Gardening Q and A

Clay Pot – Soil

Q: My clay pots all seemed to have lost about an inch or two of soil over the winter. What’s up? Do I just add potting soil? A: It’s shrinking because the larger particles of organic matter in the potting...

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Shrub Pruning

Q: How do you prune shrubs correctly that have been pruned into green meatballs? I would love for them to look more natural. A: You can do it one of two ways: the first way is to simply leave the...

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Zoysia Grass – Scalp and Image Herbicide

Q: I was wondering in what order and when should I apply Image herbicide and scalp my zoysia grass. A: I believe the label for Image herbicide says that it should not be used when grass is greening up, which...

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Moving Daffodils

Q: Long ago, I transplanted many clumps of old daffodils to our new house. They bloomed well for years. They are next to a walking path where the soil is very compacted and they don’t bloom much. Can I move...

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Oak Fertilizing/Mulch Schedule

Q: In January I transplanted eight oaks from the woods to my yard. They are 4 – 9 feet tall. I applied a liquid 3-10-3 fertilizer to the surface of the backfill. What should my fertilizing schedule be now? A:...

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Bermuda Dormancy – Scalp/Pre-emergent

Q: Coming out of bermuda dormancy, should I scalp or put down pre-emergent first? A: Because scalping kickstarts the grass growth process too early you don’t want to do that now. Cold-weather could damage unprotected grass plants. I recommend you...

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Rose Plant Fertilizing Instructions

Q: I just received six bare root roses. Instructions for planting are confusing; they say for bare root trees and shrubs not to fertilize the first year, yet for roses they say to fertilize at time of planting. A: I...

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Poinsettia Tree – Overwatering

Q: How do I care for a poinsettia tree? Mine has dropped almost all its leaves but I continue to water it every other day. A: I think you’ve overwatered. If it has lost all of its leaves, it’s probably...

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Tomato – Milk Jug

Q: How do I start tomato plants in a milk jug? A: Use heavy scissors to make a cut two inches above the bottom of a milk jug, cutting around the jug on three sides (the fourth side will be...

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Geranium Rooting – Winter Light

Q: I’ve overwintered a geranium for five years under lights. This year, it has started to blossom! If it is growing and blossoming under lights, will my cuttings root under the same lights? A: Get a plant propagation heating mat...

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Fescue Plastic Covering

Q: I planted fescue recently for erosion control and covered it with clear plastic. It’s four inches tall. When should I uncover it? A: I think it is more likely to become too hot under the plastic than it is...

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Cold Dracaena

Q: I am in a big pickle with my wife. I moved furniture out of the house so I could redo our hardwood floors. I put her eight-foot tall dracaena plant on the back porch all night when it was...

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Propagating Magnolia Trees

Q: What is the best month to plant the smaller varieties of magnolia trees? A: Here’s my advice, going from “Best” to “Okay” to “Don’t Waste Your Time”: October, February, July. Planting trees later than February is problematic because the...

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New Pear Trees

Q: I have been trying for several years to start new pear trees from old ones. What’s the best way? A: I think your best bet is grafting twigs from an old tree onto a small young tree. This is...

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Saving a Scuppernong Vine

Q: I have a scuppernong vine that I got from my Grandad. I noticed when pruning that some of the vines were half black, half green, on the inside and others weren’t bright green like they should be. A: Since...

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Safety of Herbicide

Q: I have fought annual bluegrass in my lawn for years but never got total control. A neighbor told me his lawn care guy uses ABCDEF and gets very good results. Why don’t you recommend it? A: I don’t recommend...

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Mondo Grass Take Over

Q: I have an abundance of mondo grass in my lawn. The rest of the yard is a combination of various weeds and fescue. What’s the best way to get mondo to take over? A: I have a very similar...

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Huge Grub!

Q: Have found lots of large grubs this year. One was 2″ long and as big around as my index finger! A: The most common large grub of spring is that of the Hercules beetle. I find them often in...

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