is probably ten feet across but I would like to prune it. Any recommendation on when and how? A: Now is the perfect time. The plant will have plenty of time to...

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Mexican Heather – Will The Soil Drain Enough?

Q: I bought several pots of Mexican heather but I’m afraid the soil may not drain well enough where I plan to put them. I read on your website to add “organic soil conditioner” but I don’t know what that...

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Fescue – Keeping It Alive Over Summer

Q: How do I keep a fescue lawn alive during the summer if I seeded in April? I tilled the soil beforehand and added topsoil, lime, starter fertilizer. A: You’re off to a good start by having tilled before planting....

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Milorganite – In Place Of 10-10-10

Q: Can I use Milorganite in the place of 10-10-10 on vegetables? We have a good sized garden and I lightly strowed Milorganite last year to keep deer away. A: Yes, Milorganite (www.milorganite.com) can be used to supply nutrients to...

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Porterweed – Growing In Atlanta

Q: Can I grow porterweed in metro Atlanta? I saw some in the butterfly house at Callaway Gardens and I just fell in love with it! A: Porterweed, Stachytarpheta jamaicensis, is an excellent butterfly attractor. The blue flowers bring hungry...

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Geraniums – Planting In Pots vs. Ground

Q: Geraniums seem to always be grown in pots. Can you plant them in the ground in Atlanta or will they do better in pots? A: Geraniums grow fine in flower beds. I think they look best when placed to...

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Blood Meal – Not Dissolving In Water

Q: I ordered a bag of a blood meal online. It is very dark small granules. I tried to dissolve it in water. After a week, the stuff sits on the bottom of the glass, unaffected. Is this how blood...

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Chipmunks – Protected By Federal Law?

Q: I read where you said that chipmunks are protected by state law. A local landscaper disagrees. What’s the real answer on this? A: The Official Code of Georgia says “Except as otherwise provided by law, rule, or regulation, it...

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Vines – Going Down Your Wall

Q: We recently bought a house with two huge brick retaining walls on either side of the pool deck. Each one is twelve feet high and fifty feet long. Is there a vine that will trail down the walls? A:...

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Fertilizer – Storage And Subsequent Application

Q: I have been storing fertilizer in a galvanized garbage can with a lid in the garage. Is this safe? A: If you are worried about explosive potential, I very much doubt homeowner fertilizers would blow up. Open containers of...

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Inchworms – Getting Rid Of Them

Q: I’ve been battling inch worms in my Japanese maple for five years. They decimate the leaves and get all over everyone when they come up the walkway. Is there anything that can be sprayed to control them? A: Inchworms,...

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Bluegrass – Removing Now Or Pre-Emergent Later?

Q: I have annual bluegrass in my zoysia lawn. Will it do any good to dig up these plants? A: They have already dropped thousands of seeds. It’s best to wait until mid-September and control with a pre-emergent. Remember that...

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Pansies – How Long Will They Last?

Q: I have been enjoying my pansies and violas during the winter. How long will they continue to bloom? I hate to replace them for summer annuals if I can keep them blooming through summer. A: Heat will eventually be...

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Caladium – Winter Care and Storage

Q: I’m trying to simplify things as much as possible and I love caladiums. This past winter I left the bulbs planted in a container in my basement but they rotted. Anything else I can try? A: You’re right that...

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