Gardening Q and A

Dead Hydrangeas – Cut

Q: Do you cut back dead hydrangeas? A: The trick is determining what is dead and what isn’t. If a hydrangea stem does not have any green buds on it right now then it is dead and you can cut...

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Trifoliate Orange – Controlling It

Q: Trifoliate orange is taking over areas of my pasture. What’s the best way to control it? A: To minimize chemical use, cut the plants close to the ground and spray a little bit of glyphosate (Killz-all, Roundup, etc) or...

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Canna Bulbs – Store Indoors During Winter

Q: How should I store canna bulbs that I dig up and keep indoors through the winter? A: Canna roots will usually get through winter fine if the soil is well-drained and you cover them with a couple of inches...

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Meyer Lemon, Mexican Lime, and Clementine – When to Bring Them Inside

Q: We have a Meyer lemon, a Mexican lime and a Clementine in pots. When do you recommend bringing them inside. A: I’d bring them in when night temperatures are predicted to go below 50 degrees. They need a lot...

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Ryegrass and Fescue Seeds – Why Mix

Q: Our landscape contractor is telling me I need to mix ryegrass seed with my fescue seed at planting time. What is the purpose of this? A: When soil temperatures are above 55 degrees there is no need to mix...

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Humate Soil Conditioner – Not Recommended

Q: Humate soil conditioner has been recommended for my lawn. We have poor soil and have problems with ring spot fungus. This area is not over-watered. A: Despite many glowing claims from promoters, very little unbiased, university-based research supports the...

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Cherokee Rose – Plant In Pot

Q: Should I plant my new Cherokee rose in a pot in the ground to keep the roots from spreading and taking over? It will grow on an arbor. A: I remember that the State Botanical Garden in Athens once...

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Christmas Cactus – Keep From Blooming

Q: How can I keep my Christmas cactus from blooming till Christmas? A: The various plants we call “Christmas cactus” bloom in other seasons if left to their own devices. Your plant is probably a Thanksgiving cactus, Schlumbergera truncata, not...

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Sweet Potatoes – When to Harvest

Q: I just dug up my sweet potatoes. They are very small compared to past crops. Did I dig them up too soon? What else could it be? A: Sweet potatoes should be harvested when the leaves all begin to...

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Rye Grass – Too Warm to Plant

Q: I want to plant rye grass. Is it too warm? The weather forecast is saying that we will have above average temperatures. A: I checked your soil temperature at georgiaweather.net and found that it is in the mid-60’s. That’s...

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Garden Tool Blades Sticky- Cleaning

Q: My garden tool blades get sticky at times when I make cuts. What’s the best thing to clean them with? A: I use WD-40 to unstick my pruners. But WD-40 is a penetrant, not a permanent lubricant so I...

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Red Maple Tree – Black Deposits

Q: I have dark black deposits on the bark of a red maple tree. A: It could be an indication that the trees are infested with gloomy scale. The maple trunk gradually turns black as sooty mold accumulates on the...

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‘Miss Huff’ Lantana – When to Trim and Move

Q: My ‘Miss Huff’ lantana is six feet tall. Can I trim them back now? Can I move it now? A: There is much disagreement among gardeners about how to treat ‘Miss Huff’ perennial lantana for winter. Some say that...

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Pinestraw – Swirls

Q: Do you have any idea what causes big swirls in my pinestraw? One day the pinestraw is smooth and the next day it looks like a turbulent landscape. Some of the swirls are almost cave-like but only a couple...

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Feeding Ferns – Bananas

Q: A friend says to feed ferns with bananas. Is this true? A: The peels provide no more benefits to ferns than coffee grounds, carrot shreds, apple skins or any other source of easily decomposable organic matter. All of these...

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Acorns – Disposing

Q: What is the best way to dispose of acorns once I have them all raked up? A: I suppose you could add a moderate amount to your compost pile and let them decompose over the winter. The compost won’t...

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Dog Pee In Flower Beds – Save Roses

Q: How do you get rid of dog pee in flower beds? What do I do to the soil in order to not have my new roses die? A: Usually simply adding organic matter, tilling the soil, and leaving it...

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Sedum Plants – Bees

Q: We have sedum plants which are flowering like never before! The bumblebees are working it all day long. What are they doing with whatever it is they are taking? A: Large sedums like ‘Autumn Joy’ and ‘Matrona’ are some...

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