Gardening Q and A

Yellow Jacket Nest – What Dug It Up?

Q: We had a yellow jacket nest in our back yard. Something dug up the nest and left a three inch hole there. Any idea what would do that? A: I’ll give four guesses: raccoon, fox, armadillo, or skunk. All...

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Take-All – How To Stop It

Q: I have a nice front yard that has developed a disease that my Extension office calls “take-all”. It seems like it is spreading; is there a cure? A: Take-all patch affects all warm season grasses. One way to stop...

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Lavender – Growing In Atlanta

Q: I want to grow lavender. Is there any kind that would be better suited to our climate north of Atlanta? A: I very much enjoyed recently seeing big fields of lavender near Sequim, on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. Mild summers...

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Zoysia – Too Late To Plant

Q: I’ve just had a septic system installed and my yard is trashed. I ultimately want zoysia and will be using seed. It will be the end of August before I can plant. Am I correct in thinking that it...

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Tomato – Saving Seeds

Q: I grow organic heirloom tomato plants. How do I save the seeds? A: The “jelly” that surrounds each seed can inhibit germination. Save an unblemished ripe fruit, scoop out the seeds, and cover with water in a glass jar....

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Butter Beans – Few, Flat Beans

Q: For many years I’ve grown pole butter beans but this year the vines look great but there are few beans and they are flat. A: Flat beans usually indicate poor pollination. Butterbeans are self-pollinating but produce enough nectar to...

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St. Augustine – Times To Plant

Q: I read where you sprigged your yard with St. Augustine grass. Is now a good time of year? A: You can sprig St. Augustine grass either by half-burying 12″ long runners in early summer or by planting rooted pieces...

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House Plants – Using Fertilizer

Q: Is it OK to use 10-10-10 fertilizer on house plants? A: I suppose you could but it would have to be a tiny amount each time. This quickly-soluble fertilizer would have a high chance of burning plant roots confined...

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Hydrangea – Treating A Gift Plant

Q: I received a beautiful White Robe hydrangea as a gift. I would like to plant it where it will be happy. A: Hydrangea expert Gene Griffith (www.hydrangea.com) says the company that introduced ‘White Robe’ is known for florist hydrangeas,...

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Sod – Proper Watering

Q: Three weeks ago I had bermuda sod installed. The landscaper set up the irrigation timers so each zone came on twice a day for five minutes. I noticed a brown patch in one corner of the yard after four...

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Grasshopper – Big And Black

Q: A huge black grasshopper settled for a rest on my Japanese maple. Any idea what it is? A: It’s a lubber grasshopper. Their “skin” varies in color as they grow from nymph to adulthood. Black ones are not unusual....

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Rat Snakes – Caught In Netting

Q: We have a garden that is surrounded by deer netting. Black rat snakes keep getting stuck in the netting and strangling themselves to death. Is there anything I can do to prevent it? A: This is not uncommon. The...

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Apple – GMO Modification?

Q: I ate a Honeycrisp apple that was not organic so I’m assuming it’s probably GMO. Seeds inside had tiny sprouts so I planted to see what would happen. Will these produce fruit that is GMO? A: I know of...

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Hens n Chicks – Hens Are Dying?

Q: I received a plant from my grandmother called “Hens n Chicks”. Some of the hens seem to be dying and the chicks are still going strong. What should I do? A: Hens and Chicks, Sempervivum tectorum, is native to...

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Planting – When To Plant What

Q: When is the correct time to plant turnip, mustard, beet and radish seeds? A: You can start thinking about it around Aug. 15, completing the effort by mid-September. Wait for a day when rain is in the forecast so...

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Greenhouse – Pollination Without Bees?

Q: I’m thinking about attaching a greenhouse to my home. I’d like to grow some citrus (lemon, orange, kumquat). But how do they get pollinated if no bees can get to them? A: Good news! They don’t require insects for...

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Sweet Potatoes – Proper Fertilization

Q: I’m growing Beauregard sweet potatoes. One source says they are light feeders but another says they are heavy feeders. How should they be fertilized? A: UGA gardening expert Bob Westerfield says he would class sweet potatoes in the medium...

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Plant – Interesting, Pretty and Attractive

Q: I need something to plant in a space that’s quite long; part is shady and some is in full sun. I’d love the plant to have year round interest and maybe attract wildlife. What do you think about Oregon...

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