Gardening Q and A

Centipede Grass – Fertilizing After Sodding

Q: I sodded my yard with centipede grass on June 15th. When should I apply fertilizer? A: Your centipedegrass can be fertilized when it is firmly rooted to the underlying soil. In practical terms this is usually when you’ve had...

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Mimosa Sprouts

Q: I grew up in New Orleans and we had mimosa trees. I have several random sprouts in my yard but I don’t think they will grow into a real tree anytime soon. A: Mimosas easily grow here but despite...

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Okra Pods – Ants

Q: Last year my okra pods were covered in fire ants. How do I keep them off without using strong chemicals? A: Fire ants are indeed the likely culprits. They feed on developing pods and make a nuisance of themselves...

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Zucchini Plant – Blooms

Q: I know that the first blooms on a zucchini plant are the male flowers. If I cut those off will the female flowers that come later still produce zucchini fruit? I love fried squash blossoms! A: You can fry...

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Daylilies – Accomodating Plants

Q: I have a bed of English ivy and daylilies. We have pulled up the ivy and want to replace it with a less invasive plant that will still accommodate the daylilies. It’s in full sun on a slight slope....

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Garden Soil – Herbicide Contamination

Q: For several years I developed terraced vegetable beds on a slope and they produced prolifically with no significant problems. Last winter, I added another bed and filled it with “garden soil” from a local landscaping supply company. This summer...

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Landscape – Plastic Covering the Soil

Q: My new house has landscape areas covered with black plastic that is beginning to show through. Should I have the plastic removed and just use pine straw? A: By all means remove the plastic. Solid plastic sheet prevents water...

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Bermuda – Mixing with Zoysia

Q: I have a spot where bermuda doesn’t grow so I want to put Emerald zoysia there. How it will look having two different grasses growing next to each other? A: Both of these grasses are fine-bladed and look very...

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Four O’Clock Seed – Durability

Q: I have seeds for four o’clock flowers that I helped my grandmother harvest 40 years ago. They are still in the little change purse she put them in. Is there any hope of them sprouting now? A: The skin...

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Maple Tree – Girdling Root

Q: I took your advice and examined the base of my declining maple tree and found a big root pressing against the base. Should I remove the root or let it be? A: Much depends on how big the root...

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Fertilizer – Fish

Q: Since I work in a restaurant, I have fish scraps which I once heard were great for the garden. Is this true? A: Fish have been used as fertilizer since ancient times. Save the fish scraps in a bucket...

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Fruit – Espaliering

Q: I’m learning about growing fruit and I see that in England they are grown against walls in a fan shape. Is there a reason we don’t do this in the Southeast? A: Training fruit trees to grow in a...

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Dogwood – Pruning

Q: We have several lanky dogwoods which are putting out small suckers below the true limbs at our second floor of our home. Can I remove them? Short of finding a monkey with pruning skills, how do I do it?...

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Kentucky Wonder Pole Beans – No Beans

Q: We planted Kentucky Wonder pole beans in April. They are climbing up the support poles nicely but they have been blooming for over two weeks with no sign of beans! A: Bean flower drop is related to fertilization but...

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Light – Measuring

Q: In my work as a landscape designer, I’m challenged by the different kinds of shade on a site. Shade under a maple tree is completely different from shade on the north side of a house. But both are considered...

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Asian Persimmon Tree – Fruit

Q: My two-year-old Asian persimmon tree has been dropping developing fruit. Is it poor pollination? How can I stop the drop? A: Fruit trees vary in their ability to hold fruit while they become established in a growing site. There...

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Shrubs – Yellow Sapwood

Q: We chopped some shrubs recently and the trunk inside was bright yellow. Can you tell me what caused this or if it is normal? A: You probably were working with a barberry or a mahonia. Both have bright yellow...

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Hydrangea – Blooming Problems

Q: What happened to the hydrangeas this year? I have many hydrangeas in my yard that have bloomed for years and this year some did and some didn’t. All these plants look very healthy, and are growing like gang busters....

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