Gardening Q and A

Leaves – Removal After Seeding

Q: What’s the best way to remove leaves from a newly seeded lawn? Is it best done with a rake or with a blower or grind them up with the lawnmower? A: It’s best to shred them with a mower....

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Houseplants – Cleaning

Q: What is the best solution for cleaning houseplants that have been outside all summer? A: Patio plants frequently become dusty after a summer outdoors. They will look fresher if you clean them up a bit. Find an old cotton...

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Zoysia – Seeding Fescue

Q: Can I overseed my zoysia back yard with creeping red fescue to keep it green this winter? A: I’m doubtful you’ll get the results you want. In order for creeping red fescue to germinate it needs close contact with...

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Vines – Privacy Barrier

Q: I want to know how to transplant and grow kudzu vine. I would like to plant it onto a barbed wire fence line to form a privacy barrier. A: In the early 1900’s my grandfather Walter Cowart actively promoted...

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Kiwi – Yellow Leaves

Q: We planted two kiwi plants at opposite corners of our pergola and they have succeeded in sending vines up and starting to cover it. But we are now noticing that the plant’s leaves are turning yellow and falling off....

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Trees – Fertilizing Time

Q: Is this a good time to fertilize six-month old dogwood and redbud trees? A: No. My general recommendation is to fertilize plants in early spring, before green growth begins. I think organic, slow-release fertilizers (Holly-Tone, Milorganite, E. B. Stone)...

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Grass – Full Sun, No Water

Q: What is the best grass to plant on a grave in northwest Georgia? I do not want to use gravel. It is in full sun with no water. A: I think bermudagrass has the best chance of succeeding but...

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Potting Soil – Growing Mushrooms

Q: One of my potted plumerias has dime-size red mushrooms on the soil. The plant has been on the decline for the past couple weeks. Is there anything I can do to get rid of mushrooms? A: In my experience,...

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Retaining Wall – Disintegrating Ties

Q: I need guidance on repairing a railroad tie retaining wall. Some of the ties are disintegrating. The wall is around twenty years old. A: I’ve heard landscapers say that repairing failing railroad tie walls was their main source of...

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Pre-emergent – Overapplication

Q: I have a bad feeling that putting down pre-emergent on landscape beds every six weeks is not working. Should I step it up to once a month? A: Weed preventer products are very good at controlling weeds that come...

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Fig – No Fruit

Q: I gave my fig tree a major pruning two years ago. This is the second season that I had no ripe figs but plenty of green ones that never matured. Can I do anything to encourage ripe figs next...

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Chicken Manure – Why Use It?

Q: In my county farmers put chicken manure on their pastures. Why do they do this? It really smells! A: Farmers put chicken litter on pastures instead of having to buy and apply commercial fertilizer. Chicken litter is a good...

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Winter – Late Planting

Q: I have a major landscaping project this fall and am wondering how late I can go in Atlanta before the soil gets too cold to encourage root growth. A: There is really no hard and fast rule. While plant...

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Hand Pulling – Controlling Weeds

Q: When do I apply pre-emergent to my garden to control coffeeweed, bermuda, and Johnson grass? A: You are facing a big problem. Pre-emergent chemicals are ineffective on coffeeweed seed. Bermudagrass and Johnsongrass are perennial plants and pre-emergent won’t hurt...

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Phlox – Mildew

Q: We are building planters in a corner of our yard. I would like to use perennials that will be hassle free and come back each year. Is tall phlox a good choice? A: Phlox is a beautiful plant but...

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Water Lettuce – Preservation

Q: Do you have any information on how to preserve water lettuce from year to year? I started my pond with just three plants and they have multiplied beyond belief. A: Water lettuce is an attractive pond plant but it...

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Fescue – Killing Weeds

Q: I’ve put down crabgrass killer on my fescue lawn and the weeds are browning nicely. Should I pull the weed remnants out before I reseed this fall? A: Pulling up the remnants of crabgrass is pleasurable due to the...

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Muscadines – Planting/Propagating

Q: While jogging I came upon dozens of muscadines on the road. What I need to do to get vines from the seed? A: Propagating muscadines from seed is a long, slow process. You can plant collected seed in loose...

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