Gardening Q and A

Paperwhite Narcissus – Timed Planting

Q: What is the timetable for starting paperwhites so that they will be at their peak before Christmas and during Christmas week? A: Paperwhite narcissus bulbs will bloom four to six weeks after they are planted. That puts the planting...

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Fruit Orchard – South Georgia

Q: We are moving to Bacon County, in southeast Georgia, and I have five acres to play with. I have visions of a backyard fruit orchard dancing in my head! Where do I go for information on the what and...

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Pecan Leaves – Not For Mulch

Q: Are pecan leaves good to mulch a garden? The local Cub Scout pack will be raking leaves at church and I’m planning to put them on our community garden there. A: It’s well-known that juglone, a chemical in walnut...

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Hollies – No Berries

Q: All the hollies I see have no berries this year. What event occurred to cause this phenomenon? A: I went out back and spoke to my holly friends Nellie, Savannah, Foster, and Burford. They all reported copious berries this...

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Bermuda – Mowing Mid Winter

Q:Will it damage my bermuda lawn if I mow it when it has turned brown? I just want to clean it up a little. A: Mowing your lawn high once or twice in winter is a good way to clean...

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Red Cedar – Transplanting

Q: We have fifteen red cedar saplings about a foot tall growing in shade. We’d like to relocate them but the new location would be in full sun almost all day. Can these be transplanted? A: Redcedar (CQ), Juniperus virginiana,...

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Ginger Lily – Growing Leaves

Q: In September, I cut back my ginger lilies, dug out some rhizomes, and sent them to my friend in Massachusetts. He put them in pots in his house. They are now growing leaves. Should he cut the leaves back...

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Bulbs – Sprouting

Q: We have some bulbs that are beginning to sprout. The foliage is two inches high. Is it too late to divide and replant them? A: You can accomplish two things at once now: divide and fertilize. We have had...

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Hydrangea – Winter Care

Q: I have a pair of four- year-old common hydrangeas. I need to know how to overwinter them. Do I need to cover them to protect next year’s blooms from frost and hard freeze? A: It’s generally not necessary in...

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Camellia – Too Many Buds

Q: My camellia bush has been full of buds in fall for the last two years but none of them open. They eventually all fall off. What can I do? A: An hour after you called, a listener named Kip...

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White Iris – Identifying

Q: My mother has a a white iris in her flowerbed that bloomed in the spring and then again in September and December! Could you tell me what variety it is? A: Mark Franklin, iris expert at MP Flowers (Birmingham...

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Christmas Tree – Aphids

Q: We have bugs coming from our Christmas tree. They crawl onto floor and then die. Any way to stop them from coming out of the tree? A: They are probably aphids. Christmas tree growers do a great job controlling...

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Chia – Growing For Seeds

Q: Can we grow chia in Georgia? I like to sprinkle the health-giving seeds on my cereal. A: I have fond college memories of growing chia on a clay figure of Richard Nixon. He had a scraggly green beard but...

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Pears – Fire Blight

Q: I went to a nursery and they sold me a Bartlett pear. Doing my research after the fact, I found this pear is not recommended for Georgia. Why? A: ‘Bartlett’ pear isn’t recommended because it gets fire blight disease...

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Bermuda – Burning

Q: What is the advantage, if any, to burning a Bermuda grass lawn when dormant? A: You might get an unanticipated conversation with your insurance person, but it might not be so pleasant. My father was an insurance agent for...

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Potted Trees – Root Care

Q: You said on your radio show that gardeners should shake off the dirt from potted trees and shrubs before planting so the roots could be untangled and separated. A few weeks ago I planted three oak trees that were...

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Water Lilies – Management

Q: I read your recent article about water lilies and how invasive they are. Do you have suggestions on how to get rid of water lilies already growing in a one acre private pond? A: It’s very difficult to control...

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Navy Hat – Oak Leaves

Q: A U.S. Navy captain’s hat has gold oak leaves on the bill. What kind of oak leaves are these? A: I think the oak leaves used for Navy insignia are stylized versions of live oak, Quercus virginiana, leaves. Live...

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