Gardening Q and A

Canna Lily – Preparing Seed to Sprout

Q: I’m a high school student doing a project for science but I’m having a hard time germinating canna lily seeds. I have tried many things but I did not get any results. A: The seeds will germinate best if...

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Red Pine – Growing in Georgia

Q: Will Michigan red pines grow in Georgia? A: Georgia has many microclimates that resemble other parts of the country. Red pine, Pinus resinosa, grows well in Canada and New England so my bet is that it would grow in...

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Fescue – Fertilizing Late in December

Q: What is the latest you can fertilize fescue? We had landscaping done in our yard a couple of weeks ago and I wonder if it is too late? A: UGA turf expert Clint Waltz says you need a fertilizer...

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Planting Fruit Trees – Too Late in December?

Q: Is December too late to plant raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and fruit trees? A: You are still well within the time for success in planting fruiting plants. Garden-working weather isn’t great for humans but your plants will have no problem...

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Bonsai Soil – Mixing Your Own

Q: Tell me about bonsai tree soil. I’d like to mix my own. A: Bonsai soil is very much different from potting soil. It has much less organic matter and a lot more rock or rock substitutes. Most bonsai enthusiasts...

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Animal – Making Nest Under Car Hood

Q: Something has used my gardenia for nesting material (which ended up under the hood of my car). What do you think? A: My original answer was: “It’s gotta be a squirrel! They like twig nests….but I’ve never heard of...

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Yoshino Cherry – Repairing Root Damage

Q: I have a Yoshino cherry tree that is showing signs of stress. It’s bleeding amber sap that turns rubbery, goes away, and then returns as a “bubble” of sap. This is in two spots a foot or so above...

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Japanese Maple – Leaves Never Turned Red

Q: My beautiful Japanese maple never turned red this year but the leaves turned black. Do you have an explanation? A: My guess is that this joins the phenomenon of “My ginkgo didn’t turn yellow this fall!” I saw brilliant...

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Green Material – To Patch Green Lawn

Q: I have seen golf courses use green sand to fill divot holes on their course. How can I make green sand to cosmetically hide small problem areas in my lawn until the grass takes over the spot? A: I...

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Engineered Soil – Where to Buy

Q: During a radio show, a caller mentioned his tree was pushing up the brick walk nearby. Walter suggested he might level the walk with “engineer soil”. What is this? I have an area around a long stone walk which...

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Hydrangea – What to Do in Winter

Q: I have fifteen beautiful established hydrangeas. The freeze a couple of weeks ago did a job on them: they are all brown and lifeless looking. Do I do anything to them or just let them be until the spring?...

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Dogwood – Moving Large One

Q: I plan to transplant a six-foot tall dogwood from one part of my yard to the other. I know it is a little on the large size to be transplanting, so I want to be sure I give it...

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Golden Larch – Identification

Q: A caller recently asked you about growing a golden larch. You said larch doesn’t grow here, but then backtracked on your answer. Can you elaborate? A: I sure wish I had listened to her say “golden larch” rather than...

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Leaves – For Mulching Perennials

Q: I’ve been raking the leaves out of my flower beds. After raking the beds over and over, I thought maybe it would be just as good to cover my perennials with leaves for the winter. A: It all depends...

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Pre-Emergent – Too Late to Apply?

Q: Would I be wasting my money applying pre-emergent now. I missed the September date you talk about. A: Winter weeds don’t all germinate in early October. Some wait until later, even sprouting in the warm days of late November....

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Grubs – In Fescue Sod

Q: We are getting ready to plant fescue sod. When we were taking core samples we discovered a couple of white grubs. What should we do? A: The right answer is: do nothing. It’s true that high numbers of grubs...

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Lavender – Pruning

Q: My lavender is lying down and it’s become woody and not pretty. Should I trim it back for winter? A: My experience with lavender is that it lasts a few years but eventually develops woody stems and sparse foliage....

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Canna – Killing a Crowded Patch

Q: I have a plot of cannas in my backyard that is crowded, overgrown and just not pretty any more. I want to get rid of the cannas and replace them with gardenias but without a lot of digging. A:...

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