Gardening Q and A

Christmas Ferns – Where To Buy Them?

Q: I saw a TV show about Christmas ferns. Where can a person buy them? A: My friends at the Georgia Perimeter College Native Plant Garden (gpcnativegarden.org) in south DeKalb county regularly conduct fern sales. In addition, they have Lunch...

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Amaryllis – How To Move Bulbs?

Q: I have a dozen beautiful red amaryllis bulbs planted outdoors. They die back in the winter, sprout up in the late spring, and bloom during the summer. How should we move the bulbs? A: I assume you have hardy...

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Squirrels – Harming My Tree!

Q: Squirrels are eating the leaf clusters out of my tree, dropping them to the ground, grabbing another cluster to eat, and on and on. The tree is beginning to have stripped branches from this, not to mention that I...

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Mahonia – Getting Rid Of It

Q: In the last few years, mahonia has taken over our woods. What is the best way to get rid of it, and is there any way of keeping it from spreading so quickly? A: You need long-handled loppers, leather...

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Fescue – Chicken Litter Compost?

Q: I have a fescue lawn. I want to use composted chicken litter as a supplement to fertilizer to drive root growth. What is the best time to apply the litter? How often? A: This is a situation where you’ll...

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Pansies – Nitrate Fertilizer Use?

Q: I’ve heard that nitrate fertilizer is good for pansies in winter. I used Miracle Gro at planting but am hunting nitrate fertilizer. A: The only product I’m aware of is Osmocote 19-6-12 slow release fertilizer. It contains 9% nitrate...

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Spinosad – Not for Caterpillars on Collards

Q: A local nursery suggested spinosad to control caterpillars on collards. When I read the label, it said “In the state of Georgia, do not apply this product to Collards, Kale, Mustard Greens, Spinach, etc…” Can you shed some light...

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Figs – Preventing Sourness

Q: For years I have had wonderful crops of figs. Some years in August they have turned sour and fuzzy on the tree, a total loss.. Is there anything I can do to prevent this? A: Souring usually happens when...

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Vegetables – Important First Steps

Q: I would like to start a vegetable garden in my back yard this spring. What will be the most important first step to this? A: The most important first step is to make sure your plants will grow in...

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Shrubbery – Substitute For Schip Laurel

Q: I have decided that Schip laurel shrubbery would fit in perfectly with my house but haven’t been able to locate any after calling nurseries in my area. A: Schip laurel is an excellent foundation shrub. I don’t know why...

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Moles – Castor Oil As Repellent?

Q: I want to try castor oil on my fescue lawn to evict my little mole friends. Will this harm my grass or shrubs? A: There should be no distress to plants but I don’t think castor oil will repel...

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Corn Earworm – Control

Q: Our corn will soon be silking. How do I keep keep earworms out? A: Earworm caterpillars come from eggs laid by a moth at the first appearance of corn silks. Some gardeners try to physically exclude them by placing...

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Vegetable Gardening – On Septic Drainfield

Q: What is your recommendation for growing vegetables over a septic leach field? A: Although we commonly fertilize gardens with animal manure, the potential for vegetables to come in contact with human waste makes some folks queasy. That said, a...

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Kudzu – Not A Great Idea

Q: You might think I am crazy but I am planning on planting kudzu from seed for erosion control. I have a vacation home in Mexico with a very steep hillside that causes many erosion problems. A: Having seen the...

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Stepping Stones – Good Distance Placement

Q: I am constructing a twenty foot walkway using sixteen-inch square stepping stones. How far apart should the stones be placed? A: A good spacing is twenty four inches between centers. This will fit most folks’ gait but taller and...

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Roots – Growing How Deep?

Q: A few months back I heard you say that no trees have root systems exceeding eighteen inches in depth. I have heard opposing information that says that our big hardwoods have root systems measured in meters, not inches. Did...

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Cryptomeria – Planting Them

Q: I want to plant thirteen cryptomeria for privacy and a sound barrier. I was told this time of year is best for water usage. A: This is a great time to plant all shrubs and trees! Just remember that...

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Crapemyrtle – Planting From Seeds

Q: I’ve seen an online ad for crape myrtle seeds. What is the success rate when planting them? A: There’s no problem with planting the crapemyrtle seeds but you won’t be able to know what color you have until they...

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