Gardening Q and A

Blackberry – Fruit Turning White

Q: We have a thornless blackberry vine. The fruit has been ripening well up until the last day or so. Several of the drupeletes on particular fruits have all of a sudden begun to turn white. A: It’s both sunscald...

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Peach – Seedling with Broken Top

Q: I’ve heard about the difficulties growing peaches but decided to try it anyway. After a long wait over the winter months I got a peach seed to germinate. It started very strong and was doing great until my three-year-old...

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Squirrel – Damaging Hose and Gas Can

Q: We have one of those plastic resin hose reels at our outside spigot. The hose stays rolled up on the reel most of the year. Recently we discovered a big hole near the nozzle end of the hose (the...

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Tomato – Herbicide Damage

Q: I planted tomatoes in a raised garden. I have dried grass clippings on top of the black biodegradable weed guard that covers the soil. I am using a 5 gallon bucket attached to a soaker hose for irrigation and...

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Hydrangea – Virus

Q: This is the first time my hydrangea has bloomed in 5 years. Can you tell me why the blooms are short and stubby. A: Congratulations – you sent me a picture of something I’ve never seen before! I sent...

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Watering – One Inch per Week

Q: I heard you on radio say that lawns need “one inch of water, one time a week”. Why that amount? What’s magic about one inch of water? A: You quoted me correctly. I don’t have time to give a...

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Corn – Damage by Crows

Q: I’m not just frustrated about my corn,  now I’m getting mad about it.  I’ve always tried to plant on Good Friday.  But I didn’t this year because I was in Florida at the time. I planted the following Saturday. ...

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Pear – Quince Rust

Q: I’m seeing orangish colored spikes  appearing on some of the fruit of my Bradford Pear trees.  Is this a bad thing, and if so, what should I do about it? A: Your Bradford pear fruit is infected with cedar-quince...

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Flea Beetle – Control

Q: What could cause all these holes in my eggplant leaves? A: It’s flea beetle damage. They attack radish and mustard leaves too but eggplant seems to be their favorite food in my garden. You can use organic controls like...

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Copperhead Snake – Identification

Q: Can you help us identify this snake that showed up in our driveway? What should we do next? A: Snake expert Jim Rodgers at Nearly Native Nursery says: “These are some of the best pix of a snake I...

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Knock Out Rose – Pruning in Summer

Q: I have read your recommendation of ‘Knock Out’ rose but didn’t find anything on the proper way to deadhead them. How do you do it? A: ‘Knock Out’ rose is a plant I can wholeheartedly recommend to any gardener....

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Oak – Losing Bark

Q: In the last few weeks, we have noticed that oak trees are shedding their bark profusely. The bark is simply falling off the trees in bits and pieces. What is happening to our wonderful trees? A: There are two...

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Beech Tree Borer – Identification

Q: I have never seen this type of frass from a borer’s entrance hole. They have hit every beech on my property that is over 5″ caliper. They make a vertical slit in the trunk, close to an inch in...

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Tomato – Misshapen Bloom (Fused Flower, Megabloom)

Q: These are on a tomato plant grown by my neighbor from purchased seed. What would you say we have? A: A bit of Google work and it’s all there. The phenomenon is called fused blossoms (or megabloom) and it...

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Kousa Dogwood – Identification

Q: What are the trees that have white blooms that look like dogwood flowers in May? A: Very likely you are seeing kousa dogwoods, Cornus kousa. These Asian dogwoods are very similar to our familiar spring dogwoods but they bloom...

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Holly Fern – Spots on Leaves (sori)

Q: The backs of my fern leaves are covered in spots, every plant is like this and they seem weak. We know they grow well here in Savannah because there are fabulous, huge ones in the squares. What could this...

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Northern Water Snake – Identification

Q: We live next to a creek in Decatur. My son loves to explore the creek but we have found that there is a snake in residence. Can you help me identify it? A: I’m no snake expert but Jim...

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Maple – Pruning to Make Taller

Q: I had a sugar maple planted about 9 to 11 years ago.  I personally want a Maple tree to grow tall first.  From what I understand, if you top a tree, you stunt its height.  If you trim some of...

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