Gardening Q and A

Crapemyrtle – Post Pruning Stickers

Q: The crepe myrtles at church were pruned way back from a bush to a tree. Now they have suckers all over the base. Is there anything I can put on the stump around the remaining trunks to prevent sprouts?...

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Shrubs – When To Prune

Q: I have yet to prune the shrubbery in my yard. Is it better to wait until we get warmer winter weather? A: It won’t matter to the plants either way. They are about to go into deep dormancy and...

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Crapemyrtle – Cut To The Ground

Q: What the chances are of a very big crepe myrtle coming back from being cut completely down by a tree company? The instructions were to prune it back but now it’s completely gone except the flat surface of the...

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Lilies – Will It Come Back?

Q: I was given three pineapple lilies and accidentally cut back the leaves after planting. Will the plants grow back? A: Yes, they should be fine. The leaves will re-appear next spring in late April. My favorite pineapple lily is...

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Zoysia – Topdressing

Q: In an online article about mowing zoysia, you say that de-thatching could be accomplished by topdressing with a quarter-inch layer of clean topsoil. When is the best time to apply the topsoil? A: The best time to topdress is...

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Seeds – Storage Till Spring

Q: Please give instructions on how to store acorns, chestnuts, and fringe tree seed from now until the time to plant next spring. A: These seeds from woody plants require a process called “stratification”: a two-month period of cold, moist...

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Tree Limbs – Post-Removal Care

Q: Is there a good sealant to spray where tree limbs are removed? A: No sealant is needed or recommended after removing a limb. Trees repair wounds by internally “walling off” the damaged area. Tar and other materials retard the...

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Dogwood – Grass Growing Beneath

Q: Writing in your recent email newsletter about dogwood twig borer, you told the questioner that grass growing under a dogwood can have a detrimental effect on the tree. We have vinca vine growing under our 30-year-old dogwood. The tree...

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Zoysia – Proper Mowing

Q: I live in a townhouse community where the maintenance company mows the zoysia yards with a riding mower. Should the zoysia be mowed with a riding mower or reel mower? A: Zoysia can be mowed with a rotary riding...

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Pots – Too Heavy

Q: I have some large potted plants that are too heavy for one person to move. I’d like to repot them now. Is there something I can fill the bottom of the pots with that’s not so heavy? A: Emptied...

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Lemon – How Much Light?

Q: Is it better to over-winter a four-foot Meyer lemon in a greenhouse, in an unheated basement beside a large window, or in the house? A: The lemon tree wants as much light as you can give it. A greenhouse...

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Roses – Rose Rosette Virus

Q: Earlier this year I removed three roses that were infected with rose rosette virus. My one remaining rose seems unaffected. Is there anything I should do to my pruning tools to insure I don’t spread the virus to this...

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Pine – Fighting Bark Beetle

Q: Is there anything I can do to stop or delay the onset of a pine bark beetle attack? A: The best defense is to help the trees fight their own fights. To that end, keep the trees watered in...

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Crapemyrtle – Tree or Bush?

Q: Would crape myrtles be classified as a tree or large bush? Our neighborhood is ten years old and many homeowners are removing their oaks and maples and replacing with crape myrtles. A: I think the definition varies according to...

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Fescue – Too Much Seed

Q: I planted a new lawn in my back yard using eighty pounds of seed over four thousand square feet. By the end of September, the grass was lush, green and four inches tall. But after a few days, the...

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Kudzu – Growing Inside

Q: I live in Nevada and would like try growing kudzu as a indoor house plant. Do you know where I can purchase seeds? A: As we say in the South “Margie, Margie, Margie….are you tetched in the head?” But...

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Asparagus – Moving The Bed

Q: I have a question about moving an asparagus bed. I have moved and I want to dig my asparagus bed and move it to my new home. Can I move it now? A: Now is a terrific time to...

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Rye – Overseeding With Other Grass

Q: Should centipede and St. Augustine lawns ever be overseeded in fall with rye? A: No to both. Although bermudagrass tolerates ryegrass overseeding reasonably well, centipedegrass and St. Augustinegrass lawns do not. The fertilizer you give the ryegrass will stimulate...

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