Gardening Q and A

Cryptomeria “Flowers” – Identification

Q: Can you tell me what these gray tips on my cryptomeria mean? Are they symptoms of disease? A: The gray things are the “male” flowers, which once gave pollen to the round brown cones. The gray ones are from...

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Bermudagrass Mite – Identification

Q: Doing my research, I think this is bermuda mite damage. Am I correct? A: You are exactly correct! Bermudagrass mites attack the ends of bermudagrass stems and cause the classic brooming you see. The good news is that good...

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Japanese Knotweed (Polygonum) – Identification

Q: We have had this vine pop up all over the place on the side of our house. Any idea if it’s friend or foe? A: FOE! Your plant is Japanese knotweed, Polygonum compactum, and it will quickly spread to...

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Moss Lawn – Pre-emergent Use

Q: After this year’s rains, we have lovely moss lawn. Can you recommend a pre-emergent we could use that would be unfriendly to potential weed growth but not harm the moss? A: Pre-emergents are chemicals that prevent seeds from germinating....

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Seedless Raspberry – Finding

Q: I have searched the internet looking for a variety of raspberry plant that is seedless. Does such a variety exist? A: There are dozens of raspberry varieties on the market. Most are hybrids of the hundreds of members of...

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Crabapple – Pruning Above Trunk Damage

Q: My crabapple tree has a big rotten hole in the trunk where a limb broke off. The tree is about 2″ DBH and about 15-20 feet tall. Should we go ahead and cut the tree just below the hole?...

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Orchid – Leaves on Stem (Keiki)

Q: Is my orchid having a baby or what? A: You have a keiki! This is a Hawaiian word meaning “child” or “baby”. Yours isn’t quite old enough to remove from the mother orchid. Keep your plant in bright diffuse...

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Fox – Control

Q: Over the past couple of years, foxes have multiplied and are now residing all over our neighborhood: under porches, under sheds, etc.. We find carcasses of their prey in our yard continually. What to do? A: Like coyotes, foxes...

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Trumpet Vine – Madame Rosy

Q: We have an arbor that is eight feet tall and sixteen feet long. We want a perennial vine with bright flowers that will attract hummingbirds and that will bloom a long time. Would a Madame Rosy trumpet creeper be...

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Blackberry vs Dewberry

Q: What is the difference between a blackberry and a dewberry? A: They are both members of the Rubus genus, along with hundreds of other species. Dewberry is a trailing vine, not a high arching shrub like blackberry. Gardeners have...

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Cotton Seed Meal – Contaminated With Pesticides or GMO

Q: You recently wrote about using ground cotton seed as an organic fertilizer. But isn’t cotton one of the most heavily pesticide-ridden crops in the USA? A: It’s true that conventional cotton was once grown using high amounts of pesticides....

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Agave – Growing in Atlanta

Q: This is my pitiful blue agave. Most of the exterior leaves are dead. This started after the summer monsoons. I cleaned off the roots (black bugs in there), removed wet soil, replaced with sand. Now, it’s in plant ICU....

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Tomatoes – Verti-Gro System

Q: I saw this hydroponic tomato growing system somewhere in lower Alabama. Can you tell me more about it? A: It’s a Verti-Gro system. It uses stackable Styrofoam pots to hold plants and growing media. The system allows lots of...

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Fairy Ring – In Centipede Lawn

Q: I have a perfectly circled ring of dead centipede grass around my oak tree. I have another oak tree about 50’ from this one that doesn’t have this problem. The ring seems to grow larger every year as the...

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Mushrooms – Growing in Potting Soil

Q: I was surprised to see this mushroom growing in a rather unusual place. A: Mushrooms can grow anywhere there is organic matter to decompose: in this case your potting soil is great food for a fungus. The happy fungus...

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Pomegranate – Pruning Into a Tree

Q: I planted a pomegranate a couple of years ago. It is now six feet tall. I would like to get it to grow up and be more of a tree rather than a bush. A: Unpruned, a pomegranate will...

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Microclover – Growing in Georgia

Q: Please tell me your knowledge of microclover alone or with fescue as a turf-type ground cover in Atlanta. We have a sunny yard with a moderate slope facing north. It gets little foot traffic but neither bermuda nor fescue...

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Ruby Slippers Hydrangea – Dividing

Q: I planted two Ruby Slipper hydrangeas in one pot when they were small. They grew a whole lot faster than I had anticipated. I need to separate them but they are close together and I am afraid of damaging...

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