Gardening Q and A

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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Ailanthus Webworm Moth – Identification

Q:  This bug was on my storm door the other day. The pattern looked kind of like an elongated ladybug. A: It’s an ailanthus webworm moth. The caterpillar feeds on the leaves of a “trash tree” named Tree-of-Heaven, Ailanthus altissima....

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Pistache – Planted Too deep

Q: Our 71/2 year old Chinese Pistache tree has always been dense with foliage. In the past couple of weeks, we have noticed that it was not filling out with the abundance of leaves.  Upon close examination today, nothing seems to...

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Tree Sidewalk Root Protection

Q: I drove past a sidewalk near LaVista Rd. that had evidently been raised to protect tree roots. Can you tell me how they did this? A: The owner says: “I really don’t know how I accomplished it. I just...

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Hercules Club – Identification

Q: Is this thorny woodland plant  a noxious weed or a beneficial native? A: You have a Hercules’ club or Devil’s walking stick: Aralia spinosa (or Zanthoxylum clava-herculis). I consider it a beneficial native. Though the thorns along the trunk...

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New Blueberry Varieties – Sources

Q:  I keep reading about the new blueberry varieties, including ‘Vernon’, ‘Ochlockonee’, ‘Alapaha’, etc. Where can I buy them? Your first call should be to your local garden center. If they don’t have these superior blueberries, try: Cornelius Farms 912-284-0266...

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Centipedegrass – Decline

Q: I’ve heard of centipede decline…….but this is ridiculous! Our fourteen year-old centipedegrass yard began developing bare patches about four years ago. Now almost a third of my yard is bare and looks horrible. A: It turns out that a...

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Organic Gardening – Resources

Q: I have been all over the Internet and cannot find a good resource about organic gardening in Georgia and what to plant when. We want to start an organic vegetable garden now. What can we plant in the summer...

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Armyworms – In Lawn

Q: We have armyworms in our lawn eating up the Bermuda grass. What insecticide should we use and how should it be applied? A: Armyworms are caterpillars that feed predominantly on grasses. They attack pastures and lawns each year. The...

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Hercules Beetle – Identification

Q: My husband found this beetle at a convenience store in Carroll county and brought it home. We have no idea what it is. We were hoping you could help us to identify it. A: It’s a female Hercules beetle,...

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Aspidistra

Q: Could you tell me where it’s best to grow an aspidistra plant? Are there any instructions on how to transplant? A: Aspidistra is sometimes called cast-iron plant because it adapts to so many situations. However, until recently, I had...

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Potato – Varieties for Georgia

Q: My mother was born and raised a farmer in Galicia, Spain but I have not inherited her farming skills. I bought 12 lbs. of ‘Shepody’ seed potatoes online. I tilled, fertilized and planted the potatoes in a good spot....

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Bermudagrass – Fertilizing Before Rain

Q: My bermudagrass lawn is in great shape. Should I lime and fertilize even if there is no rain in the forecast for several days? A: Water is the only thing that will move the fertilizer down into the root...

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