Gardening Q and A

A Plant To Avoid Erosion Of A Shady Slope?

Q: I have a steep slope in my backyard that is covered with English ivy. What’s the best ground cover I can plant instead to avoid erosion of the slope? It’s pretty shady. We back up to a park where...

READ MORE

Cherry Leaf – Finger Gall

Q: I have a tree in the back yard that has developed these strange bubbles on its leaves. The entire tree is covered along with the leaves wilting and dropping at a pretty steady rate. A: It is just finger...

READ MORE

Grape – Tumid Gall

Q: My grape vines are growing some weird thing. Can you identify? A: I think it is tumid gall. Generally does no damage to the grape. Cut it open to see what’s inside. Grape...

READ MORE

Blackberry – Stem Gall

Q: I found this on my blackberry plant and thought you might know what it is. Should I remove it? A: I think it is a stem gall caused by the egg laying accomplished by a midge insect. Galls typically...

READ MORE

Should I Put Sand Down Before Zoysia Installation?

Q: I am going to be installing zoysia sod soon. My lot is heavily shaded but I’m having my trees thinned to help with sunlight. The soil stays a little damp. Would it be good to put down 3″ –...

READ MORE

How To Keep Neighbors Bermuda Grass From My Fescue?

Q: How do I keep bermuda grass from my neighbor’s yard from spreading into my fecue?  A: If your neighbor has bermuda grass in their lawn, it is going to come into your lawn pretty quickly, particularly if they have...

READ MORE

Restore Bare Places From Empty Ant Hills

Q: How do you restore the bare places from fire ant hills that have been vacated with ant bait? A: Wait until early May when the soil is warm and drag a rake a couple times across each mound. Sprinkle...

READ MORE

What Is A Good Fertilizer For Our Deodar Cedar Tree?

Q: Can you recommend a good fertilizer for our lovely deodar cedar tree? A: If your tree is near another area that is regularly fertilized, such as the lawn or your flower beds, it doesn’t need fertilizing. It will get...

READ MORE

Banana Magnolia – No Fragrant Flower, Sparse, And Yellow Leaves

Q: We have a banana magnolia at the edge of our lot. For the last two years has been looking bad: no fragrant flowers, leaves are sparse, and some are yellow.  A: Banana magnolia, Magnolia figo, is one of the...

READ MORE

What Is A Dogwoods Life Expectancy?

Q: I have a dogwood tree that is about twenty years old. It did not bloom this year, but has green leaves. Has it reached its life expectancy? A: In perfect growing circumstances, a dogwood tree can last several decades....

READ MORE

Making A Raised Bed – Should I Kill The Grass There First?

Q: I would like to make a raised bed to plant perennials and annual flowers. The area has a lot of tree roots. My husband suggested using Roundup to kill the grass in the area before adding soil. A: You’ll...

READ MORE

Green Giant Arborvitae – How To Space Them?

Q: I have a row of Green Giant arborvitae; two years old; four feet tall. Back then, I read they should be spaced five feet apart. This seemed close so I spaced them ten feet apart. Are my trees still...

READ MORE

Why Should`nt I Use Dawn Dish Soap To Kill Bugs/Weeds?

Q: Why don’t you recommend using Dawn dish soap to help kill bugs and weeds? A: The number one reason I don’t mention Dawn for garden use is that it doesn’t have a pesticide label that permits it. Strictly speaking,...

READ MORE

Our Azaleas Look Healthy But With Few Blooms

Q: This year our azaleas are green and healthy with beautiful foliage but few blooms. The blooms that do appear are in the middle of the plants. We pruned them severely after they bloomed last spring.  A: I think the...

READ MORE

If I Raise My Soil Levels Around My Trees Will They Die?

Q: If I raise the soil level around my trees about two feet, will they die?  A: If you cover your mouth and nose with a wet washcloth, will you find it hard to breathe? Tree roots require the ability...

READ MORE

What Can We Plant To Repeal Mosquitoes?

Q: What can we plant to repel mosquitos instead of using chemicals? A: I hate to burst a popular bubble but no landscape plant has been shown to repel mosquitoes. It is true that the sap of some plants is...

READ MORE

Can I Use Nicotine Tea As An Insect Repellent?

Q: A neighbor swears by nicotine tea to spray for insects in his vegetable garden. He takes a wad of chewing tobacco wrapped in cheese cloth and lets it sit in a gallon of water for a week then uses...

READ MORE

Rose Bushes – What To Spray To Kill Weeds Around Them?

Q: What can I spray to kill weeds in and around my rose bushes without hurting them? A: At a big box store I recently saw a sprayer that had a conical shield attached to the spray wand. The label...

READ MORE