Gardening Q and A

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....

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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”...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE