Gardening Q and A

Plumeria – Not Flowering Like Expected

Q: Two years ago I brought back a cutting of plumeria from Hawaii. It is in the shape of a capital “Y”. It rooted successfully and produced large green leaves at the end of each point of the “Y” but...

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Lime – Still Good When It’s Old

Q: I found some five-year old sacks of lime, 8-8-8 and bonemeal at my mother-in-law’s house recently. Are they still useable? If they are, I can make good use of them! A: On the farm when I was a kid,...

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Liriope – Spreading Monkey Grass vs Clumping Monkey Grass

Q: I’m having a terrible time with liriope that is sprouting up all over my yard. Most of the landscape is either pine straw beds or English ivy. I have begun digging up patches of the liriope and then putting...

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Magnolia – Proper Seed Care

Q: I wish to plant some seeds to grow magnolia trees. I have heard various stories about refrigeration and splitting the seeds. What exactly needs to be done to ensure successful germination? A: Many woodland plants have seeds that need...

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Forsythia – Crown Gall Disease

Q: I transplanted a large forsythia last spring and managed to get it through the summer drought. It flourished and I began to neglect it – at least I wasn’t checking it hourly like a new mother. Now I find...

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October Glory – Compensating For Root Damage

Q: I recently tilled an area around my ‘October Glory’ maple tree in which to plant spring bulbs. The tree was planted last October. I noticed a lot of roots from the maple tree at ground level and just barely...

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Ginko – Playing The Odds With Gender

Q: I need some information about ginkgo trees. We were in Vicksburg, Mississippi in September and picked up some ginkgo fruit at the old courthouse. We cleaned and dried them and brought them back home. How should I plant them?...

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Indoor Plants – Diagnosing Problems

Q: Can you help me find a good Web site for diagnosing problems with indoor plants? A: Now that winter is approaching, houseplants are moved indoors from their summer home on decks and patios. Though most thrive in the dappled...

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Tea – Home Growing Your Own!

Q: I have a tea camellia, ^Camellia sinensis” in my back yard. Can I make tea from its leaves? A: You are welcome to try … but don’t expect to give Mr. Lipton a run for his money! Tea is...

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pH Meters – Several Different Types

Q: Can you recommend a pH meter that would be accurate enough to use in my perennial garden that would not cost me an arm and a leg? A: It depends on how you define “accurate enough”. As you know,...

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Rodents – Limiting Carrying Capacity

Q: Do you know of any Internet sites that discuss control of rodents in the yard? A: The key to controlling outdoor rodents like rats, squirrels and chipmunks is to understand ^carrying capacity^ and ^seasonality^. Every landscape has the capacity...

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Artichokes – Growing in Conyers?

Q: In my native country, Greece, I enjoyed growing artichokes this time of the year. There, I planted them once and they came back every year. Can you please tell me if I can grow them here, where to find...

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Butterbean (Butter Bean) vs Lima Bean

Q: A battle rages between my dearest friends. The line is drawn between South Georgia natives and Atlanta-raised folks. Fresh, dried, green, beige, or speckled: what is a butterbean or a lima bean? A: I conducted an unofficial poll with...

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Students – Interested In Plants?

Q: I have taught high school physics and chemistry for the last 5 years but this year I am teaching 7th grade science. Soon I’ll be teaching a unit on the plant kingdom. Do you have any ideas to stir...

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Boxwoods – Keeping Them Happy

Q: On each side of my front door I have four boxwoods. For the past couple of years I have continued to lose shrubs on the right side of my door. At first we thought it was due to improper...

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Photinias – Preventing Leaf Spots

Q: I have a line of red tip photinias in my back yard. The shrubs on the southern end are in real good shape with very few leaf spots. The shrubs in the other end of the line are in...

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Amaryllis – Fooling A Plant

Q: I have an amaryllis that bloomed this past spring and the leaves look very healthy now. How can I make it bloom this Christmas? A: All you have to do is fool the bulb into thinking it’s spring in...

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Fungi – Keeping It In Check

Q: I’m clearing out a pine island that was filled with junipers under the pine trees. I’m finding a white, gauzy, fungus-looking substance under the pine straw. What is it and how diligent do I need to be in removing...

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