Gardening Q and A

American Beech – Places To Find One

Q: My wife and I love the golden leaves of American beech. We want to plant one in our yard. We have had no success finding the tree at any local nurseries. A: Jim Rogers at Nearly Native Nursery in...

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Soil – Tilling For Compost

Q: I would like to add some compost from the Athens/Clarke County landfill to my vegetable gardens this winter. Should I turn the soil before or after adding the compost? A: I think it would be better to till it...

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Lorapetalums – Best Time To Prune

Q: Is it too late to prune my lorapetalums? A: The rule of thumb is to prune spring-flowering shrubs right after they bloom. If you prune loropetalums now, you’ll be cutting off all the buds that explode in pink profusion...

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Whiteflies – On Tomatoes

Q: For the past three summers I have had a problem with whiteflies in my garden. I first notice them on the underside of leaves on my tomatoes. Before the summer is over, they have attacked any other plant that...

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Identification – Books For Shrubs and Vines

Q: I’m looking for definitive books for identifying shrubs and vines, We have many identification books but none of them seem to have everything: color pictures, index by color, leaf shape, etc. I already have the shrub book by George...

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Photinias – Down Sizing

Q: I have thirty-year-old red tip photinias that are twenty five feet tall. I’d like to “down size” them. Am I correct that this should be done only in early spring prior to new growth? And is it permissible to...

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Winter Jasmine – Basic History

Q: I have an island of winter jasmine that blooms every year from December through February. I wonder why it flowers in the dead of winter if the primary purpose of showy flowers is to attract insects for pollination. A:...

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Oak – No Acorns This Year

Q: There is a massive oak in my neighbor’s yard. Typically it drops huge numbers of acorns in our yard, but this year: nothing. Is that a sign of its health (or lack thereof)? A: If the oak had lots...

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Driveways – Determining Responsibility For Root Damage

Q: We have an awkward property lot line issue. Our subdivision in thirty years old. Most of the driveways have cracks and broken sections My neighbor believes that roots from a tree on my side of our lot line have...

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Worm Castings – Good Amount For Use?

Q: How much worm castings should I use? My garden soil always ends up returning to Georgia red clay. I want it to eventually become good planting soil. A: Worm castings are a great addition to soil but they don’t...

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Mycorrhizae – Possible Benefits For Tree Growth

Q: I was wondering if you had an opinion on mycorrhizae? I’m thinking of buying some to use when planting trees and other things. A: Mycorrhizae are beneficial soil fungi. They associate with plant roots and bring them moisture and...

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Strawberries – Basic Care And Maintenance

Q: I’m growing strawberries for the first time. What should I do to the plants for winter? A: Strawberries are very tolerant of cold weather. Most strawberries will keep a few green leaves in winter and these leaves need sunlight...

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Sunflower Seeds – Inhibiting Grass Growth

Q: For several years I had a bird feeder hanging over my St. Augustine grass. I used sunflower seed and I began to notice that the grass beneath the feeder had stopped growing. I now have an eight foot circle...

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Mulching – Grass Clippings From A Bermuda Lawn

Q: I need suggestions on how I can recycle the grass clippings from my large bermuda lawn. Each mowing produces about ten large bags of clippings. A: The very best option would be to mow a bit more often with...

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Clover – Chemical Eradication

Q: Is it possible to chemically eradicate clover in a bed of dwarf iris? A: My friend Theresa Schrum points out that irises are monocots (single-leafed plants) and therefore should be immune to 2,4-D, the primary ingredient in broadleaf (dicot)...

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Pecan Trees – Good Zinc Application

Q: Which is best for mature pecan trees, broadcasting zinc sulfate or spraying leaves with liquid zinc? A: It’s far better to spray the leaves. Pecans need sufficient levels of zinc in their leaves to produce good nuts. Zinc applied...

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Asparagus – Little Sprouts Growing!

Q: I planted asparagus this past spring and cut down the foliage a few weeks ago. The other day, I noticed that each plant has a few asparagus stalks coming up! A: The little sprouts came up because we haven’t...

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Roses – Using Rose Waste

Q: Last year, when I pruned my Knockout roses I clipped the stems into short sections and used them as mulch under the plant. What would be the best method to incorporate rose waste back into the garden? A: Since...

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