Gardening Q and A

Concrete – Won’t Bother Soil

Q: We had a concrete wall repaired. There are now thousands of small concrete pieces in the nearby flower bed. Will the concrete leach into the soil and cause harm? A: There might be a small rise the soil pH...

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Flooding – Good Plants Tolerate

Q: We have a cabin on the Cartecay River. It flooded last week. My hydrangeas, ferns, hostas, etc. are flattened from the flood water. Should I cut things back now or wait till later? A: I’d use a hose to...

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Crabgrass – Removal and Prevention

Q: I want to use Drive XLR8 herbicide to control crabgrass. The label says I need a crop oil adjuvant. What is that? A: An adjuvant is a chemical added to a pesticide to make it work better. Some gardeners...

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Poison Ivy – Pink Warts

Q: I found some poison ivy leaves that look very odd.. They seem to be covered with pink warts. A: The warts are caused by gall making eryophid mites. These tiny creatures wound the leaf and insert eggs. Leaf tissue...

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Cream Peas – Eat Them All

Q: I recently bought a bag of fresh cream peas at the farmers market. The vendor told me to wash and sort before cooking. I am not sure what I should throw out during the “sort.” A: The peas are...

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Geese – Go Away!

Q: We have a gaggle of geese that have begun spending the day in our front yard. We have no pond or water nearby. I do see them eating the grass. Can we treat the grass so they will not...

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Beans – Lima Beans and Butterbeans

Q: A battle rages between my dearest friends. The line is drawn between South Georgia natives and Atlanta-raised folks. Fresh, dried, green, beige, or speckled: what is the difference between a butterbean and a lima bean? A: I conducted an...

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Peaches – Growing Healthy Fruit

Q: I have a problem caring for my peaches because I have gotten into beekeeping and can’t use pesticides anymore. I get brown rot and worms in the peaches. A: It is TOUGH to get a crop of peaches without...

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Paulownia – Remove It

Q: We have a twenty foot tall paulownia tree in our back yard. I’ve been told that they are a very invasive plant. It is growing twelve inches every week. Should we let it grow or cut it down? A:...

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Hydrangeas – Prep for Winter

Q: I recently purchased some hydrangeas and planted them in thirty gallon containers. Are the containers big enough to allow the hydrangeas to survive the winter? A: Your container is a good size for hydrangeas that can be kept four...

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Tomatoes – Beautiful and Flavorless

Q: My tomatoes this year are big, beautiful and flavorless. I planted the usual varieties but they don’t have good tomato flavor. Could it be all the rain? A: The rain and overcast skies this summer certainly have something to...

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Glowing Plants – Old and New

Q: Is there any plant that has fluorescent and/or phosphorescent properties? A: Hunters have long known of “foxfire”, the glowing tree stumps caused by decay organisms. Likewise, visitors to Hawaii gasp at the glowing blue waves caused by phytoplankton. Certain...

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Crepe Myrtle – Early Care

Q: I had giant pine tree cut down and have a pile of chips in the yard. Instead of picking them up I thought I might plant a crepe myrtle in the middle of it. Is this a good idea?...

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Cutting Roots – Weakening Your Tree?

Q: We have a watershed area in our yard that I want to dig out and put in a dry steam bed to control the flow of water during storms. The problem is that there are some tree roots where...

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Sassafras – Not Invasive

Q: I discovered a sassafras sapling in my front yard eight feet from my home’s foundation. I’m trying to remove all plants that have invasive root systems from near my home. Are sassafras roots invasive? A: I don’t consider it...

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Magnolia – Beetles in Flower

Q: What are the beetles that gather by the dozens in magnolia blossoms? Are they harmful to the tree? A: Magnolias are among the most primitive plants we use in our landscapes. Dinosaurs probably enjoyed their shade. They developed the...

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Tomato Variety – Identifying

Q: I have a family heirloom tomato I would like to identify. Any way to do this? A: Rutgers University has an excellent website that will do just that! Tomato Variety...

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Cabbage Worm (Cabbage Looper) – Control

Q: Something is eating my plant leaves. My beautiful collard greens were devastated in two day’s time by a caterpillar. What can I do about it organically? A: You have a fine infestation of cabbage worm (cabbage looper). A small...

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