Gardening Q and A

Planting A Haas Avocado Tree

Q: We have successfully grown Meyer lemons and satsuma oranges on the south side of our home. We want to plant a Haas avocado tree. What are your thoughts? A: ‘Hass’ avocado has a bit more cold tolerance than some...

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My Indoor Corn Plant Doesn’t Look Healthy

Q: I have an old indoor corn plant that won’t die but doesn’t look healthy. I’ve tried various things but I’m not sure how to save it.  A: My first instinct would be to toss it, but I know houseplants...

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Eliminating Snakes From Wooded Area

Q: How effective are mothballs and sulfur for keeping snakes from your property? A wooded area behind my home is in the process of being developed. How can I keep snakes from invading my area when construction starts? A: Jason...

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Pruning Azaleas

Q: I know when and how to prune old-fashioned azaleas but I don’t know how to prune the kind that also bloom in the fall. Any tips?  A: Reblooming azaleas (Encore, Bloom-a-Thon, etc.) are hybrid plants. They incorporate several different...

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Is It Ok To leave Seedlings Outside?

Q: I started a lot of seeds for my garden. I have them planted in small trays. I’m running low on space inside so is it ok to leave them outside for the night? A: I would not leave seedlings...

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Virginia Buttonweed Overwhelming Our Centipede Lawn

Q: We have Virginia buttonweed overwhelming our centipede lawn. We re-seeded the lawn last year. A: Virginia buttonweed is extremely tough to control. It does not respond to most weed killers. It is a perennial plant and will resprout from...

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Do You Need To Prune The Leaves Of Hibiscus Plants?

Q: I have three hibiscus plants. They have very large red flowers. Do you prune them back to the ground or will I get new growth from the old stems?  A: It sounds like you probably have Hibiscus moscheutos, sometimes...

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Best Time To Fertilize My Shrubs And Trees

Q: Can you tell me when the best time to fertilize my shrubs and trees would be?  A: The rule of thumb is to do it during or just before vigorous growth starts. So now is a great time to...

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Is The Yuca Root The Same As The Ornamental Yucca?

Q: When I eat at Hispanic restaurants, they serve yuca root. I this the same as ornamental yucca?  A: They are not the same, although I sometimes see “yucca” on restaurant menus. Yuca (cassava), Manihot esculenta, is a tropical plant...

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Can I Use Trifuralin As A Weed Controller On Zoysia?

Q: Can I use trifuralin as a pre-emergent weed controller on zoysia? I bought it before I realized it is intended for vegetable gardens.  A: Congratulations for reading the label! University turf expert Clint Waltz says in the past trifluralin...

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The “Ellen White Method” For Planting Trees In Big Holes

Q: What are your thoughts on the “Ellen White Method” for planting trees in a big hole?  A: I had never heard of this, so I did a quick online search. One of the first links I found mentioned changing...

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Squirrel Problem

Q: I have a problem with squirrels digging in my pots. I can’t keep anything growing in them since they dig up everything.  A: One of my gardening friends collects sweetgum balls and uses them to mulch around summer annuals...

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After My Daffodils Are Spent, Can I Cut The Existing Foliage?

Q: After my daffodils are spent, can I cut the existing foliage? A: You can cut off the stem that has a flower on it but don’t remove the other green leaves. They will spend the time between now and...

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Is The AJC Biodegradable/Safe To Use In Gardening?

Q: I purchase the AJC every Sunday and am interested in using it in more ways than one. Does the AJC print using soy-based inks? Is the newspaper biodegradable and safe to use in gardening? A: Yes, the newspaper is...

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Why Are My Tomato’s Roots Shallow?

Q: I started a drip irrigation system last year in my first vegetable garden. I watered the tomatoes two gallons a day, seven days a week. When I pulled my plants up at the end of summer, I noticed the...

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Why Did People Whitewash The Trunks Of Crapemyrtle?

Q: When I was growing up people whitewashed the trunks of crapemyrtle and other trees. Was this meant to aid the tree, or was it just cosmetic? A: Farmers sometimes paint young tree trunks white to prevent sunscald or cold...

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How Do Flowering Quince Do So Well In The Cold?

Q: What can you tell me about the climate where flowering quince originated? Mine was looking great before the severe cold and it came through fine, along with my camellia. How do they do so well in cold weather?  A:...

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How Long Can I Keep Grass Seed In My Shed?

Q: If I buy grass seed now, will the seed be good in October? I would keep it dry and off the floor in a shed.  A: Grass seed best retains its germination ability when it is stored in a...

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