Gardening Q and A

When Should I Apply Fertilizer To My Daffodil Foliage?

Q: My daffodil foliage is 10″ high and flower buds are emerging. Is now the time to apply fertilizer?  A: It’s best to fertilize when foliage is 1″-2″ tall or about six weeks before flowering. An alternative is to use...

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Can I Transplant “Baby” Nandinas?

Q: I have “baby” nandinas and a friend wants some of them. When can I dig them for her to plant in her yard.  A: If it is 12″-20″ tall, I think a small nandina can be transplanted anytime. They...

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Leyland Cypress: Will Cutting The Top Make The Trunk Bush Out?

Q: Two rows of tall Leyland cypress grow as a barrier between my house and a busy highway. Some of the lower limbs are dead. Can I cut fifteen feet off the top to make the remaining trunk bush out...

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Our Bradford Pears Were Cut Back, Will They Go Into Shock?

Q: The company that services our subdivision entrance just cut back our healthy 20-year-old Bradford pears. Was this a good decision? Might they go into shock?  A: They will not go into shock. Pruning severely may prolong their life span...

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Can I Grow A Lawn During Winter?

Q: My family has just moved here from California. I really want to grow a lawn. Can I start growing a lawn during the dead of winter? The area has light shade.  A: Available sunlight is always the dominant factor...

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Any Good News On The Bug Front After The Cold Last Week?

Q: Any good news on the bug front after the cold last week?  A: I wish the cold weather would have an effect on insects like fire ants, ambrosia beetles, stinkbugs, etc. but it does not diminish their summertime numbers....

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Can I Prune Hydrangeas When The Buds Are Swollen?

Q: Can I prune hydrangeas now even when the buds are swollen?  A: If you prune a common mophead hydrangea now, you’ll remove bloom buds. Exceptions would be the reblooming varieties like ‘Endless Summer’ and ‘Penny...

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Should I Trim Back My Lenten Rose?

Q: Should I trim back the long leggy branches on my Lenten rose? They look healthy.  A: Even though they are green and healthy in early spring, those tall leaves will get big black spots by early summer, turn completely...

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If My Azaleas Were Cut Back Will It Effect Future Blooms?

Q: I have (had) beautiful azaleas around my house. However, I hired a new yard man who cut them way back! Will this affect blooms this year? A: I am sad to say the answer is very likely yes, you...

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Water Oak Sapling In A Pot: What Is The Limit To The Cold It Can Take?

Q: My son has had a water oak sapling in a large ceramic pot for ten years. He has just moved to Virginia. Since it is in a pot, is there a limit to the cold it can take?  A:...

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I Love Mahonia!

Q: I think mahonia is a beautiful, colorful, and interesting plant!  A: The unique foliage and bright yellow flowers in early spring certainly make this a distinctive plant. Spikes of blue berries follow the flowers. Some gardeners don’t like mahonia...

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Planting A Dwarf Blue Spruce

Q: We have wooden boxes, approximately 3’x3′, that we’re thinking of planting with dwarf blue spruce.  A: I know blue spruce doesn’t do well in Atlanta, but I wasn’t sure about north Georgia. So I called my friend Eddie Ayers,...

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Developing A Native Plant Hill: Should I Cover Them In Plastic When Cold?

Q: I am developing a native plant hill in our back yard. Last fall I planted beautyberry, viburnum, fothergilla, St. Johns wort, bee balm and butterfly weed. I am diligently covering them with plastic whenever it is going to be...

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How To Keep Possums Out Of A Horse Barn And Pasture

Q: Is there any way to keep possums out of a horse barn and pasture? Their feces can carry a serious horse disease.  A: I had never heard of this possum problem! I am not a veterinarian but in my...

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Do I Flush Cut Or “Respect The Collar” Of My Japanese Maple Limbs?

Q: I think I heard you say that to use a flush cut when pruning Japanese maple limbs. But I found an article by Alex Shigo, whoever he is, that said something about respecting the collar. Can you clarify before...

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Starting A Dunstan Chestnut Orchard

Q: I’m in the planning phase of starting a large Dunstan chestnut orchard. Is there anyone to help me in the process? One issue I need to address is irrigation.  A: Few people alive remember the billions of American chestnut...

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What Plant Smells Like Fresh Laundry?

Q: I walk at night in north Georgia in the winter and there’s a sweet smell that I initially thought was someone’s laundry but I realize it must be a plant. Could it be elaeagnus?  A: A couple of candidates...

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Will Mulching my Peach Trees Slow Blooming?

Q: I have several Elberta peach trees that are growing like crazy but they want to bloom in January. I read that mulching them would keep the soil cold to slow blooming. A: The air temperature around trees is what...

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