Gardening Q and A

Hellebore (LentenRose) – Fertilizing

Q: My hellebores look fabulous in February and March. When should they be fertilized? A: As with most plants, fertilize when they are actively growing. I feed mine in November when I see the first new green leaves and again...

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Wilflower Tags – How Much Goes to Roadside Beautification

Q: I tried to buy a wildflower tag for my car but it costs a lot of money! That would be OK if most of the money went to roadside beautification but they told me only part of the money...

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Garden and Flower Seed – Sources

Q: I am looking for a reputable seed company to order seeds from for my home garden. I reside in zone 7 of Georgia. Can you email me a list of a few companies that you know of or have...

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Squirrel – Clipping Maple Twigs

Q: I have an old budding and flowering tree in south Georgia that is being severely “twigged back” by gray squirrels. On any given morning or evening there may be as many as 10 squirrels who are cutting the twigs...

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Brown Marmorated Stinkbug

Q: I found this stinkbug in my house in January, 2010. Is it the brown marmorated stinkbug that has been such a bother in the northeastern U.S.? We have been finding them since last summer. A: To my eyes, it...

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Cedar Waxwing – Privet Berries

Q: Cedar waxwings and other berry-loving birds love these plants I saw in an area near Kennesaw Mtn. I’d like to know the name of this berry-bearing plant. A: Great photo of a cedar waxwing! It is feasting on Chinese...

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Barley – Growing

Q: Can I grow barley here? A: My guess is that you’re trying to brew beer, right? Barley can grow in Georgia but it is raised more by hobbyists rather than farmers. The seeds are used for beer making, but...

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Herbs – Growing Organically

Q: I want to sell herbs at a community market and grow them pesticide-free. I’ll need to use insecticidal soap to control whiteflies. Is insecticidal soap a pesticide? A: You can market the herbs as “naturally grown” or maybe “organic”...

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Loropetalum – Canker on Limbs

Q: My loropetalum has several dying limbs. I had assumed that it had simply been stung by cold weather. However it appears I have some type of critter munching on its bark. Is there treatment or should I just start...

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Lespedeza – Control in Centipedegrass

Q: I have been trying to control an infestation of what I think is lespedeza in my centipede lawn for a good number of years. What are your suggestions? A: Congratulations! You identified the plant correctly, and that’s always the...

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Peony – Sarah Bernhardt

Q: I was given two small Sarah Bernhardt peonies. How do I care for them? A: Daryl Pulis, local perennial expert, says that newly planted peonies rarely flower immediately, alas, even when sold with buds. They usually need 3-5 years...

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Bare Root Tree – Faster Growth Than Larger Trees

Q: I occasionally get bare root twigs from the Arbor Day folks. These seem to flourish in my yard much more than container-grown trees purchased at a local nursery. Why is that? A: Your experience may be true for everyone...

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Miniature Roses – Indoors for Winter?

Q: I have several miniature roses growing in containers. Should they be moved indoors for the winter, or will they be all right left outside on a sunny deck? A: Miniature roses are often sold as houseplants but they are...

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Deodar Cedar Trees – Sawfly Larvae

Q: We recently planted several deodar cedar trees. The other day I noticed a group of yellow caterpillars gleefully chewing the needles. What are they? A: Though it’s really late to see them, I think you have red-headed pine sawfly...

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Decomposing Tree Trunk – Mulch?

Q: Eight years ago, when our house was built, the builders left a pile of pine trunks in our backyard. Today, it is a crumbling heap of free organic material. Can it be used for mulch or top-dress? A: Decomposed...

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Moon Vine – Harvesting Seeds

Q: I’m the community moon vine grower. What’s the process for harvesting and storing the seed until next March? A: Moon vine, Ipomoea alba, is a great annual vine. I love how the big white flower opens late on summer...

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Horse Manure and Shavings – Composting

Q: I can get horse manure and shavings from the stalls at a horse farm. Is there any special way to compost this mixture? A: Basically you just pile it up until it decomposes enough for the shavings to disappear. If...

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Fescue Lawn – Mowing

Q: My recently seeded fescue lawn is now lush, green, and growing very tall. Is it time to cut the lawn now and during winter? A: Yes, your fescue needs to be mowed when it becomes unkempt. Three inches tall...

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