Gardening Q and A

Roach Control – Laying Mulch

Q: I was curious what mulch you recommend when it comes to roach control? A: Most homes have mulch near the foundation. Your best bet for immediate short term control is to sprinkle outdoor insecticide granules onto any mulched areas...

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Lenten Roses – Self Pollinators

Q: My Lenten roses are blooming, and I am curious to know if they self-pollinate or is there an insect that does so. A: They self-pollinate like crazy! Hellebore flowers have the male and female parts close together so self-pollination...

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Powdery Mildew – A Host Specific Malady

Q: After fighting powdery mildew on a crape myrtle, I’ve decided to dig it up and plant a Japanese maple in its place. Is there something I should do to the soil before I plant? A: Powdery mildew is very...

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Cottonwood Tree – Can It Be Killed?

Q: How can I kill a cottonwood tree that’s growing between my foundation and my AC unit? I drilled holes in the stump and poured rock salt and boiling water in the holes last spring. A few days later there...

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Florescent Lamp – Amount Of Exposure

Q: I have a double florescent tube lamp that I’m going to place over my seedlings when they come up. How many hours should it be on? A: Eighteen hours on and six hours off seems to work well. Remember...

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Stepables – Back Yard Cover

Q: We have a heavily shaded back yard and are looking what to try next. I’d like your thoughts on Stepables. A: Stepables ™ is a collection of many different species of plants that are typically low-growing and spreading. You...

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Tomatoes – Too Much Water

Q: Last year we had poor tomato production due to rainfall and a lack of sunshine. What can we do to prevent problems in our garden before planting this year? A: If too much water was the problem, increasing the...

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Roses – Rosette Virus

Q: Last week I took out a beautiful thirteen-year-old climbing Eden rose because it had rose rosette virus. We weren’t able to get all the roots but most of them. Is there something I can add to the soil so...

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Freezing Seeds – Not Helpful

Q: I have heard that freezing seeds for up to one week prior to planting seeds up the germination. Is this true? A: I don’t think it helps germination. It’s true that some seeds require “stratification”, which is storage in...

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Spirea – Pruning Tips

Q: My husband wants to prune our spirea. But he doesn’t believe me when I insist it blooms twice! Our landscaper used to severely prune it this time of year. A: Scheduling spirea pruning depends on which kind you have....

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Bee Trap – No Bait Required

Q: I checked out the carpenter bee trap on your website. Should you put some bait in the bottle? What makes the bees go down the hole? A: No bait is needed. Once bees enter the drilled holes in the...

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Harsh Winter – Are My Plants Dead?

Q: Has winter weather killed my (gardenia), (loropetalum), (daphne), etc? A: With multiple bouts of sub-10 degree cold, the winter of 2014 will teach us all some lessons about how hardy our plants REALLY are. I’m wondering how my St....

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Blueberry – Determining Your Variety

Q: How can I determine what variety of blueberry bushes I have in my yard? A: You can’t do it definitively. You might be able to make a good guess by observing when yours fruit. ‘Climax’ is earlier than ‘Brightwell’,...

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Canna – Not A Winter Plant

Q: I have a question about when to transplant canna. I would like to move mine but I’m not sure when to do it. A: Canna is not always winter hardy outdoors in the Atlanta area. This winter will test...

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Patio Gardening – Herbs and Vegetables

Q: I live in an apartment but I have private patio. I am interested in planting herb and vegetables on a small scale using pots. A: I found a great resource for vegetable container gardening AND a very useful calendar...

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Cherry Laurel – Not Growing As Expected

Q: We planted eight Carolina cherry laurels six years ago. They were supposed to grow but are still the same size as when they were planted. What may be the problem? A: When shrubs or trees refuse to grow to...

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Removing Plants – Where Can They Go?

Q: I plan on removing numerous plants and shrubs from my back yard including: azaleas, mop head hydrangeas, oak leaf hydrangeas, rhododendrons and hostas. Rather than have these plants destroyed and sent to the landfill, is there anyone you know...

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Peppers – Planting Bell With Hot

Q: Can I plant bell peppers and hot peppers together or will they cross pollinate? A: They might cross-pollinate but this will not affect their taste. Pepper flowers contain both male and female organs, so the flowers typically pollinate themselves....

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