Gardening Q and A

Shelf Fungus (Conk) – On Black Locust

Q: I recently had two large black locust trees cut down. They had shelf fungi (conks) growing on them. A friend of the ax man wanted the conks. Do you have any idea what uses one would have for these?...

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Hummingbird Feeder – Cloudy Liquid

Q: My homemade nectar for hummingbirds turns cloudy after a few days. What causes this? A: My guess is that your feeder is dirty when you fill it and the sugar water is rapidly fermenting. I wash mine in the...

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Sweetshrub – Transplanting Method

Q: Three years ago I transplanted a calycanthus shrub. I have noticed that the mother plant has sent out new plants in several directions. Can I transplant these new shrubs ? A: Sweetshrub, Calycanthus floridus, is famous for its spreading...

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Poison Ivy – Natural Enemies?

Q: Poison ivy sure has a lot of friends that help it hide in my back yard. Does it have any enemies? A: I’ve never seen a poison ivy leaf that seemed to have been eaten by beetles or caterpillars....

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Flies – Safe Removal Methods

Q: I have been invaded by fruit flies because I brought home some delicious peaches. Is there a way to safely control them? A: My college-student son had a big fruit fly problem last week. He tried the “rotten fruit...

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Squash – Sunlight Concerns

Q: I have very healthy squash plants. An older farmer said the best way to get healthy squash plants to continue to produce is to cut off some of the biggest leaves to allow the sun to get to the...

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Wild Plants – Difference Between Onions and Garlic

Q: How do I tell the difference between wild onions and wild garlic? A: Like edible onions and garlic, wild onion, Allium canadense, and wild garlic, Allium vineale, are members of the onion family that . While both have thin,...

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Hydrangeas – How To Prune Them

Q: I heard your radio discussion about pruning hydrangeas. Do I cut just the green new growth stem or can I cut the old wood too? A: You can cut into the old wood if you need to. Make your...

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Compost – Achieving A Good Mix

Q: While researching composting, I’ve read that microbial activity is greatest when the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio is 30:1. How can I achieve that using only grass clippings and leaves? Are tea and coffee grounds and eggshells considered to be nitrogen or...

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Manure – Using Rabbit Pellets

Q: I have a pet rabbit, so I have plenty of rabbit manure I could use in my gardens. I would like to know if I can use it directly or if I need to compost it first. A: Rabbit...

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Lemon Trees – Pollination and Fruit Bearing

Q: I have a Meyer lemon tree in a pot outdoors for the summer. When we bought it had one lemon. But it has produced flowers twice and when the lemon reaches pea size they fall off. A: I think...

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France – Grass For Colder Weather

Q: I live in France and I like St Augustine grass but I don’t know whether Raleigh or Mercedes is more cold hardy. A: Paris is chilly in winter but I think St Augustinegrass would fare there just fine. ‘Raleigh’...

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Non-Native Plants – Georgia Planting

Q: My heirloom Brandywine tomatoes have somewhat low production. Are there any tomato varieties native to Georgia? A: The tomato is actually native to South America and was first cultivated in Georgia in the early 1700′s. Several common garden plants...

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Thyme – Planting Tips

Q: I’m moving from Florida to Athens and I’m interested in putting in a thyme lawn. Do you have any tips to help it be more successful? A: I don’t see why thyme wouldn’t work if you have full sunshine....

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Mimosa – Unusually Large

Q: I noticed the flowers of a mimosa tree above the canopy of the woods behind my house. I’m guessing it’s sixty feet tall. Is that unusual? A: It’s unusual, and it may be the biggest in the state, but...

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Trees – Treating Scarred Limbs

Q: I recently had a large tree cut down in my back yard. The tree service damaged a lot of healthy trees carrying out the logs. They swore that the best treatment to these scars was chain oil, which they...

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Azaleas – Planting In Containers

Q: Can azaleas be planted in containers instead of in the ground? I’ve never seen them in containers. A: Smaller-sized azaleas do fine in containers. Read the plant label to find out their mature size. The Encore azalea experts list...

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Dianthus – Pruning Dead Flowers

Q: I planted Dianthus about a month ago and it had beautiful white blossoms. The blossoms have since died back and leaving a unsightly brown flower. Do I cut off the old flowers in order for new ones to appear?...

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