Gardening Q and A

Bees – Harldy Moving

Q: In late September I noticed there were lots of large black bees hanging on my lantana. I thought they were dead. Nope! They are alive, but when I nudge them they barely move. A: They’re sleeping! Bees of all...

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Grassology – Growing In Georgia

Q: How does the new Grassology grass grow here? It’s sold on TV and at Bed Bath and Beyond. A: Despite the glossy ads, I have no confidence in this grass blend. After spending thirty minutes trying to find the...

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Italian Cypress – Rust Spots

Q: My Italian cypress has rust spots and I assume that is some sort of fungus. What do you recommend? A: In my experience Italian cypress is relatively short-lived in the South. It grows wonderfully fast for a few years,...

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Butterflys – Plants and Identification

Q: I’ve already seen my first butterfly. How can I identify it? A: Butterflies are exciting to see in a garden. They help pollinate plants but they are beautiful in their own right. I have a list of butterfly plants...

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Zoysia – Proper Scalping

Q: When is the best time to scalp zoysia lawn after winter? A: You can hasten the greenup of bermuda and zoysia lawns by removing the dead leaves after vigorous growth has begun. When your lawn is at least 50%...

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Ambrosia Beetle – Spraying Your Crepemyrtle

Q: What is the best systemic insecticide for ambrosia beetle control on crepe myrtles? I was using Isotox but my bottle is all gone. A: Systemic insecticide will not kill ambrosia beetles. The female beetle bores through the bark and...

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Crapemyrtle – Proper Trimming

Q: We bought a ‘Biloxi’ crapemyrtle last fall. It has four stems and is seventeen feet tall. How should it be trimmed? A: ‘Biloxi’ crapemyrtle has pretty lavender flowers and the exfoliating bark is beautiful in winter. It’s one of...

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Potatoes – Covering Stems

Q: I’m growing potatoes in a wire cylinder that I gradually fill with layers of compost and shredded leaves. As the shoots appear above the mix, should I completely cover them with another layer or should I let them grow...

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Moss – Removing Weeds

Q: Could you please tell me how to kill weeds in a moss bed? A: Pulling them individually is the only option. I spoke to a gardener recently who tried spraying glyphosate (Roundup, etc) on weeds in his moss bed....

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Gladiolas – Fewer and Fewer

Q: Do you know reasons why my gladiolas would come up fewer and fewer each year? I was expecting them to multiply! A: In my observation, it’s usually it’s because there’s too much competition from new bulblets (technically they are...

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Dutch Clover – When Should You Sow

Q: When is the best time to sow white Dutch clover? I want to grow it as a living mulch in the permanent areas of my garden. A: The best time is in September but you might get acceptable results...

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Daffodils – Buds Won’t Open

Q: For the last couple of years, my daffodils have gotten to the stage of showing flower buds but the buds won’t open. What went wrong? A: It sounds like a condition called bud blast. It’s commonly ascribed to severe...

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Daylilies – Help Them Spread

Q: I planted daylilies on a small slope where they get direct sunlight for most of the day, but they haven’t spread in several years. It’s probably due to all the red clay. What should I add to the clay...

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Fertilizer – Some Pros and Cons

Q: I planted new bermuda sod last summer. I used 10-10-10 fertilizer the remainder of the year. Should I stick with the 10-10-10 or go with products that have a higher first number, like 29-0-4? A: Do you eat your...

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Ferns – Should They Be Outside

Q: When can I put my ferns out on my covered porch? A: Assuming you have Boston ferns, they can go outdoors when night temperatures are reliably above 45...

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Hyacinths – Best Time To Fertilize

Q: I have hyacinths blooming but they are always a little scraggly looking. Is it too late to apply fertilizer or do you think that is the problem? A: You can add a little fertilizer now but it most of...

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Pre-Emergent – Will Halt Grass Growth

Q: When the label on a pre-emergent bag says it will prevent seeds from growing does that also mean it will keep bermudagrass from spreading into bare areas? A: Yes: common weed preventers can cause “clubbed” rooting of bermudagrass, zoysiagrass,...

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Bows – Growing Straight Logs

Q: I have been building bows for five years and have had a hard time getting osage orange logs. I recently purchased some small osage orange trees so that I could grow them and harvest them later. What is the...

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