Gardening Q and A

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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Rose of Sharon – Budding

Q: Both this year and last on our Rose of Sharon bush there have been a considerable amount of blooms on the plant that never fully open. They turn yellow and drop. A: In my experience, two things cause Rose...

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No Mow Grass

Q: We hate to mow our lawn and were wondering what you know about “no-mow” grass. Our lawn is primarily shady, so what we are mowing now is weeds. A: If you’re referring to No Mow Grass sold on the...

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Moss – Weeds

Q: I am a moss lover. Is there a best way to remove weeds from my moss areas? When I pull them by hand, particularly the grass, the moss comes up also. A: The best idea is to clip weeds...

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Manure – Killing Garden Plants

Q: My wife and I are very experienced gardeners. This past winter I picked up a load of horse manure from a stable and let it compost under a tarp. In spring I top dressed my flower beds and mixed...

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Crows – Control

Q:We just had some new zoysia sod put in and crows are out there every evening plucking it out of the ground. Any suggestions? A: I consulted my University of Georgia Extension friends and they say the crows are likely...

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Potato Vine – Trimming

Q: I have a potato vine in a large ceramic pot. It grows like kudzu and is covering everything close by. Any problem with trimming? A: There’s no problem at all with cutting the vine when needed. Some early varieties...

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Bermuda Grass – Spreading

Q: Can you tell me the best way to prevent bermuda grass from getting into my flower beds? Can you recommend a barrier of metal, plastic, etc? A: Landscape architect Bruce Holliday (www.landscapeplansplus.com) says the very best material is brick...

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Mulch – Spiders

Q: Last fall I raked mulch off the garden and let it sit in a pile. After planting this year I re-spread it over the garden. Apparently over the winter a bunch of spiders nested in the mulch. I try...

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Limelight Hydrangea- Pruning

Q: I planted two Limelight hydrangeas last year. They look very healthy but will they bloom if I didn’t prune them this spring? A: They will be fine and will bloom in late summer. ‘Limelight’ is a panicle hydrangea. It...

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Wax Myrtle – Flowers (catkins)

Q: What’s going on with my wax myrtle? There seems to be some kind of infestation on the stems. A: It’s not an infestation, it’s wax myrtle sex! The things on the branches are female catkins (flowers) which will get...

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