Gardening Q and A

Chameleon Plant – Removal

Q: Several years ago you warned me that hottuynia (chameleon plant, Hot Tuna plant, etc) was invasive. I planted it anyway. Now it has smothered my liriope and continues its onward march. I have to confess I was wrong! A:...

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Crabgrass – Mythic Formula

Q: I have been told that you have a formula of Miller beer, Tide detergent and something else to get rid of crabgrass. What was the last ingredient? A: This supposed lawn tonic recipe and its variants have been passed...

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Fescue – Shade

Q: In shady areas is it okay to plant a blend of fescue and other grasses? A: You can certainly plant a “shade loving” fescue blend. Most of the shade mixes have a combination of bluegrass, ryegrass, red fescue and...

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Water Oak – Proximal Planting

Q: We will be planting 4 or 5 water oak trees in a straight line in an old pasture. How far apart should we plant them so they grow to their full potential? A: The rule of thumb for spacing...

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Herbicide – In Mulch

Q: Is it safe to use hay, as mulch and in a compost pile, that has been treated using 2-4-D? A: I don’t think I can say that it’s “safe” in all situations. The weed killer 2,4-D has a half-life...

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Pears – Replacing With Serviceberry

Q: I want to replace four ‘Bradford’ pears with native serviceberry trees. Is there a certain variety I should look for? A: There are several species and hybrids of serviceberry that grow very well here. I love the plant’s springtime...

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Leaves – Removal After Seeding

Q: What’s the best way to remove leaves from a newly seeded lawn? Is it best done with a rake or with a blower or grind them up with the lawnmower? A: It’s best to shred them with a mower....

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Houseplants – Cleaning

Q: What is the best solution for cleaning houseplants that have been outside all summer? A: Patio plants frequently become dusty after a summer outdoors. They will look fresher if you clean them up a bit. Find an old cotton...

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Zoysia – Seeding Fescue

Q: Can I overseed my zoysia back yard with creeping red fescue to keep it green this winter? A: I’m doubtful you’ll get the results you want. In order for creeping red fescue to germinate it needs close contact with...

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Vines – Privacy Barrier

Q: I want to know how to transplant and grow kudzu vine. I would like to plant it onto a barbed wire fence line to form a privacy barrier. A: In the early 1900’s my grandfather Walter Cowart actively promoted...

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Kiwi – Yellow Leaves

Q: We planted two kiwi plants at opposite corners of our pergola and they have succeeded in sending vines up and starting to cover it. But we are now noticing that the plant’s leaves are turning yellow and falling off....

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Trees – Fertilizing Time

Q: Is this a good time to fertilize six-month old dogwood and redbud trees? A: No. My general recommendation is to fertilize plants in early spring, before green growth begins. I think organic, slow-release fertilizers (Holly-Tone, Milorganite, E. B. Stone)...

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Grass – Full Sun, No Water

Q: What is the best grass to plant on a grave in northwest Georgia? I do not want to use gravel. It is in full sun with no water. A: I think bermudagrass has the best chance of succeeding but...

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Potting Soil – Growing Mushrooms

Q: One of my potted plumerias has dime-size red mushrooms on the soil. The plant has been on the decline for the past couple weeks. Is there anything I can do to get rid of mushrooms? A: In my experience,...

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Retaining Wall – Disintegrating Ties

Q: I need guidance on repairing a railroad tie retaining wall. Some of the ties are disintegrating. The wall is around twenty years old. A: I’ve heard landscapers say that repairing failing railroad tie walls was their main source of...

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Pre-emergent – Overapplication

Q: I have a bad feeling that putting down pre-emergent on landscape beds every six weeks is not working. Should I step it up to once a month? A: Weed preventer products are very good at controlling weeds that come...

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Fig – No Fruit

Q: I gave my fig tree a major pruning two years ago. This is the second season that I had no ripe figs but plenty of green ones that never matured. Can I do anything to encourage ripe figs next...

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Creeping Charlie – Lawn Removal

Q: I’m trying to get creeping Charlie out of my lawn. I have read that applying dicamba in early fall will control it. I also want to do my normal fescue overseed and fertilize. Is there a recommended order to...

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