Gardening Q and A

Dead Indian Hawthorn – What Should I Replace It With?

Q: I have Indian hawthorn shrubs that have gotten scraggly and the leaves that are left have black spots on them. Any suggestions on what I should replace them with?  A: Why not different hawthorns? Indian hawthorn has beautiful white...

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How To Make Moles Move On?

Q: I have moles currently making roadways in my yard. I’ve been told that they are not feeding off grubs but earthworms. How can I make the moles move on?  A: Moles certainly eat grubs and earthworms, but they also...

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Repel Rodents – Ultrasound Devices?

Q: I need advice on ultrasound devices that repel rodents.  A: They are useless. The reason ultrasonic devices don’t repel animals, even though they can hear sounds we can’t, is that ultrasound does not pack much energy. A sofa, a...

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Looking For Liner To Keep Weeds Out Of Shrub Beds

Q: I am looking for a liner that will keep weeds from growing up in my shrub beds that are mulched with wood shavings. I had someone line them last year but weeds were back before summer barely started.  A:...

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Local Suppliers of Plants?

Q: Are there any local suppliers of native plants? A: Local nurseries sell a limited selection of native plants but four local operations specialize in natives. The first is Nearly Native Nursery near Fayetteville (nearlynativenursery.com). The second is the Georgia...

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Hawthorn – Leaf Spot

Q: We have Indian hawthorn shrubs across the front of our house. They all look like this. I drove around the neighborhood and most of the other hawthorns look the same. Can we save them or must they be replaced?...

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Potato – Seed Pods

Q: This is a stalk from my purple potato plant. In all my gardening years, I have never seen anything like these growing on the stalk above ground. What are they? A: They are potato seed pods! I’m sure you...

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Maple – Dead Trunk in Middle

Q: I have a red maple in my back yard that has dead branches in the center and vigorous growth at the bottom. Can it be saved? A: If you are absolutely sure the center trunk is dead and will...

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Coral Bark Maple – Bark Damage

Q: Last fall we planted a small coral bark Japanese maple. It seems to be doing well this spring except for some damage to the trunk. At first I thought landscapers had hit it with a string trimmer but then...

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Orange Tubes on Pear Fruit

Q: These pears are on a 30 year old hard pear tree. Approximately 80% of the fruit look this way. When the fruit were the size of a marble, they were deformed. After several weeks, they developed bright red bristles...

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Mahonia Berries – Edible?

Q: In late April I saw ten birds attack my mahonia shrub. I watched bird after bird swallow those beautiful blue berries down their throats like a snake does his dinner. Are mahonia berries edible by humans? A: I’m not...

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Japanese Maple – Top Heavy

Q: My four-year-old red Japanese maple is very top heavy, with two feet distance from the top to the next row of branches. Is this normal? Should we prune that top? A: The top does look a little spindly to...

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Tomato – Caging to Deter Squirrels

Q: A friend says that she feeds the squirrels in her landscape bird seed, which she believes keeps them from eating her tomatoes. I’m afraid this will only cause more squirrels to come into my garden. What are your thoughts?...

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Soybeans – Planting and Fertilizing a Deer Food Plot

Q: We are planting soybeans in a food plot for deer. The seed company recommends 0-70-120 for fertilizer. What does this mean and can we mix it ourselves? A: Since fertilizer dealers in different parts of the country sell different...

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Italian Umbrella Pine – Growing

Q: We vacationed in Italy and the umbrella pines were wonderful. Will they grow here? A: I just got back from Italy myself (April 2018)! Italian umbrella pine, Pinus pinea, is the source of pine nuts (pignoli) used to make...

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Dawn Dish Soap (Detergent) – Not Recommended

Q: Why don’t you recommend using Dawn dish soap to help kill bugs and weeds? A: The number one reason I don’t mention Dawn for garden use is that it doesn’t have a pesticide label that permits it. Strictly speaking,...

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Crane Fly – Looks Like Huge Mosquito

Q: We have a lot of these bugs flying around, mating and getting into everything. The research I did points to it being a crane fly. A: You are exactly right: it is a crane fly. It looks very much...

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Large Patch Disease – Zoysia Lawn

Q: When would it be best to put down fungicide for large patch disease on my Emerald zoysia? I want to do my app for spring, but with this variable weather I don’t want to wait to long for large...

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