Gardening Q and A

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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Dogwood – Bleeding Orange Sap

Q: I have a dogwood that was injured with snow load and we cut off the broken branch. I put prunning sealer on the cut and now it looks like this. It looks like it is bleeding to death. A:...

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Dirt Dauber Wasp – Identification

Q: I don’t know what animal(s) built these “shelters”, but am curious if you can provide any guidance. Do you have any ideas what built these? A: You are the host of dirt dauber wasps. They are considered beneficial because...

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Chaste Tree (Vitex) – Pruning

Q: Last year my husband I planted a chaste tree. Somehow my husband did not keep it in check and now we are at a loss on how to prune it. My husband wants it to have three to four...

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Zoysia – Seedheads

Q: For the last several years my Emerald Zoysia lawn has apparently gone to seed mid-summer or later. This year it is greening up in April and has already gone to seed. The lawn is twelve years old. It appears...

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Iron – Used as herbicide

Q:  What do you know about the new organic weed kilers that contain chelated iron as the active ingredient? A: Several products use chelated iron (iron in plant-available form) to kill weeds. I’m familiar with Ortho Elementals Lawn Weed Killer...

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Morel Mushrooms – Identifying

Q: My German in-laws are visiting and want to go hunting morel mushrooms in the woods by our house. They seem to know what to look for but I don’t want our American morels to confuse them. Is there a...

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Columnar Trees – For Privacy

Q: We have recently invested in landscaping our back yard and it has become a haven for us. We are challenged to find a tree that can grow in shade, provide privacy and is fast growing. My husband doesn’t want...

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Chinaberry – Identification

Q: This tree came up in the undeveloped land next to ours. Can you tell me what it is? A: You have a chinaberry, Melia azedarach. Most gardeners consider it a weed tree because it sprouts so readily in untended...

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Fox – Afflicted With Mange

Q: We saw this awful animal in our back yard. Do you think it could be a small chupacabra that kills neighborhood animals? A: The chupacabra (goat sucker) is a mythical animal that is said to roam the Southwest. A...

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Lee May – Where Is He?

Q: Can you tell me the whereabouts of Lee May, who used to write beautiful gardening articles for the paper? A: Lee and his wife, Lyn, are firmly ensconced in East Haddam, CT, where he ruminates on the mysteries of...

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Rat – Crusty Skin on Ear

Q:  I shot a roof rat with my pellet gun in a woodpile. It had very odd, crusty growths in all of the exposed surfaces of skin, whereas the furred areas looked fine. Check his eyes, nose, feet and tail....

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Cinnamon – Growing

Q: I want to grow black pepper and cinnamon plants just to have it in my garden. Do you think they will survive? A: I doubt you’ll be successful with either. Both require tropical weather. see Growing Black Pepper Growing...

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Blueberry – ‘Pink Lemonade’

Q: What’s the scoop on Pink Lemonade blueberry? Will they grow here? A: My blueberry expert Scott Nesmith says ‘Pink Lemonade’ is one of the latest garden novelties due to the pink color of the fruit. It would be cool...

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Celeriac (Celery Root) – Growing

Q: I am from Germany and use celery root in my soups but those roots are hard to find and are expensive.Can I grow celery root in my own garden? A: I think summer heat will be your enemy. Like...

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Pussy Willow – Growing in Georgia

Q: I was raised in Massachusetts and always had access to pussy willows. Which of them can be cultivated here in Georgia? A: Pussy willow is not the easiest shrub to grow. In the words of one source, willows get...

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Azalea – Sport of Different Color

Q: Do azaleas change color from when they are young to when they mature? I think some of mine have done this. Lou J. A: Azaleas do occasionally sprout a “sport”: a branch having different flower color from the parent...

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Canada Green Grass Seed

Q: Recently I saw an ad for a new type of grass seed called Canada Green. It is supposed to be green year round and withstand temperatures below zero. Do you have an opinion on this one? A: From what...

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