Gardening Q and A

Walnut Leaves – In Compost

Q: I read recently about walnut toxicity. There is a black walnut tree twenty feet from my garden and some of the leaves are in my compost, maybe 5% – 10%. Will I be able to use it in my...

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Thelma Sanders Sweet Potato Squash – Identification

Q: I thought I was growing Thelma Sanders Tennessee Sweet Potato Squash but this grew instead.   Do you know what this is? A: It looks like a cushaw, Cucurbita mixta. Thelma Sanders Tennessee Sweet Potato Squash is a Cucurbita pepo....

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Chaste Tree (Vitex) – Growing

Q: For several years I’ve been mowing over what I thought were weeds. This spring I finally realized they are volunteers from my chaste tree. Will these babies bloom? A: The seedlings will certainly bloom when they mature. This usually...

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American Lotus – Growing

Q: I have a friend with the nick name “Lotus”. I’d love to find lotus seed to place in an aquarium in her room so she can watch it bloom. A: American lotus, Nelumbo lutea, grows fine outdoors in ponds...

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Woodchuck – Trapping

Q: We have a woodchuck family located down by the wall of our house.  I have safe traps, but I’m not sure what bait would work best.  I’ve heard certain fruits would work for the woodchuck.  I’m also open to other...

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Brown Patch – On Fescue (close up pictures)

Q: In October we installed fescue sod over our entire yard. It remained absolutely beautiful until May. It seems that overnight it got big brown patches. After closer review under a magnifying glass it looks like the blades of grass...

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Sweetgum – Albino

Q: I found this plant is growing in a heavily shaded part of my yard. The entire plant is pure white. Do you have any idea what it is? A: It’s an albino sweetgum. Albino plants are not often seen...

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Hosta – Small One Growing in Center of Older One

Q: Can anyone tell me what this is growing in the center of my hosta? A: Note: I answered this on Hometalk and thought I should post it for everyone to see. Hosta expert Bob Solberg says: “The plant appears...

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Wild Onion vs Wild Garlic

Q: How do I tell the difference between wild onion and wild garlic? A: Like edible onions and garlic, wild onion, Allium canadense, and wild garlic, Allium vineale, are members of the onion family. While both have thin, green, waxy...

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Impatiens Downy Mildew – Good Substitutes for Impatiens

Good substitute plants for impatiens include: FLOWERS Abutilon Begonia Tuberous Begonia Browallia New Guinea Impatiens Tiarella Torenia FOLIAGE Alternanthera Begonia ‘Gryphon’ Coleus Hypoestes Plectranthus Lamium Perilla Plectranthus See Identification and Management of Downy Mildew on Impatiens Controlling Downy Mildew in the...

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Spotted Wing Drosophila Larvae (Maggots) – in Raspberry

Q: I am completely grossed out. I am certain I have been feasting on maggots and did not realize it. Here is the whole story. Two years ago my husband planted raspberry and blackberry bushes. This year they are full...

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UGA Sanford Stadium – Privet Hedge

Q: At one of your radio remote broadcasts you asked what was the plant surrounding the football field at Sanford Stadium in Athens. I answered “English privet” but you said that wasn’t right. However, several online sources call it English...

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Bradford Pear – Grafted

Q: Our Bradford pear split in half in a storm. We had someone come in and cut it off at the ground. It is starting to grow back from the stump but it looks like a big bush. Will it...

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Squash Beetle and Mexican Bean Beetle – Identification

Q: I found this insect on my squash but it doesn’t look exactly like a ladybug. What is it? A: It’s a squash beetle. This beetle and its larvae love to eat the leaves of squash and cucumbers. Control by...

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Yellow Archangel (Lamiastrum) – Identification

Q: I have always called this vine a Guardian Angel but I can’t find anything listed as that. It has yellow flowers in the spring. A: Some people call it yellow archangel but my name for it is Garden Devil....

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Bleach – Used to Kill Weeds

Q: I saw a video of a woman using a bleach solution to kill weeds. Wouldn’t this be cheaper and safer than using Roundup? A:  I’m curious why folks think bleach is “safer” than glyphosate (Roundup). The Material Safety Data...

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Apple – Pollination

Q: Last fall we purchased a dwarf ‘Fuji’ and a ‘Red Delicious’ apple tree. We knew they had to bloom at the same time to produce fruit. This spring, dwarf ‘Fuji’ bloomed in early spring and the other didn’t bloom...

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Hosta – Strange Growth in Center

Q: Can anyone tell me what this is growing in the center of my hosta? A: The definitive answer comes from hosta expert Bob Solberg, who says “The plant appears to be ‘Francee’ or possibly ‘Patriot’. Hostas will often produce...

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