Gardening Q and A

Willow – Pruning Care

Q: I have a pussy willow that has been in the ground for nine years. I have just removed the best canes with catkins for interior decorating and would like to take this thing down to bush size. Am I...

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Zoysiagrass – Growing From Sod

Q: In various magazines this time of year are ads for zoysia lawn plugs. Is ordering these plugs beneficial? Is it a hardy grass? A: Zoysiagrass is perfectly hardy and makes a superb lawn, but buying it locally makes more...

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Vegetables – Container Gardening

Q: I am planning to do some container gardening this spring due to an over-active digging puppy. What can I plant and on what schedule? A: Container gardening is much easier now that smaller varieties of vegetables are available. Pepper,...

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Christmas Cactus – Planting New Seeds

Q: My Christmas cactus has a seed pod on it. Should break it open and plant the seeds or should I just let nature take its course? A: One source says to wait until the pod is mature (bright pink)....

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Fennel – Growth and Harvest

Q: What tips do you have on growing fennel? A: There are two kinds of fennel: herb fennel is known for its aromatic seeds and tender, fragrant leaves. It has a wonderful anise-like flavor. Florence fennel, commonly called finocchio, develops...

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Scuppernogs – Fertilization and Care

Q: Can you advise me as to a good fertilization schedule for scuppernongs? A: For established vines apply three to five pounds of 10-10-10 per plant in March of each year. Apply one-half pound of ammonium nitrate in June. Grapes...

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Pre-Emergent – Effective After Rain?

Q: I put down pre-emergent last week before a horrific amount of rain fell. Do I need to redo it? A: I think you’re fine unless there is a lot of slope to your lot. If soil washed down, it...

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Dyeing – Garden Lime vs. Pickling Lime?

Q: I’m trying to make an ecological indigo vat for dyeing yarn blue and the recipe calls for pickling lime. What is the difference between garden lime and pickling lime? A: They are two different chemicals. Garden lime is calcium...

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Berries – Management and Growing

Q: I recently started purchasing food from our local farmer’s market. Now I’m inspired to start my own garden. What kind of blackberries and raspberries would you recommend for southeast Georgia? A: ‘Kiowa’ and ‘Gem’ are good blackberries. ‘Caroline’ and...

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Pollination – Tea Viburunm

Q: I am looking for a pollinator for tea viburnum. Is there another viburnum that would suit its needs? A: Tea viburnum has perfect flowers (male and female parts in the same bloom) but it won’t accept its own pollen....

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Bees – Mason Bees For Vegetable Garden Use

Q: Do you know a source for mason bees in Georgia? I have a friend on the West Coast who swears by them for increased crops. A: Mason bees are a terrific substitute for honeybees when you have a fruit...

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Winter – Affects on Staghorn Fern

Q: We have moved to northeast Georgia from south Florida. Knowing I need to protect my staghorn fern from winter freezes, can I have any possibility of success with it during the growing season? A: If you have a good...

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Centipede Grass – Should You Dethatch?

Q: I have a well established lawn of centipede grass. Which comes first, aeration or detaching? A: Generally speaking, you don’t need to remove thatch if you aerate a lawn every year or so. The aerator brings up plugs of...

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Asparagus – First Time Planting

Q: I‘m a first-time asparagus planter and just received my plants in the mail. The directions say to open up a trench in which to plant them. Do I bury the connected part of the roots or should I burying...

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Bermudagrass – Care and Maintenance

Q: I have bermuda grass in my front yard. Last year I allowed it to get a little too tall between mowings. Now that the grass is dormant, how do I get shorter, thicker grass in the spring? A: The...

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Tobacco – Growing and Curing

Q: My sweetheart wants terribly to grow some good tobacco. Do you have tips? A:I grew tobacco for the first time last summer. Rather than go through the hassle of growing the plants from seed, I bought them online from...

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Kale – Planting From Seed

Q: I want to plant Tuscan kale. I found some seed in Oregon but don’t know if it would do well here. A: The narrow, bumpy leaves of Tuscan kale make it a distinctive garden edible. Kale is thought to...

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Hugelkultur – For Squash, Tomatoes, Melons and More!

Q: I am a beginner at gardening and I want to start growing my own veggies this spring. I want to start a hugelkultur bed. Any tips? A: Hugelkultur is the process of piling limbs and woody material in a...

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