Gardening Q and A

Retaining Wall – Disintegrating Ties

Q: I need guidance on repairing a railroad tie retaining wall. Some of the ties are disintegrating. The wall is around twenty years old. A: I’ve heard landscapers say that repairing failing railroad tie walls was their main source of...

READ MORE

Pre-emergent – Overapplication

Q: I have a bad feeling that putting down pre-emergent on landscape beds every six weeks is not working. Should I step it up to once a month? A: Weed preventer products are very good at controlling weeds that come...

READ MORE

Fig – No Fruit

Q: I gave my fig tree a major pruning two years ago. This is the second season that I had no ripe figs but plenty of green ones that never matured. Can I do anything to encourage ripe figs next...

READ MORE

Chicken Manure – Why Use It?

Q: In my county farmers put chicken manure on their pastures. Why do they do this? It really smells! A: Farmers put chicken litter on pastures instead of having to buy and apply commercial fertilizer. Chicken litter is a good...

READ MORE

Winter – Late Planting

Q: I have a major landscaping project this fall and am wondering how late I can go in Atlanta before the soil gets too cold to encourage root growth. A: There is really no hard and fast rule. While plant...

READ MORE

Hand Pulling – Controlling Weeds

Q: When do I apply pre-emergent to my garden to control coffeeweed, bermuda, and Johnson grass? A: You are facing a big problem. Pre-emergent chemicals are ineffective on coffeeweed seed. Bermudagrass and Johnsongrass are perennial plants and pre-emergent won’t hurt...

READ MORE

Phlox – Mildew

Q: We are building planters in a corner of our yard. I would like to use perennials that will be hassle free and come back each year. Is tall phlox a good choice? A: Phlox is a beautiful plant but...

READ MORE

Water Lettuce – Preservation

Q: Do you have any information on how to preserve water lettuce from year to year? I started my pond with just three plants and they have multiplied beyond belief. A: Water lettuce is an attractive pond plant but it...

READ MORE

Fescue – Killing Weeds

Q: I’ve put down crabgrass killer on my fescue lawn and the weeds are browning nicely. Should I pull the weed remnants out before I reseed this fall? A: Pulling up the remnants of crabgrass is pleasurable due to the...

READ MORE

Muscadines – Planting/Propagating

Q: While jogging I came upon dozens of muscadines on the road. What I need to do to get vines from the seed? A: Propagating muscadines from seed is a long, slow process. You can plant collected seed in loose...

READ MORE

Spider – Black and Yellow

Q: A beautiful large black-and-yellow spider fashioned its web just outside our front door. I call it a zipper spider because of the zipper thing in the center. What is it actually? A: It’s an argiope, also known as a...

READ MORE

Iris – Replanted Roots

Q: I dug my iris up and replanted several roots in another location at the end of July. The green leaves are coming up now. What I should do so they will bloom in the spring and not now. A:...

READ MORE

Tulip – Planting Bulbs

Q: I brought some tulip bulbs from Nebraska. When should I plant them? A: It’s best to plant bulbs when soil temperatures are 60 degrees and heading lower. That is usually in October. If you plant them now, you’ll get...

READ MORE

Lawns – From Scratch

Q: Your website says that May or June is best for establishing a lawn from scratch using centipede or zoysia seed. What would be the odds for success doing it this fall? A: Both centipedegrass and zoysiagrass seeds require a...

READ MORE

Christmas Tree – Insects Crawling from It

Q: We have bugs coming from our Christmas tree. They crawl onto floor and then die. Any way to stop them from coming out of the tree?  A: They are probably aphids. Christmas tree growers do a great job controlling...

READ MORE

Bermuda – Aeration

Q: I have a new bermuda lawn. My lawn maintenance company wants to aerate it. Is it too late to aerate a lawn that was planted in April? A: I think the best time to aerate bermudagrass is in May,...

READ MORE

Azalea and Hydrangea – Pruning

Q: Please let me know the latest I can severely trim azaleas and hydrangeas without killing them during the winter. A: It will be problematic to prune either one right now. Azaleas have just about finished making next spring’s flower...

READ MORE

Oak – Uprooted

Q: Our neighbor’s large oak tree fell over and uprooted during a violent rainstorm while they were out of town. How common is it for an apparently healthy large tree to fall over? A: It’s a truism that well-anchored trees...

READ MORE