Gardening Q and A

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?...

READ MORE

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....

READ MORE

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....

READ MORE

Elderberry – Growing

Q: I would love to grow elderberries to eat for my health and to make wine. Any hints? A: Native plant expert Theresa Schrum says to collect the fruits of wild/roadside elderberries when they turn dark purple. Extract the seed...

READ MORE

Sassafras – Cause Cancer?

Q: I’ve heard that sassafras can cause cancer. Should I pull up all that’s growing in my yard? A: I wouldn’t pull the plants up unless you have an uncontrolled urge to chew the roots. The harmful component in sassafras...

READ MORE

Songbirds – Attracted to Hummingbird Feeders

Q: What songbirds would be attracted to the nectar of a hummingbird feeder? I see one or two each day perched on my feeder, dipping their beaks into the feeding holes. A: Naturalist Charles Seabrook says many songbirds have a...

READ MORE

‘Miss Huff’ Lantana – Fertilizing

Q: I have “Miss Huff” lantanas that seem to have gone into a decline. They’re half the height of last year. I pruned in spring but did not fertilize. A: I’ve noticed the same thing with my mother’s plant near...

READ MORE

Vidalia Onions – Buy Online

Q: I am coming for a Savannah vacation and was wondering if I could find big bags of Vidalia onions now. A: The fresh Vidalia onion season ends in early summer in Georgia but some producers have special storage facilities...

READ MORE

Pruning Perennials – In Fall

Q: In general, is it best to cut down perennial plants after they have finished flowering for the season when they appear to have “died out”? A: My rule of thumb is that if it is green, it is good....

READ MORE

Weed Wrench – Source

Q: I have seen the volunteers at DeKalb County’s Kittredge Park using a tool you loaned them to rip privet bushes out of the ground. Where did you get that wonderful instrument? A: I got the WeedWrench from www.weedwrench.com. As...

READ MORE

Worm-Posting

Q: For three years I’ve tried to turn my hard-packed red clay into a real garden. I’ve made progress doing “wormposting”. I bury all our fruit and vegetable waste in holes in different areas of the garden. As the food...

READ MORE

Lawn Grasses – For Sunny Areas

Q: I just had several trees in the front yard removed and now I don’t have any grass. It is full sun. What grass seeds should I plant? A: If you have a sunny lawn, bermudagrass, zoysiagrass, centipedegrass or St....

READ MORE

Gardenia – Transplanting from Pots

Q: We enjoy several gardenias in large pots, but they are becoming root bound. Is it advisable to put them in the ground next season? A: It depends on the variety. Gardenia jasminoides ‘Veitchii’ (florist gardenia) needs indoor protection in...

READ MORE

Naked Lady Lily Bulbs – Not Blooming

Q: I planted some naked lady lily bulbs two years ago. Every spring they put up beautiful foliage, but no blooms appear in late summer. Should I give up on them? A: Don’t give up, the unclothed beauties will eventually...

READ MORE

Shademaster Locust Tree

Q: What are the pros and cons of the Shademaster locust tree? Do you have suggestions for another shade tree that grows fast, won’t uproot walkways, and is easy to clean up after? A: ‘Shademaster’ thornless honeylocust is a nice-looking...

READ MORE

Spinach – Getting Seeds to Sprout

Q: Can you tell me the best way to get spinach seeds to sprout? I have tried using seed starting pellets and sowing them directly in the ground. Nothing seems to work. A: Spinach is not the easiest vegetable to...

READ MORE

Distinctive Native Plants

Q: In Boy Scouts there is a requirement to identify ten kinds of native plants found in your community. Can you suggest ten native plants for me to teach the boys? A: Certainly poison ivy and Virginia creeper should be...

READ MORE

Moths in Ferns

Q: My hanging ferns have been invaded with small white moths. They have just about killed the ferns by eating the leaves. What should I do? A: Moths don’t eat leaves, their offspring (caterpillars) do the damage. Unusually high numbers...

READ MORE