Gardening Q and A

Fungus – Appearing In The Driveway

Q: My neighbor has earthstar fungus pushing up her driveway asphalt. Is there any to get rid of it? A: Like other mushrooms, earthstar fungi are saprophytic. This means they decompose organic matter in the soil using long thread-like strands....

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Compost – Encounters With Roaches!

Q: I’ve been composting for ten years. I’ve tolerated tiny spiders, worms, and bugs of other types without a problem. However, last week when I went out to turn the pile there were giant flying roaches in it! I don’t...

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Magnolia – Pruning?

Q: I have a tulip magnolia that’s gotten too big. Can I cut it back to about five feet tall like I do with my crape myrtle? A: Tulip magnolia blooms on branch tips produced the previous year. That means...

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Zoysia – Simple Maintenance

Q: I need information on the Empire zoysia sod I had installed this summer. I am particularly interested in how to fertilize and protect from disease. A: Zoysiagrass is an excellent lawn grass if maintained correctly. It needs less fertilizer...

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Sassafras – New Disease To Watch Out For

Q: On your radio show I heard a gentleman mention a new sassafras tree disease. I am a big fan of sassafras and don’t want mine to die. A: The problem is laurel wilt disease and it is spread by...

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Lotus – Winter Care

Q: I have a lotus plant in a large pot filled with water. What should I do now that winter is coming? A: Most folks just wait until frost nips the leaves and then clip the stems a couple of...

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Privet – Responsible Growth

Q: I am thinking about surrendering in the battle for privet control along my fence. It’s an ugly chain-link thing that I would love to hide. But I’m concerned about birds eating privet berries and spreading it to surrounding woods....

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Fescue – When Can It Be Applied

Q: What is the latest in the fall one could put down fescue sod? A: You can install fescue sod any time the ground isn’t frozen and supplies are available, typically September through April. If the soil has been tilled...

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Roses – Winter Protection Protocol

Q: I am growing roses in pots on a raised deck. What is the recommended winter protection for a container grown rose? A: The safest thing to do is to move them into an unheated garage or basement. If this...

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Fertilizing – Vigilant Application And Care

Q: On radio you had a conversation with a gentleman about using 24-8-12 fertilizer on his lawn. Rather than lugging heavy bags of fertilizer, I buy bulk boxes of Miracle-Gro and put it in the hose attachment that comes with...

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Weeds – An Alternative Yard Cover

Q: I’m looking for weeds that will take over my yard and look like a lawn from the street. Yes, I actually want to sow weed seeds! We have a bright shady yard and have been unsuccessfully planting fescue in...

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Hibiscus – Surviving The Winter

Q: Will dinner plate hibiscus survive the winter here? When is the best time to plant them? A: Dinner plate hibiscus, so-called due to the size of its blossoms, is Hibiscus moscheutos. They are perfectly hardy, growing to a large...

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Ginger – Growing Thick Roots

Q: I planted a root from a piece of ginger that I had purchased. The plant is in a small pot and is doing well. How will I know when to harvest it? A: If your potted ginger is indoors,...

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Privacy Shrubs – Suggested Plants

Q: What type of privacy shrubs would you recommend to plant on the Georgia Power easement part of my property? I need plants that grow no more than fifteen feet high. A: I recommend ‘Emerald Green’ arborvitae and ‘Nellie Stevens’...

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Zoysia – Proper Mowing

Q: I mow my zoysia lawn every two weeks but the blade rips the grass out, even though it’s sharp. I had to adjust the mower height up because the grass is so thick that my mower stalls every few...

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Beetles – Containing An Infestation

Q: A tree service company has cut down a tree infested with pine beetles on a next-door neighbor’s property. What should I do if they don’t remove the cut logs from the area? A: Talk to your neighbor and ask...

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Roses – Avoiding Disease

Q: We have Knock Out roses in our subdivision landscape and are planning to add more. We have heard that a virus is beginning to attack roses. Should we be concerned about this to the extent that we not add...

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Carolina Jasmine – For An Arbor

Q: I recently put up a metal arbor. I’d like to plant a flowering vine to grow over it and was thinking of Carolina jasmine. Is this a good idea? A: I have an arbor with Carolina jasmine planted on...

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