Gardening Q and A

Alstromeria – Weed-like in Garden

Q: Please warn people about planting alstroemeria. It’s gone under a cemented stone wall, under paving stones, has engulfed ferns and is about to do in a hydrangea. For me, alstroemeria is a nightmare. A: I’ve enjoyed this long-lasting component...

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Earthworms – Thousands of Casting Mounds

Q: Last year I had a beautiful lawn but now I fear I’m losing it. There are thousands of small mounds of soil similar to ant hills but much smaller. This condition covers the entire lawn area. Can you tell...

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Shoe Tree – In Alabama

Q: This tree grows along US Hwy 72 in north Alabama, just a few miles from the Mississippi line. I pass it when I go to west Tennessee to visit my Mom. I’ve been watching it’s “fruit” increase over the...

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Hen and Chicks – Blooming

Q: I’ve talked with several gardeners and none have seen a Hens & Chicks bloom. This plant is over 10 years old. A: Hubba-hubba! You’ve done very well! Most succulents, particularly those kept as houseplants, bloom reluctantly. I think the...

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Leaves/Needles – Don’t Acidify Soil

Q: I’ve heard that pine needles and oak leaves cause soil to be acid. Is this true? A: This is a gardening myth that should be put to rest. While needles and leaves from all trees may be acidic initially,...

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Pecan – Shellers

Q: I have more than fifty pounds of good looking pecans I picked up under my trees. Where can I get them shelled by machine? A: There are several companies scattered across Georgia who will shell your pecans for a...

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Pecan Varieties – Identification

Q: I have several different types of pecan trees. Do you have a chart that shows the types of pecans and their names so I can easily identify my pecans? A: I don’t have a chart but what this site...

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Calla Lily – Planting Seed

Q: This lily has white and purplish flowers in the spring and is quite attractive. I would like to know if these are seed pods. If so, how I would go about planting them so I could have more plants...

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Blackberry – White Cells (Dry Cell Syndrome)

Q: I have three blackberry plants that have been growing for three years. This year my crop has been great, but I have a problem with the ripe fruit. I have looked online, and the closest photos I find say...

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Pine Beetles – Identification

Q: Can you identify what the goo is oozing from the trunk of a pine tree in my backyard? I would hate to have to remove the tree. A: The “goo” is hardened resin from the tree. It came out...

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Lavender – Dying in Pot

Q: We have been enjoying our potted lavender plant, but now it seems to be dying from the bottom up. We find no apparent cause! Can you please give us some suggestions after looking at the three attached pictures? A:...

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Spinosad – No Use on Collards, Kale, Mustard

Q: I called your radio show about the holes in my collard plants. You suggested I use B.t. for the caterpillars. The local nursery didn’t have B.t., but sold me a garden insecticide containing spinosad. When I read the label,...

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Illegal Tree Removal – DeKalb County

Q: We have recently had an instance of a tree company clear-cutting a big lot in my neighborhood because the owner “didn’t know” there were rules about how many tree can be removed from a residential lot.  What are the...

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Bleeding Canker – Identification

Q: I have a tree in my back yard that has several brown spots on the trunk. This is the only tree in my yard that has these, and they are all on the one side facing the sun. Any...

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Turtlehead (Chelone) – Identification

Q: The attached photos are of a beautiful flowering plant that grows on the edge of the dam at the lake where I live. Do you know what it is? A: It looks like turtlehead, Chelone lyonii. This interesting native...

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Avocado – Care After Sprouting

Q: I’ve been growing an avocado plant over the summer. I was advised to prune the original plant. Once I did, the stem stopped growing. The leafy branch pictured grew out of the original stalk after I pruned it. Should...

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‘Limelight’ Hydrangea – Pruning

Q: We planted a Limelight hydrangea last year. The blooms are large but the stems are thin and weak. Could you suggest how and when I should prune this fella to get a bushier plant with stronger stems? A: ‘Limelight’...

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Giant Ragweed – Identification

Q: I have a very strange plant that has apparently killed or is stunting kudzu on my vacant lot. This is not a joke. The kudzu began healthy as usual this year, but was suddenly—and I mean suddenly—overtaken and stunted...

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