Gardening Q and A

Angel Trumpet – Growth Through Winter

Q: I have two large angel trumpet plants that I usually move into the garage during winter. They are getting too big and heavy to move. What are my chances of keeping the plants alive if I plant them outside?...

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Rats – Side Affects of Poison Use

Q: I heard that birds which eat poisoned rats could be killed by the toxin. Is this true? A: Like a lot of situations, it depends on the chemical the rat consumed. Many poisons, but not all, are anti-coagulants. Some...

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Soil – Dressing A Flower Bed

Q: I am top dressing my perennial flower beds with a combination of soil conditioner, mushroom compost, and steer manure dug in around my plants. Should I add lime or cottonseed meal? A: It’s a fact of garden life that...

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Roundup – Use Near Oak

Q: Can I safely spray Roundup on a privet hedge growing under a mature oak tree? A: Glyphosate (Roundup, etc) is mostly absorbed by leaves but can be absorbed by a tree trunk or roots if applied heavily. If you...

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House Plants – Keepign Winter Pests Away

Q: With what should I spray my scheffleras to eliminate pests before I bring them in for the winter? A: I once had a neighbor who would cover his houseplants with a paper sack and stick a lit cigar in...

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Poison Ivy – Eliminating What You Can

Q: My husband and I have been battling poison ivy in our backyard. I am dreadfully allergic and I want to protect myself from another doctor visit. How can I eliminate it? A: You can’t “eliminate” poison ivy, since birds...

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Pansies – Latest Date For Planting

Q: What is the latest safe date to plant pansies? A: Pansies can be planted anytime the ground isn’t frozen. They are perfectly cold-hardy. You’ll get better blooms from plants sold in 3″ – 4″ pots, not growing in plastic...

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Exotic Roses – Quick Planting Tips

Q: I purchased some seeds for exotic roses, including Black Dragon and Abracadabra but I don’t know beans about growing them. Can you give me quick tips? A: The best time to plant rose seeds is in late April, in...

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Sweet Potato – Easy To Grow

Q: Look what I grew in my garden! I had a hard time getting it out of the ground but this sweet potato weighs 3 ½ pounds! I can’t wait to see how the rest of my plants produce. A:...

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Gardening – Scientific How and Why

Q: I am a chemistry student at Emory University. I enjoyed your website article about evaluating scientific claims. I would really like to know chemical and biological explanations for all the gardening information I see. Do you have suggested references?...

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Mexican Heather – Survival Through Winter

Q: I planted a Mexican heather the summer before last. After one growing season I cut it down and planted pansies around the remaining twigs. It returned this year and has grown to look like a low hedge. How can...

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Boxelder Bugs – Prevention

Q: Every year I have an invasion of boxelder bugs from the boxelder maples on the other side of my fence. Is there anything I can do to prevent them? A: Like kudzu bugs and Asian ladybeetles, boxelder bugs instinctively...

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Kousa Dogwood – Some Facts

Q: I need to replace a tree in my small front yard. Can you tell me about the kousa dogwood? A: Kousa dogwood is an excellent tree for urban landscapes. It grows 15′ to 25′ tall and has a bushier...

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Acorns – Why So Few?

Q: There are almost no acorns north of Ellijay this year. There were no late freezes. What can explain this? A: Nut trees typically bear heavy crops in alternate years unless they are stressed by drought. This was a good...

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Penny Mac Hydrangeas – Safe To Prune

Q: Can I prune my Penny Mac hydrangeas now? I’ve been afraid to prune for fear of not doing it correctly. A: Rejoice! You can prune your ‘Penny Mac’ now and still have flowers next year. Most mophead hydrangeas bloom...

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Hibiscus – Don’t Let It Freeze!

Q: We are looking at temperatures in the thirties by the end of the week. When should I bring in hibiscus? A: You should do it now! Tropical hibiscus can’t tolerate freezing or frost. If you keep the plant in...

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Fescue – Too Late To Seed?

Q: Despite my best efforts, my schedule has prevented my seeding a new lawn of fescue until this weekend. Is it too late? A: Fescue seed germinates best when soil temperatures are above 60 degrees. Looking at www.georgiaweather.net, I see...

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Privet – Removal and Controll

Q: The woods around my home are grown up in privet hedge and small trees. How do I kill the growth? A: It will be a two-person job but it will go fastest if one person uses loppers or a...

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