Gardening Q and A

Tomato – Grafting

Q: What do you know about grafting tomatoes? I hear you can graft an heirloom variety to a disease-resistant modern variety and get good results. A: You are exactly correct on the good results from grafting. The process has been...

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Sasanqua Camellia and Japanese Camellia – Identification

Q: What is the difference between sasanqua camellia and Japanese camellia? A: Sasanqua camellia, Camellia sasanqua and Japanese camellia, Camellia japonica, are the two camellia species most often cultivated in the South. There are more than 200 species of camellia,...

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Dogfennel – Identification

Q: Please identify this 3 – 4’ tall stuff. How do you get rid of a lot of it? A: It’s dogfennel, Eupatorium capillifolium. Don’t confuse it with Anthemis cotula, which is also known as dog fennel or Mayweed. I...

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Bird’s Nest Fungi

Q:There are little white cones things that come up in my garden. Then four little dots seems to just appear in the cone. Any suggestions? A: These are called birds nest fungi. The cup-like structure contains “eggs” that have fungal...

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Raccoon Damage – To Dead Sod

Q: We had fescue sod laid last year in a small garden area in our back yard but it died during the drought. In the past week or so some nocturnal animal has been ‘”unrolling”  the sod looking for something....

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Fescue – Killed by Overwatering

Q: The fescue at our subdivision entryway has suffered greatly, even though the sprinkler system waters every Monday, Wednesday, Saturday, for 10 minutes and fertilize it. I see similar damage to fescue lawns throughout our area. Have you any thoughts...

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Crabgrass – Dying in Fall

Q: Look at what happened to my crabgrass: couple of weeks ago it just died. Whataya think happened? A: This is a natural phenomenon. Crabgrass is sensitive to day length, so as days get shorter after June the plants set...

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Bacterial Leaf Scorch – On Oak

Q: My oak is turning brown and dropping leaves earlier than normal (late September). What could cause this beside drought? A: Art Morrist, a certified Arborist with Bartlett Tree Experts, says: “It’s possible that late-season browning on oaks could be...

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Hebe – Growing in Georgia

Q: I saw a plant in Germany which I would like to grow here. The label from the plant named it “Hebe buxifolia”. Is it locally available? A: Hebe is native to New Zealand, where it is grown as an...

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Japanese Beetle – Plants Resistant to Them

Q: Are there any plants that Japanese beetles DON’T eat? A: Sure – I never see them on pine, lamb’s ear, lantana or holly! On the other hand, the list of plants they DO eat is quite long. Here’s a...

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Sugarcane – In Georgia

Q: Can I grow sugarcane in Georgia? A: My Dad tried to grow it in Fayette county one year. It grew tall but wasn’t very sweet…..my guess is there were not enough sunshine or hot days. It needs a LONG...

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Sumac Gall – Identification

Q: I noticed a “gall” on a sumac sapling today. As I looked closer, I saw that several branches (leaflet clusters) had a number of the things on them, and the leaves were turning yellow and then red. I pulled...

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Puss Caterpillar – Identification

Q: These critters are on my Japanese maple and English laurel. They are not bagworms but what are they? A: Don’t touch them!! They are puss caterpillars, Megalopyge opercularis. What looks like soft hair actually covers a mass of poison-tipped...

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Kudzu Bug – On Fig

Q: I found hundreds of these insects on my fig. Are they the kudzu bugs discovered in 2009? A: You are exactly correct – you have a great memory! The bug is the globular stinkbug (aka kudzu bug),  Megacopta cribraria....

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Caterpillar – Droppings Under Tree

Q: On the sidewalk under a pecan tree every morning I sweep away what looks like one-eightth inch diameter seeds. There is a seam in the middle. What could they be? A: They are likely the droppings from caterpillars who...

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Sumac – Leaf Galls

Q: Please help me identify this tree/shrub/plant that we have allowed to grow on our property. This year it has produced a fruit or seed pod. A: Naturalist Shannon Pable says you have a sumac shrub with leaf galls. It’s...

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Cypress Vine – Not Blooming

Q: In the past I have collected cypress vine seeds and re- planted each year to have beautiful vines and flowers. This year I wanted to planter boxes and plant so they would grow up a spot where I had...

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Buffalobur Nightshade – Identification

Q:   I have a plant growing beside my patio that looks like a watermelon plant but has briars. It is a plant not a vine, has small yellow blooms and has small briars on the stem. Has not borne fruit...

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