Gardening Q and A

Roots Around Plumbing Pipes – Invasive?

Q: A plumber told us we should move our tea olive tree, which is six feet from a joint in the sewer line. Are the roots very invasive? A: If the plumbing joint is plastic or cast iron, it should...

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Praying Mantis – Feeding

Q: My husband found a baby praying mantis on his windshield. This guy is only an inch long; what can we feed this little critter? A: It needs soft-bodied insects like fruit flies or aphids. Try putting banana or apple...

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Self-Watering Pots – Cold Weather Tolerance

Q: I use plastic self-watering pots inside copper decorative pots during the summer for my annual flowers. Can I plant pansies and ivy in the planters during the winter or will the pots freeze and crack? A: My guess is...

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Seeds – How to Save Iris and Hosta

Q: In years past I have waited to harvest hosta and Siberian iris seed until after the pods have opened. How do you recommend saving them? A: There are lots of easy-to-collect seeds now. I have pods on my iris,...

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Grapes – Wine Varieties Suitable for Small Spaces

Q: What variety of grapes for wine will grow well in a small yard? A: The University of Georgia recommends ‘Aurora’, ‘Delaware’ and ‘Norton’ for wine making in our area. The words “small yard” worry me. A very vigorous vine...

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Pinto Beans – “Half Runners”

Q: What is a “half runner” pinto bean? A: Half-runner beans have a growth habit mid-way between bush beans and pole beans. Bush beans make short sprouts barely a foot long. Half-runners make sprouts around three feet long. Pole beans...

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Trees – Watering Methods

Q: We’re in a big drought and I have to water my big oak and pecan trees. Is it necessary to move the water hose/sprinkler around the tree or is it okay to leave the hose on just one side...

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Pruning Boxwoods

Q: Can you cut boxwoods down to the base of the trunk like holly bushes? When’s the best time? Neel A: If the boxwood is in good health, you can cut it back to 12″ tall in February and it...

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Flowers That Will Bloom in November

Q: I’m looking for a variety of poppy that will bloom on November 11th, to honor the 100th anniversary of the First World War. In late summer I traveled around France and was surprised to see a field of wild...

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Aerating – Spike Aerator

Q: I understand the importance and benefits of aerating a lawn. However, this year my neighbor bought an aerator made with spikes on a drum. What do you think? A: I think he won’t get much benefit from using a...

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Blueberries – Planting in Canadian Peat Moss

Q: I’m buying blueberry bushes from a blueberry farm. They specifically want me to plant them in a Canadian peat moss mixture. What is the difference in Canadian peat moss and other peat moss? A: My guess is they want...

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Conk (Mushroom) – On Tree Trunk

Q: What is this on a big tree on our property? It has a weird growth at the base What should we do about it? Should we knock it off? A: Well, I call it a conk. The experts call...

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Butterfly Bush – Blown Over

Q: I’ve attached a picture of the damage done to my wife’s favorite butterfly bush by the wind last night. What can / should I do to make both the butterfly bush and my wife happy? A: The first job...

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Bloody Dock – Identification

Q: I am wondering if bloody dock, Rumex sanguineus, will grow well here. Some say it is invasive but I like the color of its leaves. A: I bought some several years ago and it still pops up in my...

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Repellex – Effectiveness

Q: I wondered if you’d gotten any feedback on the effectiveness of Repellex, especially to voles and bunnies. A: I asked folks to report to me their experiences with Repellex tablets, which contain capsaicin. Repellex (click for sources) Their replies...

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Juniper – Pruning

Q: We moved to our new house 6 months ago. When we moved one of our two evergreens looked like it was having a rough time! We trimmed/pruned it the best we could. Now, that same spot looks the same,...

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Tree Roots – Remove Retaining Wall

Q: I have a tree in my front yard that had a retaining wall around it. I noticed the blocks starting to rise on one side so I removed the blocks and this is what I found. Will this correct...

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Feral Pigs – Control

Q: Our garden has been completely rooted up by feral pigs coming up from a nearby river. Is there anything we can do beside build a fence? A: Before you do anything, call the Georgia Department of Natural Resources to...

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