Gardening Q and A

Baking Soda – For Disease Control

Q: Will a baking soda spray help to discourage fungal disease on tomato plants? A: It might….and it might not. Researchers have worked for several years on the use of various bicarbonates to control fungi. Some results have been positive,...

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Cats/Dogs – Repel From Flower Bed

Q: Is there anything that will keep the neighborhood cats out of my raised beds? A: I think a well-aimed motion-activated sprinkler would send the cats skedaddling. Look online for the Contech Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler (click for sources) or the...

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Ash Flower Gall – Identification

Q: I have a white ash that has weird green cauliflower-looking growths where the seeds clusters used to be. When I break them open, I find a little worm. A: The malformation is caused by ash flower gall. A tiny...

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Blackberry – Red-necked Cane Borer

Q: My thornless blackberry died suddenly and I found larva in the cane. Can you ID these critters? A: Looks like red-necked cane borer. The larvae grow in the blackberry stem, causing it to enlarge, about a foot from ground...

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Organic Herbicide (Weed Killer) – Won’t Hurt Dog

Q: Is there a weed killer for poison ivy that won’t harm my dog? A: I used a commercial herbicidal soap on poison ivy last week and the leaves were burned to the ground in a day. There are several...

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Podocarpus – Edible?

Q: I recently found these pods on a tree in Marietta and would love to know their origin and if these pods can be used to grown my own. The fruit/pod are dark purplish black and spongy and then this...

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Edible Flowers

Q: Where can I learn more about edible flowers? I want to use them on a wedding cake. A: I found a good resource from the Colorado Extension office. see Edible Flowers You might also be interested in edible plants...

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Horsehair Worm – Identification

Q: I have a plastic half-barrel with water lilies growing in it. On one of the floating leaves I found a skinny black worm, thin as a hair. What is it? A: It’s probably a harmless horsehair worm. Despite their...

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Cemetery – Plants for

Q: What would be some good plants to plant in front of a cemetery headstone where there is no water service? The space is 3.5 feet long and 16 inches wide. A: Assuming the site is in full sun, I...

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Red Rose – Turning Pink

Q: I have five large Knockout roses in my yard. They have been in the ground for 3 years and have always been red. They just recently bloomed and one of them is now pink and another is turning pick....

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Lady Beetle – Pupae

Q: These orange pods are on my Rose of Sharon bushes, plus several black and orange bugs. What are they? A: The pods are lady beetle pupal sacks…keep them! And the alligator creatures are the immature lady beetles that made...

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Maple – Severe Damage by Squirrel

Q: In the span of 8 hours something attacked our maple tree. The bark is shredded off. I was gone all day and found it in this state when I got home. A: It’s gotta be a squirrel doing the...

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Red Knock Out® Rose Turning Pink

Q:I have 5 large Knock Out®  roses in my yard, 3 are planted together. They have been in the ground for 3 years and have always been red. They just recently bloomed and one of them is now pink and another...

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Blister Beetles – On Holly

Q: There were hundreds of these bugs on my Nellie Stevens holly, stripping the plant leaves. Then they up and left! A: It’s a gray blister beetle, Epicauta caviceps. It doesn’t usually eat leaves but tender new growth on a...

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Pepper and Basil – Bacterial Leaf Spot

Q: Can you tell me what the black splotches on the basil in our small garden are? Q: This is a picture of a pepper I planted about 2 weeks ago. It looked healthy and vibrant when I put it...

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Elm – Drooping Limbs

Q: I planted a Princeton Elm about 3 years ago and the upright vase shape has been lovely. Now the elm seems to have had a growth spurt and added several feet to the limbs. A recent downpour has made...

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Aphids – Honeydew on Patio

Q: Shortly after we had these pavers installed we noticed a small gray patch of something. It slowly grew to a large gray patch. Now we have a second gray patch. And the first patch has developed little white flies....

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Taber Azalea – Flower Chimera

Q: We were out in the yard this weekend and I noticed a few dark pink flowers on my otherwise light-pink azalea. Then we looked closer and noticed a flower that is half light pink and half dark pink. This...

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