Gardening Q and A

Magnolia – How To Encourage New Growth From Trunk?

Q: My twenty-year old magnolia suddenly died over the winter; it was totally brown. Just recently it has sprouted new growth from the trunk. What should I do to encourage it?  A: Nature sometimes finds a way back from the...

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Algae – How To Get Rid Of It From Our Pond

Q: Our small pond in front of our house has been very low. It developed red algae a month ago. My husband dipped his finger in the water and there was green algae underneath the red algae. Can we kill...

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Rosemary – Yellow Leaves

Q: My rosemary has many yellow leaves.  A: The first thing I would check for is spider mites. My neighbor’s rosemary plant is “eat up with ’em”! Clip off an eight-inch long branch and slap it onto a piece of...

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Are Those Tomatoes On My Irish Potato Plant?

Q: Have you ever seen tomatoes on Irish potato plants? I have three plants with what I call pomatoes.  A: They’re not tomatoes, just the seed pods of your potatoes. Tomatoes and potatoes belong to the same botanical family so...

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How To Get Rid Of Wasps

Q: I found a wasp nest growing between the pane and screen of my kitchen window. I feel I should eliminate them as there are children in the house next door. How would you recommend I do this?  A: There...

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Something Is Eating My Corn Kernels

Q: Some creature is eating the kernels from my corn ears. Any ideas?  A: My bet is that it is mice in your garden. If it were a squirrel or raccoon they would pull the stalks down to the ground....

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Crapemyrtle – Will Honeybees Be Affected By Insecticide

Q: Will honeybees be affected if I apply a systemic insecticide to my crapemyrtle to control aphids?  A: Crapemyrtle flowers don’t contain nectar, so the effect on bees is minimal. However, other pollinators visit crapemyrtle flowers to feed on pollen....

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Should I Trim My Watermelon Plant?

Q: I have a watermelon plant that’s doing great in a small three-foot by five-foot space. It’s getting too big. Would it be okay to trim the ends of the plant growth?  A: I guess you could clip the ends...

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Corn Blowing Over

Q: The last storm knocked over some of my corn. Should I stand them back up and hill some dirt around each one?  A: In my experience, sweet corn stalks never seem strong enough to withstand a summer thunderstorm unless...

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Transplanting Mature Azaleas

Q: I have no choice but to transplant some mature azaleas this month. I would really like to cut them back. Can you advise?  A: I remember moving six hydrangeas and ten azaleas on July 4 many years ago. It...

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Rabbit Control

Q: We have rabbits who like my yard and flowers. What do you recommend to make them move away?  A: Rabbits are tough to control. A low fence will keep them out of individual flower beds but that’s hard to...

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Rose Rosette Virus – How Is It Spread?

Q: I plan to dig out several roses that have rose rosette virus. I wear a pair of long sleeved leather gloves when I’m working around roses. Can I possibly be transmitting the disease via the gloves?  A: Rose rosette...

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When Do Kudzu Vines Flower?

Q: When do kudzu vines flower?  A: They are blooming right now! I saw several flowers recently when walking on the newly completed South Peachtree Creek PATH near Mason Mill Park in Decatur. The boardwalk is elevated between kudzu-covered trees...

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Plants With The Name Walter

Q: I’m looking for a plant with the name “Walter” to plant in my garden to honor my great-grandfather. Any suggestions? A: I have an evergreen Walter viburnum, Viburnum obovatum, and a Walter dogwood, Cornus walteri, in my landscape. The...

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Pine Straw And Chip Mulch – Do They Attract Snakes?

Q: Please evaluate pine straw versus chip mulch in attracting snakes to an area. A: Whenever you have a nuisance creature in your landscape, the first question to ask is “Why is it here and not somewhere else?”. Snakes come...

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Summer Blooming Perennials – When Best To Fertilize

Q: When it best to fertilize my summer blooming perennials? A: If you use a liquid fertilizer, fertilize one time at planting, once six weeks later, and another time six weeks after that. Of course a timed-release granular fertilizer, like...

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Applied Pre-emergent in August – Can You Overseed Fescue In October?

Q: If you apply pre-emergent in August can you overseed fescue in October? A: Sure you can, but you won’t get any weed control from the pre-emergent application you put down in August. Most winter weeds germinate in October, just...

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Hydrangeas – Pinker Than Usual This Year

Q: My hydrangeas are more pink than usual this year. Do you know why? A: A: I could suggest theories but I’m not sure they hold water. Hydrangea flower color is determined by the amount of aluminum present in the...

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