Gardening Q and A

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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Tiger Lily – propagating by seed

Q: Can you tell me if I can use the seeds that nestle next to each leaf on very old tiger lilies? These are precious to me and I would love to find another way to propagate rather than digging...

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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...

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‘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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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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...

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Butterfly Bush – Pruning

Q: Last fall I cut my butterfly bush back to eight inches and it grew six feet high this year. It was beautiful but it shaded all the other flowers I planted around it. Is there any way I can...

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Celosia – Growing

Q: Have you seen or tried to grow cockscomb celosia? The flower looks like a fuzzy brain and is red or yellow. I have some seeds from a bouquet given to me and I’d like to cultivate them. What are...

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Ligustrum – pruning

Q: My ligustrum has gotten very scarce at the bottom while being full at the top. I’d like to cut it back to about two feet tall in hopes that this will thicken it up. Is this OK? When should...

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Iris – Propagating with seed

Q: I have several beds of small purple iris. All the stalks have seed pods. They have dried up and there are several seeds in each one. I have about all the iris plants I can handle, but would like...

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Pears – Canning

Q: Could you tell me the best way to put our pears up? This is the first year our tree has produced and we want to enjoy the fruit all through the winter. We prefer pear preserves but any help...

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