Gardening Q and A

Bloodworms – In Pond

Q: I have a small pond. The pump stopped running and when I checked, the filter was completely full of disgusting leeches. They look similar to earthworms with flattened “heads”. When I opened up the filter, several “grabbed” my fingers...

READ MORE

Weeping Cherry – No Longer Weeping

Q: We were given a weeping cherry tree and it isn’t very droopy. When we received it, the branches all bent down toward the ground in a very nice shape. However, it got some disease, and I had to prune...

READ MORE

Florist Gardenia – Planting Outdoors

Q: My husband’s grandmother passed away and we were given a gardenia. Can I plant the gardenia in winter? A: Most florists’ gardenias are selections of the common southern gardenia, Gardenia jasminoides. In all likelihood, yours was grown in a...

READ MORE

Green Globs (Algae, Nostoc) – In Lawn

Q: I have green Jello-like stuff growing in my yard. It started a few years back as a small patch about the size of your hand in shaded area that has now grown and spread 20 yards in all directions....

READ MORE

Weed Preventer (Pre-emergent) – Organic

Q: Are there organic weed preventers you would suggest rather than dumping chemicals on ground? A: I’d love to find a non-chemical weed preventer but there simply doesn’t seem to be an effective one for our part of the world.....

READ MORE

Slugs and Snails – Deterred With Copper

Q: How can I manage the slugs that come to the cat and dog food bowls on my brick patio? A: I suppose a long term solution would be to stop leaving pet food outdoors. But if you want a...

READ MORE

Boxwood – Diseased Foliage

Q: We have a troubled boxwood and a noticeably unmatched pair. These boxwoods have been in the ground for five years. The yellowing started over a year ago and continues to get worse. Do you have any suggestions? These bushes...

READ MORE

Arborvitae – Black Foliage

Q: I have nine arborvitae that have been in the ground three years. About a month ago I noticed blackening of the leaves out near the tips on several branches. The affected branches are just above ground level and isolated...

READ MORE

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”...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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:...

READ MORE

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....

READ MORE