Gardening Q and A

Do I Need To Treat Soil For Termites

Q: I had two dogwoods killed by termites. Do I need to treat the soil before planting new trees?  A: Termites don’t eat the living part of the tree, they can only digest the parts that are already dead. So...

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Using Native Soil To Plant Trees

Q: On the radio, you told a listener they should remove most of the soil the tree has around its roots before planting. You said use only native soil to fill around the roots.  A: You should get a prize...

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Too Late To Prune Winter Jasmine Plants?

Q: I need to prune my winter jasmine plants. Is it too late to prune now? A: It is too late in the season to prune if you want flowers next year. Winter jasmine blooms in January and the buds...

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Water And Emerald Green Arborvitae

Q: At the beginning of May, I had ten Emerald Green arborvitae planted by a local landscaper. Four of them died, one after another, over a three month period. I was told I did not water enough. Russ Jones, Marietta...

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Repurposing Pine Pellets

Q: I have recently switched my cats from clumping clay litter to pine pellets. How can I repurpose the pellets somehow in my yard? A: I don’t see a reason not to use the “enriched”pine pellets as mulch underneath your...

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Where To Find Lime Without Magnesium

Q: Any idea where I can find calcium carbonate (lime) without magnesium in it for my lawn? My soil tested above optimal for magnesium, so I don’t want to use regular lime.  A: Lime without magnesium will be hard to...

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My Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick Isn’t Surviving Here

Q: I had a gorgeous Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick when I lived on Long Island. But the one I planted here is barely holding on. I’m guessing it gets too much sun and heat.  A: I have a ten-foot-tall contorted...

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Where To Buy Mascarene Grass

Q: Where can I buy Mascarene grass (Zoysia tenuifolia)? I plan to create a Zen garden in my back yard with ferns, mosses and this beautiful grass.  A: I saw it growing near Ernest Hemingway’s Finca Vigia in Cuba. I...

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Vegetables Native To North America

Q: Are there any vegetables that are native to North America? A: The only two I could find are Jerusalem artichoke and tepary bean. Jerusalem artichoke is a type of sunflower with thick, edible roots. Patches of tall plants covered...

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Refreshing Soil Of Large Potted Shrubs

Q: I live in a condo with a large patio and have five large pots with two-foot-tall shrubs in them. What should I do about refreshing the soil? It would be hard to get them out without damaging the roots....

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Discoloration Of Japanese Maple Tree

Q: I have a healthy twenty-year-old Japanese maple tree. Every year the leaves have been purple but this year they are a bright green. How do I get the purple back?  A: see...

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Sour Green Crabapples: What Tree Are They From

Q: Back in my younger days we picked golf-ball-size green crab apples that were incredibility sour but tasted so good. What kind of trees were they?  A: A crabapple is defined as any apple whose mature fruit is less than...

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Is It Safe To Use Horse Manure In Large Garden

Q: Is it safe to use horse manure in large garden? I’m retiring and have plenty of land to plant vegetables to give to my neighbors. I will be getting the manure from a local stable.  A: I admire your...

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How To Dispose Of Liquid Weed Killer

Q: Are the disposal guidelines for putting liquid weed killer into kitty litter still correct? What about powdered and granular pesticides? A: Yes, if you have a liquid pesticide you can’t use or which doesn’t have a label, pour it...

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Goats And English Ivy

Q: My yard has been taken over by English ivy! What’s the good and bad about using goats to clear it out?  A: Goats are cute and you’ll never run out of stories to tell about the time they lived...

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When To Harvest Peanuts

Q: I grew a row of peanuts for the first time this year but I don’t know when to harvest them.  A: You need to combine three observations to reach the conclusion that your peanuts are ready to harvest. The...

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Saving My Azaleas From Sewer Work

Q: The county is going to repair the sewer line in my back yard soon. In the way are some seven-foot-tall azaleas. What’s the best way to save them?  A: Grab some buddies or hire a small landscaping crew and...

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Cuttings, Perlite, And Peat Moss

Q: I have rooted several cuttings from an oak leaf hydrangea in a mixture of perlite and peat moss. I’m not sure what to do next.  A: In a sheltered spot outdoors dig a trench six inches deep and a...

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