Gardening Q and A

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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May Beetle – Wrong Identification (and Correct ID as Sugarcane Beetle)

I’m right about a lot of things but I’m sometimes equally thrilled to be wrong about something. In the September 2, 2010 Georgia Gardener newsletter, I incorrectly identified a beetle. Fortunately, I have entomologist friends who are smarter than me!...

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Walnut Caterpillar – On Walnut Tree

Q: My husband and I found these worms/caterpillars eating the leaves of a black walnut tree at the edge of our pasture.  Later we found the same type of critters devouring the leaves of a black cherry tree. Could these...

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Leaf-footed Bugs – On Tomato

Q: Our tomato plants and garden are infested with stink bugs and leaf-footed bugs. Is there an organic pesticide, safe for the environment and pets, that we can use to eliminate these insects? They are ruining our garden. A: Both...

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Tomato – Two Toned

Q: I noticed last week that one of my few tomatoes growing on my tomato plant in a pot was two-toned.  I’ve never seen one of these before. A: Very odd! My guess is that incomplete pollination caused it. Tomatoes...

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Rat Snake Eggs – Identification

Q: I am told you might be able to help me identify what I have found at the bottom of my mulch pile. A: Jim Rodgers at Nearly Native Nursery says they are most likely rat snake or king snake...

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