Gardening Q and A

Lily of the Valley – Invasive?

Q: I got some Lily of the Valley plants from a coworker to fill in around my hosta. I’m reading online that they can be invasive. Any advice? A: Growing in perfect conditions lily of the valley could be “pushy”...

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Crapemyrtle – Floppy in Summer

Q: I have two floppy crepe myrtles, one more floppy than the other. I’ve never seen a floppy myrtle before. Is there something I need to do to make them stay upright and not flop over? In winter I cut...

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Honey – Doesn’t Prevent Allergies

Q: I’m having terrible allergies this year and I’m being forced to stay indoors. I’ve been told to find locally grown raw honey to eat daily. Where could I get some? A: Although this is widespread homespun advice, the allergy...

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Woody Adelgid Attack – Prevention

Q: My wife and I recently purchased seven acres in Union County. We’ve planted several hemlocks. How do I prevent wooly adelgid attack?   A: Wooly adelgid, a sap-sucking insect, has killed thousands of hemlocks in north Georgia so I can...

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Woodchip Steam – Caused by Fungi and Bacteria

Q: My coworkers and I were wondering why a huge pile of wood chips makes steam afterwards. A: The condensed water vapor (steam) is caused by the heat of billions of fungi and bacteria digesting fresh wood and sap. Digestion...

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Lilac Growth – Proper pH ensures annual flowers

Q: My mother has two lilacs They are growing and doing well but only one of them flowers every year. Why is that? A: In order to bloom, some lilacs need more winter chill hours than others. This is why...

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Rhododendron – Pruning

Q: My rhododendrons are three free tall and full of pink blooms. I noticed that after last season’s flowers were gone, there didn’t seem to be much foliage. Should I trim the rhododendrons back after flowering? A: If they are...

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Cultivating soybeans – Growth for soy milk

Q: Where can I buy soybeans to cultivate? I’d like to make my own soy milk. A: In my opinion, the economics are against you but the adventure will be very educational! Assuming optimum conditions, your garden yield should be...

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Quinault strawberry plants – Not for Georgia

Q: Early last summer I planted three Quinault strawberry plants. I got lush plants but minuscule berries. What do I need to do to get decent fruit? A: The ‘Quinault’ strawberry doesn’t grow very well in Georgia. It is an...

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Polyester Row Covers – When to cover plants

Q: On a recent radio show, you mentioned using polyester row cover to overcome squash vine borer. I purchased some but when do I cover the plants? A: The lightweight cover prevents squash vine borer moths from laying eggs on...

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Roundup Tips – Bermudagrass

Q: As a northern transplant, I didn’t know about the sheer destructive nature of bermuda grass in my flower bed. I tried spraying Roundup but it’s nearly impossible not to get it on the growth of my daylilies. Any tips?...

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Heirloom alongside hybrids – Not a problem

Q: Is it okay to grow heirloom vegetables alongside hybrids? I want to try corn, beans and squash. A: Cross-pollination among corn varieties can affect flavor but planting heirloom beans and squash near each other is no problem. The only...

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Air Layering – Camellia

Q: Is it possible to air layer a large camellia branch so I get a bigger plant when it is rooted? A: No. Air-layering requires a certain ratio between the size of the treated limb and the number of leaves...

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Compost Bugs – If you build it, they will come

Q: I have three big compost piles but the only thing I see in there are pill bugs. Where do I get insects for my piles? A: My rule for getting bugs into compost is “Build It and They Will...

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Wisteria – Removal From Pergola

Q: Our pergola is covered with wisteria and has gotten so rotten we are cutting it down. How do we kill the large wisteria vine? A: The big wisteria will be a problem for years. Roots near and far from...

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Potting Soil – Longevity

Q: I have some unopened two-year old bags of potting soil under my deck. Do you think the products are still good? A: If the material is still dry inside the bags I think it would be fine to use...

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Celery Root in Georgia

Q: I am from Germany and use celery root in my soups but those roots are hard to find and are expensive. Can I grow celery root in my own garden? A: I think our summer heat will be your...

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Squash – Pickleworm

Q: Last year my yellow squash grew fine but they had little green worms inside when you cut the squash open. A: My guess is that you had pickleworms in the squash. They are the larvae of a brownish-yellow moth....

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