Gardening Q and A

Japanese Maple Trees – Surviving Winter in Pots

Q: I have Japanese maple trees in pots on my elevated deck facing east. Can these survive winter on the deck or must I bring them inside at the first frost? A: Japanese maple trees should be perfectly winter-hardy outdoors...

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Dichondra Weed – Controlling

Q: I have lots of dichondra weed growing in my St. Augustine lawn on the north side of the house in partial shade. It is spreading. What is the best approach to controlling it? A: If your St. Augustinegrass is...

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Azaleas – Trimming

Q: When is a good time to cut back azaleas? When is a good time to transplant them? A: The very best time to trim azaleas is after flowering in spring. However, the best time to transplant is in fall,...

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Cast Iron Plant – Renovations

Q: What can I do to make cast iron plant look good. I have two huge beds and they look rough. Could I cut them down completely, fertilize and let them start over? A: The best time to do a...

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Fruit Trees – Pruning

Q: I have a peach tree and a pear tree that have limbs touching the ground. When can I prune them? A: The best time to prune fruit trees is January or February. Though the job will be chilly, you...

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Cottonseed Meal – How to Use

Q: What does cottonseed meal do for a garden and how much do you apply? A: Cottonseed meal is an excellent organic fertilizer. It releases nutrients as the meal is decomposed by soil microorganisms. Because the bacteria and fungi are...

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Hydrangea – Transferring to Outdoors

Q: I have a potted hydrangea which has outgrown the pot. What is the best way to put it in the ground? A: Fall is a great time to plant hydrangeas in the landscape. Remove the plant from the pot...

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Dogfennel – Edible?

Q: I was glad to see the identification of dogfennel in your email newsletter. The foliage smells like the herb fennel. Is dogfennel edible? A: My general rule is that if cows won’t eat a plant, I won’t eat that...

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Gladiolus Bulbs – Planting Bulbs

Q: Some reference books say to wait until spring to plant gladiolus bulbs and some say to do it now. Which is best? A: Gladiolus is usually hardy in Georgia, but last winter’s prolonged cold and damp proved that this...

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Clay Pots – Cleaning

Q: Regular water removes only the lightest salt deposits on my clay pots. Is there a better way of cleaning pots? A: White salt deposits are common on clay pots. The crusty stuff is the remnants of fertilizer you applied...

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Azaleas – Overgrown

Q: My home has azaleas as foundation plants that are overgrown, totally covering the windows. Visitors tell me ‘I’d better do something about those azaleas’. What is the best thing to do? A: The best option is to cut them...

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Bermuda Sod – Too Thin

Q: I laid 500 sq. ft. of bermuda sod on July 1 in a very sunny area. I watered deep twice a week all summer. The grass is very thin; how do I get it plush and full? A: I...

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Pomegranate Bushes – Planting

Q: When is the best time to plant a pomegranate bush? A: The best time for planting all fruit plants is fall. These shrubs, vines and trees are able to begin developing a good root system long before summer heat...

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Hemlock Trees – Fertilizing

Q: We have five-year old hemlock trees. How do I fertilize them? A: Hemlocks do best with slow-release fertilizers like cottonseed meal or composted chicken manure. For cottonseed meal (6-2-1 analysis), spread eight pounds per 100 sq. ft. over the...

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Dwarf Palmetto – Separating

Q: I bought a potted dwarf palmetto and noticed there are three plants in the container. Can these be separated? A: I don’t see why not. Soak the rootball in a bucket of water and gentle pull the stems apart....

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Landscaping Plans- Help

Q: We would like to do much of the work for our landscaping but we need a solid plan. How do we get someone to make up a plan and refer us to someone to do the really heavy work?...

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Lenten Rose – Outdoor Pots

Q: Would Lenten rose thrive through winter in pots outside on covered porch? A: Lenten rose should be fine in a 12″ or larger pot. Be sure the pot is supported off the porch floor so it drains after watering....

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Compost – Growing In

Q: I use the free compost from DeKalb County in my landscape. Could I actually grow things in the compost by itself? A: I wish more counties would see the benefits of composting yard waste to give to their citizens....

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