Gardening Q and A

Fescue – Yellowing

Q: I have seeded and re-seeded tall fescue grass for seven years, with not much success. In my frustration this past fall, I cut a couple trees down to increase light, had my soil tested, tilled the yard to 4”...

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Bittersweet – Viability in Georgia

Q: I see bittersweet vines and berries used in decorating this time of year. Can we grow bittersweet here? A: After I described how to propagate invasive Chinese privet in a recent column, I had to invent a self-flagellation machine...

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Lemon Grass – Winterizing

Q: What do I do with a lemon grass plant over the winter? I planted it this spring and it is huge! A: Lemongrass, Andropogon citratus, is a perennial plant in south Georgia but it is killed by winter cold...

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Montauk Daisy – Rooting and Transplanting

Q: I’ve rooted some cuttings from a neighbor’s Montauk daisies and they’re now going dormant. Should I leave them in their little flower pots all winter? A: Montauk daisy, Nipponanthemum nipponicum, is usually perennial here but transplanting the little ones...

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Nightshade Family – Linkage to Arthiritis

Q: My grandmother was told that eating vegetable members of the nightshade family would exacerbate her arthritis. Which ones should she avoid? Why are they called nightshade? A: The nightshade (solanum) family is very diverse, covering tobacco, jimson weed, angel...

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Pansies – Fertilizing with Oatmeal

Q: My mother in Asheville, NC heard a professional landscaper say that she fertilizes pansies with oatmeal. Have you ever heard of this? A: I’ve never heard of it before but I guess oatmeal could provide a bit of nutrition...

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Persimmon – Planting from Fruit

Q: My granddaughter found a persimmon while walking the dogs. Can I plant it and have a tree in my yard? A: You can certainly plant it and eventually get a tree but there is a caveat. The seed might...

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Oak Tree – Selling or Donating Possibility?

Q: We must remove a huge, beautiful oak tree. It’s healthy, but has outgrown its available space. Is there a way to sell or donate this tree? A: Selling or donating a tree is problematic. A firewood vendor could use...

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Meyer Lemon – Spider Mites

Q: I have a mature Meyer lemon tree but every winter when I bring it inside, it gets those awful mites. I spray it with an organic soap, but it is almost impossible to get rid of those suckers. A:...

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Raised Beds – Preventing Tree Root Infiltration

Q: I have a raised bed tomato garden that has been taken over by tree roots. What do you recommend I do to prevent this from happening year after year? A: I have the same problem in my flower beds....

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Southeastern Flower Show 2012/2013

Q: I am trying to find out when the Southeastern Flower Show will be in 2012. Do you have any information on this event? A: The Southeastern Horticulture Society, sponsors of the flower show, have decided to put their efforts...

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Cultivating Wildlife Habitats

Q: Recently I had many very tall pines removed from behind my house. I want to plant trees or large bushes back there so that the birds and squirrels will have a good habitat. A: Whether you are squirrel, bird...

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Amaryllis – Replanting

Q: When can I dig up, separate and replant my outdoor amaryllis? A: I think the best time is in spring when the green shoots first appear. Hardy amaryllis, Hippeastrum x johnsonii, blooms in my landscape each year. Dig a...

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Canna Liliy – Aggressive?

Q: Last year I bought a small canna lily plant for 50 cents. I planted it near the edge of our lake. Now it’s spread to six feet by ten feet. I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but I am...

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Pine Trees – Premature Needle Shedding

Q: All of a sudden pine straw falling from my trees is as green as if it were still on the tree. Why is this? A: Premature needle shedding is most likely caused by big temperature swings coupled with summer...

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Fruit-Bearing Cherry Trees – Viability in Atlanta area

Q: I am looking for fruit-bearing cherry trees. What is your advice? A: I don’t know of anyone who has successfully grown sweet cherry fruit in the Atlanta area. Temperature swings in winter cause freeze damage to the trunk and...

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Pyracantha – Pruning

Q: How should I prune the pyracantha that’s climbing the wall of my garage? A: Pyracantha blooms in April or May on twigs that grew the previous year. If you prune severely now, you won’t have flowers or the bright...

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Winter King Hawthorn – Propagation from Seeds/Berries

Q: There is a stand of ‘Winter King’ hawthorn on Ronald Regan Parkway near the Webb Gin House exit. They are beautiful now. Can I use the seeds/berries to make new trees? A: It will be tough to get the...

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