Gardening Q and A

Sticky Stuff – Falling From Trees

Q: I’ve noticed in early Noveber that the sidewalks and even cars under all kinds of trees get a light sappy coating on them. It doesn’t feel as sticky as pine sap and comes off with a little rubbing. A:...

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Hole in Landscape – Not Made by Snake

Q: I’m stumped by what made this hole. It is near some recently planted evergreens. When we planted the evergreens, we dug up a few snake eggs. Thinking this hole is from snakes. A: The hole couldn’t be made by...

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New Azaleas – Drying Out After Planting

Q: I think an unknown animal is urinating on and killing my azaleas after planting. I fear that it might be an animal that is out mainly at night. I don’t believe they are under-watered. A: I rarely get to...

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Leyland Cypress – Not in “FDR’s Funeral Train”

Q: I’m reading “FDR’s Funeral Train” by Robert Klara. He describes the trip on April 13, 1945, traveling from Warm Springs to Washington, stating that the cortege passed “groves of Leyland cypresses”. Were they growing in South Carolina back then?...

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Leyland Cypress – Drought Damage From Incorrect Planting

Q: I planted these eight trees in late September and I’ve tried to keep them watered most every day but they still turned brown. Are they too far gone or can I save them? I broke up the tough Georgia...

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Grass – Growing on Stepping Stones

Q: How do I get the grass to stop overgrowing my walkway? The will begin to over grow the walkway and sidewalk within a week of trimming. I tried vegetation killer however the runners just spread over it. A: One...

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Cleyera – Wax Scale

Q: These white blobs are all over the cleyera hedge row in our yard. I don’t know what this is or how to treat it. A: The blobs are wax scale insects. As with all scale insects, the adults you’ve...

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Deciduous Magnolia – Powdery Mildew

Q: My tulip tree just started getting this fungus on the leaves in the past several weeks. What could it be? A: Warm days and cool nights make great environmental conditions for powdery mildew to develop on magnolia leaves. It...

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Castor Oil – Ineffective for Mole Control

Q: I found information on mole control using castor oil, water, and Dawn detergent applied with a garden sprayer. Do you think it would work with a hose-end sprayer? A: This concoction is useless. Despite its reputation, castor oil has...

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Evergreen Screen – Bare at Bottom

Q: This is a great screen between us and our neighbor. But the lower part is leafless. Some plants have a little green on outer tips. Can we cut back and have new growth? A: Your evergreen trees don’t seem...

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Yaupon Holly – Pruning a Tall One

Q: These hollies have gotten much taller than the house and look messy. I’d like to cut the trunks much lower. If I do that will the tops eventually grow back, only lower? That way I could keep them trimmed...

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Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick – Planting in a Pot

Q: Last Mother’s Day, I bought my wife a 5 gallon size Harry Lauder Walking Stick Plant. The plant looked a bit bedraggled when I got it. I immediately repotted it into a much larger container, watered it good and...

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Chewing Damage – To Pressure-treated Wood

Q: We have a wooded backyard, and a play house/swing set for the kids. The set was built about 3 years ago with treated lumber. We noticed the other day that something is feeding or chewing on the wood. Any...

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Mushrooms – Growing from Bottom of Pot

Q: This is is growing out of all the holes in my potted fern. They are yellow: maybe mushrooms? A: Your guess is correct. These are mushrooms growing out of the potting soil at the bottom of the pot. Potting...

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Chinese Wing Bean – Identification

Q: In the garden, next to my Tahitian long beans, we planted another seed that looked like a kidney bean. But what grew doesn’t look like any kidney bean I am familiar with. Any idea what these are? A: It’s...

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Pieris – Bumps on Stem

Q: Can you help me identify what these funny bumps are on my Southern Lady pieris? A: I think these are just dormant buds. The only evidence I could find were these fascinating microscopic photos of pieris. see A Close-up...

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Blue Atlas Cedar, Weeping Form – Identified

Q: Any idea what type of tree this is? A: It’s a weeping Blue Atlas cedar, Cedrus atlantica ‘Glauca Pendula’. The weeping, contorted shape is certainly an eye-catcher! This tree can do well here if it is planted correctly.With your...

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Soldier Fly Grubs – In Compost

Q: I went to my compost tumbler to empty my veggie scraps and found an awful mess of worms – thousands of them! Are they good ones or bad worms? A: These are soldier fly grubs. Though they look disgusting,...

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