Gardening Q and A

Confederate Jasmine Vines – Growth in Containers

Q: We want to use Confederate jasmine vines to grow up and trail over our garage doors. Can we successfully grow them in pots? A: Confederate jasmine can be quite robust so I’d opt for the biggest container you can...

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Citronella Plants – Do not repel mosquitoes

Q: How many citronella plants are needed for maximum mosquito protection in a backyard? A: Despite the claims, citronella plants do not repel mosquitoes. Citronella grass, Cymbopogon nardus, and citrosa (scented geranium) contain citronella oil, which does repel mosquitoes. However,...

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Liriope – Pruning

Q: The liriope our subdivision entrance has not been cut back and looks tattered. Is May too late in the year to prune it back? A: I wouldn’t mow it down now but if it’s not a terribly big patch...

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Japanese Maple – Small Root Ball

Q: I planted a scrawny Japanese maple two years ago, digging a hole only a little bigger that the root ball. Now I’m worried it will not grow well due to the hard soil around the roots. Any options? A:...

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Crepemyrtle – Fragrance

Q: Are there any fragrant varieties of crepe myrtles? A: Some gardeners claim to detect a faint scent (‘Apalachee’ and ‘Near East’ are said to have a pleasing fragrance) but I don’t believe any crapemyrtle could be called “fragrant”. In...

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10-10-10 Fertilizer – Tomatoe Planting

Q: If using 10-10-10 fertilizer, what is the correct amount to use when planting a tomato? A: You don’t need much, perhaps a teaspoon of 10-10-10 at planting. When the plant starts setting fruit, apply three Tbsp. per plant. Repeat...

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Floating Row Cover – Where to buy

Q: Where can I buy the floating row cover for vine borer moth prevention? A: Call your local nursery; I’ve seen it recently at several of them. Also called “freeze cloth”, this lightweight material can be draped over young squash...

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Giant Pumpkins – Tips for Growth

Q: Do you have any tips for growing giant pumpkins? A friend sent me and other people packets of his giant pumpkin seeds as a Christmas gift. We are all going to compete and decide the winner at year’s end....

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Recent Tornado Damage – Pine Trees

Q: My brother’s home had many pine trees around it that were snapped at varying heights by the recent tornadoes. Will these trees have to be taken down or is there any way they can survive? A: They will have...

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Fan Sound – Cicada Call

Q: This week I heard a sound coming from the woods that sounds like a fan running with a bearing that needs oil. It is loud enough that you can hear it from several hundred yards. Any ideas? A: I’m...

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Overseeding Thin Bermudagrass – With Bermudagrass Seed

Q: Our home was sodded with bermuda six years ago but we’ve neglected it since then. We’d like to bring it back. Can it be overseeded with bermuda seed to thicken it up?   A: You can overseed a thin bermudagrass...

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Butterfly Japanese Maple – Unusual leaf color

Q: I purchased a Butterfly Japanese maple tree last fall. However, there are a few leaves sprouting that do not look like its normal delicate pale green leaves trimmed in cream and pink. They are big and green. A: ‘Butterfly’ Japanese...

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Cherry Laurel – Pruning

Q: I have several ‘Bright and Tight’ cherry laurels that I planted last spring. Last fall I noticed they had lost a lot of leaves. This spring there is new growth but it is only on the tips of each...

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Narrow and Spindly broccoli heads

Q: I have put a lot of composted horse manure and chicken manure in my garden and everything seems to be growing very well. The broccoli I planted last year are growing very lush and thick, with huge, healthy green...

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Rhubarb – Harvesting stalks

Q: My rhubarb plants have suddenly produced a tall shoot with a flower on the top. Does this mean I can no longer eat the stalks? A: You’re lucky to have rhubarb to consider eating. This perennial vegetable struggles to...

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Fern Caterpillar Prevention

Q: I have Boston ferns on my front porch every summer. In the middle of the summer I get fern caterpillars. Do you have any suggestions to prevent them? A: These caterpillars come from eggs laid on the fern by...

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Cotton Burr Compost – Georgia

Q: I recently returned from Kansas and brought back some cotton burr compost. I’ve read this is excellent for gardens, although it’s very stinky. Why can’t I find it in the Atlanta area? A: University of Georgia cotton expert Guy...

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Co-dominant Trunks – Pruning

Q: I have heard you speak about “co-dominant” trunks, emphasizing that multiple trunks are not conducive to a tree’s health. My Bloodgood Japanese maples have co-dominant trunks. Do I prune them? A: Having two parallel trunks can be a problem...

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