Gardening Q and A

Tulip Trees – Nasty Excretions

Q: Our deck is in the shade of a big tulip tree. This past week this tree as been raining down large splats of something all over the deck. We think it might be scale insects that suck the juice...

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Marigolds – Nematode Prevention

Q: French marigolds have been shown to control root knot nematodes in small areas. Marigold root extract is available from China. Have any studies been done using it for nematode control ? A: In my view, the research is inconclusive....

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Crepemyrtle – Treating Ambrosia Beetles

Q: I have found evidence of Asian ambrosia beetles on my crepe myrtle. I have read that I should destroy the tree. A: The damage done by this insect depends on how many of the beetles bored holes into your...

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Confederate Jasmine – Surviving Winter?

Q: Each year my Confederate jasmine dies back a bit and I prune it and it comes back just fine. It didn’t survive this winter. Is there a tougher vine that we could put where this one is? A: Despite...

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Vegetables – Good Row Spacing

Q: For the first time in thirty years, I’m planting a vegetable garden. I’m excited! How far apart should my rows be? A: I think thirty inches is the minimum but I like a thirty-six inch spacing so I can...

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Chinese Snowball – White Flowered Shrubs

Q: What are these enormous white-flowered hydrangea shrubs I see around town? They must be ten feet tall! A: Since it is early May, I’ll bet you are seeing Chinese snowball viburnum, not one of the white-flowered hydrangeas. It’s an...

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Carpenter Ants – Control And Removal

Q: How do I control carpenter ants? I see them wandering around in my kitchen. A: Carpenter ants can have nests inside or outside the home. Usually the dwellings are in moisture-damaged wood around chimneys and skylights, under bathtubs, behind...

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Insect Pests – Do They Serve A Purpose?

Q: What possible purpose do hornets, wasps, fleas, and mosquitos serve? A: Retired Fernbank naturalist David Funderburk says it’s all about “pollination, predation, and parasitism”. Hornets and wasps pollinate flowers and eat aphids, caterpillars and other landscape pests. Without wasps,...

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Basil – Growing Your Own

Q: My husband and I love to have fresh herbs. But when I buy fresh basil plants in the grocery they do not create enough new leaves to enjoy for any length of time. Can you plant enough seeds, or...

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Ant Bait – Make Your Own

Q: You mentioned on radio an ant bait using jelly, peanut butter, and boric acid. I would like to try it. A: You can make your own ant bait by mixing four tablespoons of peanut butter, six tablespoons of jelly...

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Fertilizer – Finding What You Need

Q: My UGA soil test report wants me to apply 15-0-15 for spring green up and 34-0-0 in summer. I can’t find either one for sale. A: I visited a local big box store and a prominent garden center last...

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Dogwood – Not Blooming

Q: I purchased a small dogwood during the Dogwood Festival five years ago. The tree is quite healthy and has tripled in size. But it has never bloomed, not even put out a single bud. A: “Making” a plant bloom...

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Organic Garden – Finding Plants and Seeds

Q: I am planting my first organic garden. I am having trouble finding organic or non- GMO plants and seeds. A: Farmer D Organics (farmerd.com) sells organically grown plants as does The Wylde Center(wyldecenter.org) in Decatur. Many of the small...

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Weeds – Why Get Rid Of Them?

Q:After many years of battling weeds it occurred to me that we should ask why are we doing this. Spending all this money, time, and poison to kill plants because they look different than grass is crazy! Getting rid of...

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Bermuda Sod – Applying Weedkiller

Q: My bermuda sod was put down in late December. The grass has not started to green up but several different weed have appeared. Is there a waiting period before herbicide can be applied? A: New grass is very sensitive...

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Bermuda – Replaced By Moss

Q: Moss is overtaking my bermuda lawn. What are quick ways to get rid of it so that it doesn’t choke our the bermuda? A: Moss doesn’t choke out grass, it just grows where grass can’t thrive. You probably have...

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Blueberry – Proper Soil Preparation

Q: How should I prepare my soil for blueberry plants. It is sandy not clay. A: The key is to make the blueberry location completely hospitable. For each plant, thoroughly till a cubic foot of Canadian peat moss into an...

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American Holly – Losing Leaves

Q: A few weekends ago I hiked five miles to the Len Foote Hike Inn at Amicalola Falls. Along the trail I noticed lots of American holly trees were losing their leaves. A: Despite being thought of as evergreen, American...

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