Gardening Q and A

Hard core in Tomatoes

Q: We have a tomato plant that produces tomatoes that have a very hard core. It feels like wood; what causes that? A: It’s usually caused by hot weather but older varieties that are big and juicy may have hard...

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When to Pick Granny Smith Apples

Q: I have a Granny Smith apple tree and a Stayman Winesap. When do I pick them? A: One method is to count the numbers of days since full bloom, if you remember when that occurred. Granny Smith is usually...

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Mosquito Spraying-Hurting Bees?

Q: Do you think a monthly mosquito spraying by an exterminator will hurt the bee population? A: I’m not sure a monthly spraying would even harm the mosquito population. These biting insects can go from egg to adult in fourteen...

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Creeping Jenny Dead Patch

Q: A dead patch has been progressing quickly on creeping Jenny in my yard. Full sun, started two weeks ago. Have you seen it? A: My bet is it’s Southern blight. UGA plant disease expert Jean Williams-Woodward says you can...

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Holes in Azalea Leaves

Q: What is chewing holes in my azalea leaves? This happens every year around July on otherwise healthy bushes. A: It’s cranberry rootworm. The larvae feed on roots and adults feed on leaves from the underside, at night, making characteristic...

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Ligustrum/Lorepetalum Hedge-Time to Trim

Q: I have a ligustrum/lorepetalum hedge that is twenty feet tall; it has gotten unmanageable. I would like to take it down to ten feet. Can this be accomplished at this time of year without killing them? A: It won’t...

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Burnt Tree-Will it Live?

Q: My neighbor was burning debris and the fire spread into my yard while I was away on vacation. My thirty-foot-tall cedar tree is brown on one side. The top and one small side are still green. Is there anything...

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Saddleback Caterpillars-Get Rid of Them

Q: I discovered four saddleback caterpillars while deadheading my Knockout roses. I want them gone! Should I get rid of the roses? A: I have good news! Saddleback caterpillars rarely reinfest the plants where you find them. They are very...

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Ants-Get Rid of Them

Q: We have a major invasion of ants. I have tried most ant remedies but nothing seems to work. A: A friend had lots of ants crawling around the sink in her kitchen. She used a commercial ant bait applied...

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Barrier for Monkey Grass

Q: I have monkey grass growing next to my lawn and it is invading via underground runners. How deep should I bury a barrier is to control this? A: I think a barrier buried six inches deep would be fine....

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Bumblebees-Honey?

Q: Do bumblebees make honey? They are all over my lavender and I’m sure that would make good honey. A: Bumblebees don’t make honey because they don’t have perennial nests. Like yellowjackets and hornets, all the bumblebee workers die in...

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Outdoor Koi in GA

Q: I have a friend from England who swears you can raise koi outdoors in Georgia, near Athens. I said it is too cold. He is usually right about everything but is he is right about this? A: Your friend...

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State Capitol Lawn

Q: Do you know what kind of grass was grown at the state capitol lawn from mid-1982 to early 1984? A friend of mine is allergic to grass, EXCEPT for the grass grown at the capitol, where she worked during...

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Chattahoochee River Water-Safe for Irrigation?

Q: Is it safe to use water from the Chattahoochee River to irrigate a vegetable garden? A: Many years ago, the Chattahoochee was not the cleanest river in the region. Folks were warned about eating fish caught there. Now the...

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Little Gem Magnolias-House Foundations

Q: Six years ago a landscaper planted three ‘Little Gem’ magnolia trees six feet away from our house. She told us that the maximum height would be six feet. Since then they have grown much larger. We’re concerned that roots...

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English Ivy Ground Cover

Q: Is it okay to use English ivy as a ground cover so long as I keep it off trees and structures? A: Many will disagree with the following but I’ll say it anyway: there are situations where English is...

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New Zealand Tree Ferns in Atlanta?

Q: Do you think we can grow New Zealand tree ferns in Atlanta? A: They won’t survive winter. I see them for sale at “big box” stores as perennial plants but I just roll my eyes and pass them...

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Zoysia-Time to Plant?

Q: How late can zoysia sod be planted this summer and still have time to take root before cold weather? A: I think you’d be safe planting it 90 days before the first frost. There’s still then plenty of good...

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