Gardening Q and A

Community Garden – Management Tips

Q: I am starting a community garden with raised garden beds. I need tips on how to manage it. A: Becky Griffin is a UGA garden expert who blogs about community gardening at bit.ly/UGAcommunity. There you’ll find timely tips plus...

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Parrotfeather – Removal From The Pond

Q: Our one-acre pond is becoming clogged with masses of parrot feather. Although it’s an attractive plant, it’s beginning to take over. How can we get rid of it without harming our fish? A: Aquatic plants are divided into four...

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Basil – Leaves Being Eaten

Q: The leaves on my basil plant have been eaten by something. There are holes in the middle of most leaves. A: The holes could be caused by slugs, snails or caterpillars. To differentiate, put a saucer-ful of beer near...

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Pecan – Finding Papershell

Q: At my former home in Texas I had two paper shell pecan trees and would like to plant one here. Do I need to have two different pollination types or can I get by with two trees of the...

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Spiderwort – Keeping Variegation

Q: How do you keep variegated leaves variegated? I have a green spiderwort with white variegation. It looks very healthy but the leaves going all green. I have an acid-green heuchera but it too is going darker. A: Variegation or...

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Strawberries – Identifying Mock Strawberries

Q: This year I planted a bed of wild strawberries but mock strawberries have invaded! How can I tell them apart so I can pull the weed and keep the wonderful? A: The leaves of the two plants are very...

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Trees – Sources Of Information

Q: My wife has an assortment of apple, peach, cherry and plum trees. Where would be the best source to find answers pertaining to each type tree: pruning fertilizing and expected fruit production. A: One of the truly helpful institutions...

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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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