Gardening Q and A

‘Foster’ Holly – Spittlebug control

Q: My ‘Foster’ holly is covered with black bugs. They are about a half-inch long, with orange stripes running across the body. I hope they don’t kill the holly! A: Your holly is hosting adult spittlebugs. ‘Foster’ and ‘Nellie Stevens’...

READ MORE

Night-blooming cereus – Information

Q: My neighbor has a plant she calls a night-blooming cereus. We stayed up until 1:00 a.m. one night watching the flower open, almost like waiting for a new baby to be born. It has the most heavenly scent. Can...

READ MORE

Cypress vine – invasiveness

Q: Can you tell me anything about cypress vine? I have some seed but want to know how invasive it is before planting. A: Cypress vine, Ipomoea quamoclit is one of the “nicer” invasive vines in that you can readily...

READ MORE

Impatiens – Re-seeding

Q: I have a neighbor with a garden full of impatiens, in varying colors, that re-bloom every year. They disappear in winter then come back in summer. He says that they re-seed themselves. I would appreciate any knowledge that you...

READ MORE

Daisy Beetle – Control

Q: You talked about tiny flower-eating beetles on your radio show and I kind of half-heard your response while driving. When I got home I found the little guys in my brown-eyed Susans and coneflowers. They are really chewing the...

READ MORE

Bermudagrass – Homemade fertilizer

Q: Are there any homemade fertilizers for bermudagrass that are just as good as the stuff you buy in garden stores? A: Do not be mis-led by television hucksters claiming that beer or household ammonia make good lawn fertilizer. Grass...

READ MORE

Juniper – Phomopsis tip blight

Q: I’m in a panic because my junipers are dying. The tips of the branches turn brown. This quickly turns into a very dead branch and so on and so on. I don’t see any noticeable insects. A: Phomopsis tip...

READ MORE

Fir Trees – Wire embedded in trunks

Q: My neighbor’s backyard has a steep hill which was planted with fir trees. The builder used wire supports on the trees. He decided to remove the supports, but they are embedded in the trunks. He’s thinking of using a...

READ MORE

Bird of Paradise – Growing

Q: We purchased a bird of paradise plant early last year and planted it in a large container. The plant looks VERY healthy, however it didn’t bloom last year and doesn’t look like it will this year. What could be...

READ MORE

Bermudagrass – Too much lime

Q: I think I made a big mistake with my new bermudagrass sod lawn. Someone told me I needed to put down lime to reduce acid in my Georgia red clay. No one told me I should have the lawn...

READ MORE

Flower bed – conditioning soil

Q: I have an existing flower bed that was tilled with soil amendments at the beginning but maybe not enough. Will top dressing the entire area with soil conditioner this fall help areas that are lacking in amendments? The bed...

READ MORE

‘Lavender Wave’ petunia – growing

Q: I twice planted some ‘Lavender Wave’ petunias for a friend of mine. They are not thriving. The petunias there last year grew wonderfully. Could it be that there is not enough drainage? A: Although I’ve seen spectacular displays of...

READ MORE

Zoysiagrass – Reversing solarization

Q: Last weekend we took the solar blanket off our pool and laid it in our yard to dry. When we came back an hour later we found that the grass underneath had been burned. Now there is a big...

READ MORE

Lacecap Hydrangea – Identifying

Q: I have what I thought was a hydrangea but I don’t get the big flowers that others do. It starts off with a cluster of little buds but then only the outer fringe blossoms turn into real petals. The...

READ MORE

Tomato – spraying with detergent

Q: My mother had an incredible vegetable garden, with huge tomato plants. However, she had whiteflies all over her plants. My sister-in-law told her of a remedy she had seen on a public television gardening show. She advised to spray...

READ MORE

Bermudagrass – Going to seed

Q: I have been told that you should and that you should not let bermudagrass go to seed. Which is correct and why? A: I see no problem with letting bermudagrass go to seed, other than an observation that you...

READ MORE

Corn – preventing cross-pollination

Q: I am a organic gardener and would like to know if you plant pop corn next to the regular corn will it cross-pollinate and ruin my corn crop? A: Unlike other vegetables, the taste of corn is affected by...

READ MORE

Sod – Laying too late

Q: I have a friend who purchased ten pallets of fescue sod. She put down one pallet the same day. The other nine pallets were not installed until two days later. The first pallet put down looks great. Only twenty...

READ MORE