Gardening Q and A

Runoff From Neighbor – OK to Dam?

Q: My neighbor has a bunch of gutter pipes that empty water near my property line. The water erodes around my flower beds. He refuses to do anything about it. Can I just build a dam to keep his water...

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Winterizer – When is Best to Apply?

Q: We were taught in my agronomy classes that it’s best to stop applying nitrogen to warm-season turf when the end of summer approaches. I have heard golf superintendents say that is not true. What is your opinion on when...

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Ruellia (Mexican Petunia) – Invasive?

Q: I’m considering planting Mexican petunia by my mailbox. However, I am reading where it can be very invasive and do not want it to overrun the azalea and hostas I have in there now. What are your thoughts? A:...

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Tomatoes – For High Heat

Q: Is there a tomato that tolerates high summer heat better than others? A: It’s true that some of the newer hybrids stop producing (probably due to lack of pollination) at temps above 90 degrees. Cindy Martin at The Tasteful...

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Tomato – Fruitworm

Q: I have several of these on my tomato plants and have no idea what they are. They don’t look like cutworms and they only seem to be eating the leaves. Can you help? A: You have a tomato fruitworm....

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New Shrubs/Trees – Watering

Q: I planted 5 Green Giant arborvitaes in my backyard along a fence to provide a hedge in the future. The space gets full sun. We mixed in soil conditioner with the red clay when planting them. The trees are...

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Deodar Cedar – Growing Differently

Q: I have two deodara cedars that are growing at different rates. Both trees were planted six years ago by a landscape company. The non-growing deodar cedar was dug up and re-planted last fall hoping it would take off like...

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Yellowjackets – Traps

Q: We have lots of yellowjackets on our patio. What is the best trap for them?  A: I have tried the commercial trap with special baits but the most effective traps were inexpensive or home made. I had a thriving...

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Japanese Beetle – Decline in Numbers

Q: We have always had a problem with Japanese beetles in summer. So far this year (2012), we have not seen any at all. None! What’s up with that? A: Just as the mild winter increased the number of ticks...

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Hornet Nest – Near Bee Hives

Q: My husband is a beekeeper. A hornet colony has built a sizable nest on the back of our house. What makes it unique is that the nest is flush on a window and you can see inside the nest....

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Tree Roots – Exposed

Q: Could you please tell me what is going on with my oak tree? The roots are next to a driveway. It’s very interesting looking into all the little cubby holes. Is this normal? A: This looks completely normal to...

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Citrus Pollination – Seedlessness

Q: Why do some oranges and citrus have seeds and other do not? A: I’m not sure I can explain it in simple terms but this paper has the details you want. Citrus Sex, Seedlessness and New...

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Majesty Palm – Scale Insects

Q: We have a majesty palm at work that was purchased six months ago and it constantly gets brown leaves. It has new growth, but they always seem to die off fairly quickly. It gets watered 1 2 times a...

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Mud Dauber (Dirt dauber) – Buzzing Sound

Q: How does the mud dauber make the buzzing sound when nest building? The wings do not appear to move. Paul Cain, email A: Mud daubers do indeed make a buzzing sound when they are working. I’ve noticed it when...

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Tree – Where to Irrigate

Q: My husband and I argue so much about this subject that we might be headed to divorce court! We have grown a pin oak for 20 years, although it still has a small canopy. Should I irrigate further out...

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Lamb’s Ear (Rose Campion, Artemisia) – Diseased

Q: We went out of town for a few days and returned to find several of my lamb’s ears, rose campion, and artemesia severely afflicted! Is it a fungus? A: Yes, it’s a fungus and it’s all a result of...

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Sassafras – Hard to Control Root Sprouts

Q: Over the last six months, I have made great strides at developing our landscape. However, for the past two years during the spring and summer, I have had hundreds of unidentified saplings uncontrollably sprouting in my front yard. Can...

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Pramitol – Leaves Dead Spots

Q: I wanted to kill some stubborn weeds, so I used “Pramitol Control of Weeds” and this is the results. Now nothing will grow in those spots! A: Well, at least you have no more weeds! Pramitol is a soil...

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