Gardening Q and A

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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Azalea – Pruning Large Ones

Q: I have a couple of azaleas that have become monsters! I did not cut them back for years and they now dominate my front landscape. In recent years, I have taken out large, too me, alternating branches in an...

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Camellia – Freeze Damage vs Petal Blight

Q: Are you able to tell from this photo if my camellia has petal blight? I have cut all the remaining buds and flowers from the plant cleaned up the leaves. If it is petal blight, what should I do...

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Mayapple – Identification

Q: Fifteen years ago I found several of these plants in the woods before everything was bulldozed to start a house. Over the years they have multiplied and are an ongoing source of pleasure for me every spring. I call...

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Tulip – Diseased

Q: Back in the spring I observed these tulips growing in a bed not far from my house in Atlanta. The petal damage was so severe I took several pictures. Do you recognize this problem? Could it be damage from...

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Japanese Maple – Pruning

Q: The ‘Bloodgood’ maple in my front yard is visually too big for the front of the house. I would like to reduce the size by one-third. I called a Japanese maple expert but he refuses to reduce the size,...

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