Gardening Q and A

Rose Thrips – Control

Q: The edges of my rose petals are brown and ragged. What causes this? A: Rose thrips hide inside rose buds and chew on the edges of petals. When the bloom opens, the damage is evident for all to see....

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Fruit – Definition of

Q: My sister home schools her nine year-old and in one of his books it states that the banana is a berry. Can you please tell me if this is a fact? A: Oddly enough, bananas ARE berries. A berry...

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Carpenter Bee – Repelling

Q: I had carpenter bees boring in my deck last year and now they are back again. Is there any way to keep them away? A: The best you can do is to reduce the local population each year. Although...

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Mahonia – Identification

Q: We found a couple of these growing under the pines on our property. Any idea what it might be or how it could have gotten there? One is about five feet tall. A: When I was ten I found...

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Schefflera – Aphids

Q: I have a dwarf umbrella tree, Schefflera arboricola ‘Gold Capella’. I had it on my screened porch last summer and brought it inside in the fall. After bringing it inside, I noticed sticky areas on the top of some...

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Ginger lily

Q: I received a clump of ginger lily which I planted like an iris. There isn’t any foliage in winter. Is it dead or just dormant? A: Ginger lily (Curcuma and Hedychium species) is usually hardy in Atlanta, although a...

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Japanese Maple – Local Sources

Q: I’d like to plant a dwarf Japanese maple in my front yard. Are there any local vendors who carry a selection of Japanese maples? A:...

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Squirrels – Repelling with Hot Pepper

Q: I need information about putting red pepper on birdseed. Does this work to repel squirrels and, if so, how much should I use? I hate to quit feeding the birds, but I can’t afford to fill my feeder every...

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Termites – Attracted to Wood Chips?

Q: I have a drop-off of more than twelve inches at the edge of my patio. I want to fill the area with several inches of soil and cover it with pine bark chips. Will the bark chips attract termites...

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Dowsers – Locating

Q: We own approximately an acre of land, all of it landscaped. I would love having a well dug in order to save money on watering. How does one contact a dowser? I know they exist and they would be...

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Hummingbird Moth (Hawkmoth) – Pupa

Q: We found this laying in our garden right where we had pulled out some red tip photinias. Can you tell us what this is? Is it alive or dead? A: This is the pupal case of a sphinx moth....

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Oak – Crown Gall

Q: What in the world is this on our tree? It’s been there for as long as I can remember – since before 1990. It grows a little each year. The tree seems unaffected. If it is a burl, how...

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Amaryllis – Fall Care

Q: I have an amaryllis in a large pot with potting soil. How should I care for it? A: You can keep the amaryllis in a pot if you like but it probably will not bloom again, particularly if you...

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Venus Fly Trap – Feeding

Q: I was at the Children’s Garden at the Atlanta Botanical Garden last weekend and wandered past the bog exhibit. Kids there were putting their fingers into the Venus Fly Traps to make them close. This made me wonder: does...

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Spurweed – Control

Q: Three years ago a weed appeared in our yard. Around Easter it will have little spurs on it that stick in your feet. My grandchildren and I like to go barefooted but this year my yard is full of...

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Blueberry – Freeze Damage

Q: I have 9 blueberry plants in Fayette county. The plants are full of buds on the verge of blooming. The weather forecast is calling for mid to upper 20s temperatures this week, the last of February. Will the blueberry...

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Blueberry – Freeze Protection

Q: The weather in GA is turning sour, and my dwarf peach trees are in full bud, blooms only a few days away. With the temps getting into the mid 20’s this last week of February , is there anything...

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Fire Ant – Repellents

Q: I was out watering my cows and stepped into a big fire ant mound. Thankfully, I’m not very allergic to their bites but the experience brought up the question of repellents. Why aren’t mosquito repellents effective on fire ants?...

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