Gardening Q and A

Cherry Tree – A Large Variety

Q: I want to plant a flowering cherry tree on February 24th in honor of a friend that died. Do you think I can get away with planting a tree at that time of year? A: You have good choices...

READ MORE

Fescue Sod – Good Times To Plant

Q: Is it too late to plant fescue sod? A: Anytime between now and March would be fine. Fescue is a cool-season grass and does much of its growth between fall and late spring. Once the sod is laid, water...

READ MORE

Poison Ivy – Chipping With Care

Q: Eight months ago, I cut down a dead pine sapling that had a gigantic hairy poison ivy vine on it. I have rented a chipper to chip branches. Does the poison ivy vine still contain its poisonous oil or...

READ MORE

Fig – Be Careful With Sap

Q: I’ve never heard a caution about how toxic the sap from a fig bush can be. In my case, I pruned a bush without a shirt on and got the sap all over me. When the sap gets on...

READ MORE

Angel Trumpet – Growth Through Winter

Q: I have two large angel trumpet plants that I usually move into the garage during winter. They are getting too big and heavy to move. What are my chances of keeping the plants alive if I plant them outside?...

READ MORE

Rats – Side Affects of Poison Use

Q: I heard that birds which eat poisoned rats could be killed by the toxin. Is this true? A: Like a lot of situations, it depends on the chemical the rat consumed. Many poisons, but not all, are anti-coagulants. Some...

READ MORE

Soil – Dressing A Flower Bed

Q: I am top dressing my perennial flower beds with a combination of soil conditioner, mushroom compost, and steer manure dug in around my plants. Should I add lime or cottonseed meal? A: It’s a fact of garden life that...

READ MORE

Roundup – Use Near Oak

Q: Can I safely spray Roundup on a privet hedge growing under a mature oak tree? A: Glyphosate (Roundup, etc) is mostly absorbed by leaves but can be absorbed by a tree trunk or roots if applied heavily. If you...

READ MORE

House Plants – Keepign Winter Pests Away

Q: With what should I spray my scheffleras to eliminate pests before I bring them in for the winter? A: I once had a neighbor who would cover his houseplants with a paper sack and stick a lit cigar in...

READ MORE

Poison Ivy – Eliminating What You Can

Q: My husband and I have been battling poison ivy in our backyard. I am dreadfully allergic and I want to protect myself from another doctor visit. How can I eliminate it? A: You can’t “eliminate” poison ivy, since birds...

READ MORE

Pansies – Latest Date For Planting

Q: What is the latest safe date to plant pansies? A: Pansies can be planted anytime the ground isn’t frozen. They are perfectly cold-hardy. You’ll get better blooms from plants sold in 3″ – 4″ pots, not growing in plastic...

READ MORE

Exotic Roses – Quick Planting Tips

Q: I purchased some seeds for exotic roses, including Black Dragon and Abracadabra but I don’t know beans about growing them. Can you give me quick tips? A: The best time to plant rose seeds is in late April, in...

READ MORE

Sweet Potato – Easy To Grow

Q: Look what I grew in my garden! I had a hard time getting it out of the ground but this sweet potato weighs 3 ½ pounds! I can’t wait to see how the rest of my plants produce. A:...

READ MORE

Gardening – Scientific How and Why

Q: I am a chemistry student at Emory University. I enjoyed your website article about evaluating scientific claims. I would really like to know chemical and biological explanations for all the gardening information I see. Do you have suggested references?...

READ MORE

Mexican Heather – Survival Through Winter

Q: I planted a Mexican heather the summer before last. After one growing season I cut it down and planted pansies around the remaining twigs. It returned this year and has grown to look like a low hedge. How can...

READ MORE

Boxelder Bugs – Prevention

Q: Every year I have an invasion of boxelder bugs from the boxelder maples on the other side of my fence. Is there anything I can do to prevent them? A: Like kudzu bugs and Asian ladybeetles, boxelder bugs instinctively...

READ MORE

Kousa Dogwood – Some Facts

Q: I need to replace a tree in my small front yard. Can you tell me about the kousa dogwood? A: Kousa dogwood is an excellent tree for urban landscapes. It grows 15′ to 25′ tall and has a bushier...

READ MORE

Acorns – Why So Few?

Q: There are almost no acorns north of Ellijay this year. There were no late freezes. What can explain this? A: Nut trees typically bear heavy crops in alternate years unless they are stressed by drought. This was a good...

READ MORE