Gardening Q and A

Kudzu Bug – Control Organically

Q: I just discovered a really bad infestation of kudzu bugs on the beans in our garden. I looked into using spinosad and unfortunately we cannot use it because of our honeybees. From what I have read, it is highly...

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Pecan – Pollination

Q: A friend of mine in Savannah gave me several male and female pecan trees. Will they thrive here? How do I identify a male from a female tree? A: Pecans don’t have male and female trees. However, many pecan...

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Diatomaceous Earth – For Insect Control

Q: I heard you talking on the radio about finding diatomaceous earth to use for bugs in gardens. I bought the stuff from a pool supply store, where it is cheap! A: Unfortunately, diatomaceous earth (D.E.) for pools is not...

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Good Careers in Agriculture!

Q: Our 19-year-old son has expressed an interest in double majoring in history and agriculture. What are some examples of jobs/career paths that we can visualize, besides farming? A: The University of Georgia’s Faith Peppers says there are nearly twice...

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Gypsum – Used to Prevent Blossom End Rot

Q: We grow tomatoes in a little raised bed and have always used garden lime in the past. I keep hearing about using gypsum (calcium sulfate) for calcium, but I worry that it will increase soil acidity. A: Gypsum is...

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Rosinweed – Identification

Q: My brother and sister-in-law found several of these where they walk for exercise near Jesup, GA and wanted to transplant a couple. They thought it was some kind of fern and but they dug it up it had a...

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Bare Area – Covering With Fabric and Stone

Q: We want to cover the ground in our island with something that weeds won’t grow up into and through. We have considered gravel on top of landscape fabric. A friend did something similar with rubber mulch but the grass...

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Sansivieria Cylindrica – Rhizome

Q: What the heck is this growing out of my sansevieria. I know it isn’t a bloom or a leaf, but I am very perplexed. A: It’s a rhizome: a thick root that grows away from the original clump. Eventually...

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White Deposits on Hydrangea Leaves

Q: I went out to water my hydrangeas today and noticed white spots all around the edges of the leaves. This was not there yesterday so it happened sometime during the night. The leaves don’t seem damaged and the plants...

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Oystershell Scale – Identification and Control

Q: I have noticed many insect eggs located on the bark of my Japanese zelkova trees.. I have also noticed these to a lesser degree on various types of maple trees. You can notice small a hole where an insect...

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Flowering Pear – Improved Varieties

Q: I want to plant some flowering pears in my yard to provide cover from houses across the street. What do you recommend? A: I’d look for ‘Chanticleer’ or ‘Aristocrat’ flowering pear. ‘Bradford’ pear is commonly sold but it has...

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Basic Slag – Sources

Q: My relatives in Alabama swear by something called “basic swag” for their gardens. They say it’s a nutrient that comes in powdered form and you broadcast it over your green vegetables. Can you help me find some? A: I...

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Sweet Potato – Growing Slips

Q: Do you know where between Atlanta and Lake Burton I can find sweet potato plants? A: My dad used to buy them from Travis Hardware in Fayetteville but that emporium and its genial owner are no longer with us....

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Japanese Maple – White Spots on Leaves

Q: What are the “white spots” on my Japanese maple leaves? Just noticed them this week. A: It’s a fungal disease called phyllosticta. It is unsightly but is rarely a big problem on Japanese maples. Only under certain combinations of...

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Snapdragon Rust – Identification

Q: A friend tells me that you might help identify this infestation on the back of my snapdragon leaves. It appeared as the plants were about to send up their flowering shoots and wilted them before most were able to...

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Trap Door Spider – Identification

Q: I was digging in some mulch and this fine fellow emerged. I anesthetized it with carbon dioxide to get it to be still while I photographed its underside. After a few minutes it recovered just fine. Do you recognize...

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Cherokee Rose – History

Q: I have to do a garden club program on our state flower, the Cherokee Rose. Do you have any historical information on its original selection and the later naming of a native azalea as Georgia’s flower? A: The Cherokee...

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Impatiens Downy Mildew – Identification and Substitutes

Q: I have been told by a local garden center that garden impatiens, except the New Guineas, have a disease this year and should not be planted. Is this the case or maybe an exaggeration? A: It is true that...

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