Gardening Q and A

Root Knot Nematodes – On Melons

Q: I’ve seen these nodules on my cantaloupe and melon roots plus other plants I’ve pulled out of my raised beds. Is my garden infested with nematodes? My crop yield on the melons seems quite low. A: Yes, unfortunately you...

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Japanese Climbing Fern – Identification

Q: I found an odd vine growing in the neglected landscape of a small office building in Buckhead. Is this Japanese climbing fern? A: You’re exactly right! This invasive vine, Lygodium japonicum, can smother nearby perennials. I suspect it is...

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Eco-Lawn – Not for Atlanta

Q: Not sure if you are aware of a grass called Eco-Lawn. It is a blend of seven fescue grasses that is very drought tolerant. It sounds perfect for Atlanta. I seeded my back lawn with Eco-Lawn last fall and...

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Lightning Damage – To Oak

Q: This past July 4th our beautiful white oak was sideswiped by a lighting bolt. It did not penetrate the bark and get to the bare wood, just striped about 30 feet of bark. Do we need an arborist? We...

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Khaki weed (Khakiweed, Matt Chafflower) – Identification

Q: Our lawn in the country has been invaded by this plant. It is rapidly spreading and it produces these stickers that become imbedded in the bottom of our shoes. What is it and what can we do to get...

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Kiwi Fruit – Determining Sex of Vine

Q: I’ve had a kiwi vine growing great for six years, but no kiwis! I’ve learned I need a male and female vine. How do I know what sex I have ? A: If your fuzzy kiwi vines flower, it’s...

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Hummingbird – Nest

Q: I found this birds nest on the ground in my backyard in Newnan. Is it a hummingbird’s nest? Seems pretty big to be for a tiny little hummer? A: Jim Rodgers at Nearly Native Nursery says you indeed have...

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Hydrangea – Insecticide Burn on Leaves

Q: Several weeks ago I purchased four hydrangeas. I sprayed three of them with Sevin to keep insects away. The fourth one was not sprayed and seems healthy. A: Carbaryl (Sevin) doesn’t usually cause chemical burns on leaves but that...

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Tomato – Late Blight Identification

Q: My Rutgers tomatoes are showing brown spots starting at the stem end, rapidly coalescing and moving downward towards the blossom end of the tomato. They are all green tomatoes which are not starting to ripen yet. Is this late...

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Kudzu Bug (Stinkbug) – Damage to Eyes

Q: A kudzu bug flew in my eye and you could not believe the pain it caused! What do they contain that would cause that reaction? A: Yow, I can imagine the burning pain! Since it is a member of...

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Brown-Eyed Susan – Fasciated Bloom

Q: I’m a professional photographer (www.sarahesther.com) and on a recent job in a garden I found these odd shaped flowers. What is going on here? A: Welcome to the world of fasciation! This odd phenomenon has been observed for hundreds...

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Dried Pepper – Pests

Q: I harvest hot peppers and air dry them throughout the growing season. In the fall I grind them and store them in jars. Recently I noticed small worms in one jar and moth-like insects in an other. What can...

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Garden Soil – Sources

Q: Where can I purchase vegetable garden soil in bulk? A: I’ve purchased soil from Patten Seed and from Atlanta Landscape Materials. The composts from Farmer D and Foothills Compost make excellent beds when mixed with regi=ular garden soil. All...

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Zoysia Sod – Watering Schedule

Q: We had zoysia sod installed recently. Can you recommend a watering schedule for our irrigation system this summer? A: The correct answer is to water when the grass needs it. This may not be a predictable schedule. In other...

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Wild Strawberry – Edible or Not

Q: Are wild strawberries edible? A: If you’re referring to the lawn weed we commonly call wild strawberry, Potentilla indica, the fruits are edible but they have no taste I can discern. Another name for this plant is Indian mock...

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Pruning Tomato Limbs on the Ground

Q: Does it hurt to cut off lower limbs of tomato plants that are on the ground? A: It’s no problem at all and you may avoid disease problems by doing so. Early blight is a common tomato disease that...

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Plant Names – Crapemyrtle

Q: I noticed in a recent column that you spelled the name of a particular Southern plant “crapemyrtle”, not “crepe myrtle” or “crape myrtle”. I thought the name was two words. A: Every garden writer tries to be consistent in...

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Peonies – Transplanting

Q: My peonies have outgrown the place where I planted them. I would love to transplant them now but everything I have read says to wait until Oct. A: If the clump is so big that it needs dividing, I’d...

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