Gardening Q and A

Is The AJC Biodegradable/Safe To Use In Gardening?

Q: I purchase the AJC every Sunday and am interested in using it in more ways than one. Does the AJC print using soy-based inks? Is the newspaper biodegradable and safe to use in gardening? A: Yes, the newspaper is...

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Why Are My Tomato’s Roots Shallow?

Q: I started a drip irrigation system last year in my first vegetable garden. I watered the tomatoes two gallons a day, seven days a week. When I pulled my plants up at the end of summer, I noticed the...

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Why Did People Whitewash The Trunks Of Crapemyrtle?

Q: When I was growing up people whitewashed the trunks of crapemyrtle and other trees. Was this meant to aid the tree, or was it just cosmetic? A: Farmers sometimes paint young tree trunks white to prevent sunscald or cold...

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How Do Flowering Quince Do So Well In The Cold?

Q: What can you tell me about the climate where flowering quince originated? Mine was looking great before the severe cold and it came through fine, along with my camellia. How do they do so well in cold weather?  A:...

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How Long Can I Keep Grass Seed In My Shed?

Q: If I buy grass seed now, will the seed be good in October? I would keep it dry and off the floor in a shed.  A: Grass seed best retains its germination ability when it is stored in a...

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Filling In A Gully On A Sloping Yard

Q: I have a sloping yard that has developed a gully on one side that is hard to mow. I am having a tree removed and wonder if I can fill in with the chips, then cover with dirt and...

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Eliminating Slug Larvae

Q: Is there some way to eliminate slug larvae in the ground before they start destroying my plants? I use beer to kill the adult ones, but it gets quite expensive.  A: Slugs typically overwinter as adults, although there may...

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Can I Plant A Pluerry, Cherry And Peach Trees In Georgia

Q: I recently moved from Iowa. I want to plant a standard pluerry tree, a semi-dwarf pomegranate, plus semi-dwarf cherries and peaches.  A: It is certainly possible to have a garden full of fruit trees and vines in Georgia but...

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Planting Seeds In Used K-Cup Pods

Q: I hate the thought of all my K-Cup pods going to the landfill. I planted Blue Lake green bean seeds and poblano pepper seeds in used coffee grounds after removing the aluminum covering. I put them in a plastic...

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Is Deer Repellent Good For Rabbits Too?

Q: I have Carolina jasmine and boxwood planted around my mailbox. The rabbits are destroying them. Is a deer repellent good for rabbits too? A: I don’t have a good answer for deterring rabbits. No repellent is 100% effective, but...

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Should I Cut Back Perennials In Frigid Temperatures?

Q: Is now a good time to cut back salvia and other perennials or is it not a good idea with frigid temps still possible?  A: My practice is to cut down brown stems whenever I see them, no matter...

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How To Prepare Soil For Spring Planting

Q: I have gotten a plot at my town’s community garden. I am wondering what I should be doing to prepare the soil for spring planting. Add compost?  A: Much of your success in the plot will depend on how...

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Developing A Program To Cultivate Bee Forage

Q: I will be leasing two acres of land beneath some power lines. I want to develop a program that would cultivate bee forage, part of our effort to make Dunwoody a Bee City. I have support from local nature...

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Planting A Bare Root Stella Cherry Tree In Winter

Q: My father and I are planting a bare root Stella cherry tree. I have read that we should add nitrogen when planting but in winter? What would you recommend? A: Your instincts are exactly right. There is no absolute...

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Is Pine Needle Tea Safe To Drink?

Q: Is pine needle tea safe to drink or just some hippie idea I clicked onto?  A: I found lots of articles online that recommend pine needle tea as a tasty “citrus’y” drink in winter. I have no idea if...

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Can I Plant Some Old Coffee Beans?

Q: I have five pounds of very old coffee beans found in an old closet at church. They are probably over two years old. Is it possible to till them into the soil in the spring as an amendment?  A:...

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What Is A Fast-Growing Evergreen Tree That Would Block The Sun?

Q: I removed several trees and now the sun shines on the front, making it way hotter. What is a super fast-growing evergreen tree I could plant to block the sun?  A: I know you want shade in the summer...

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Did I Plant My Wando And Alaska Peas Too Early?

Q: I planted Wando and Alaska peas in my garden this week. But I see on your garden calendar that I am weeks too early. What is your opinion for sandy-soiled Burke County?  A: I think you are fine. My...

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