Gardening Q and A

Poinsettia Tree – Care

Q: I have kept and gotten poinsettias to recolor every year for a long time, using a dark basement and timer grow light. This year I have a new challenge–someone gave me a poinsettia tree about 4′ tall–bright red with...

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Blue Fescue – Care

Q: I have an area where I have planted blue fescue. There is dead and brown grass on the underside of the plant. Is there a proper time to trim back the plant, or do you trim the grass at...

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Luffa Gourd – Harvest

Q: How do you harvest loofa gourds? A: In autumn, mature gourds will begin to turn brown and brittle. Check plants frequently and remove any dried gourds. These will feel light and dry, and rattle with loose seeds when shaken....

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Grape – Caring for ‘Concord’

Q: I have two ‘Concord’ grape vines growing along the lattice around our patio. When do I cut them back and how much do I remove? The vines are two years old and I had plenty of grapes this year....

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Ornamental Pepper – Edible

Q: We have ornamental peppers in a planter. I know they aren’t hardy outdoors in winter but can we eat them before they freeze? A: If you have not sprayed them with pesticides they are eminently edible! Be sure to...

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Groundcover – For Bank

Q: My husband and I  are in the process of building a new house and will have a large, steep bank dividing the yard from the road. What can you recommend for a fast, low-growing, attractive ground cover for this...

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Lawn – Timing Fertilizer in Spring

Q: We have bermudagrass in our front yard and fescue in the back. We have been served by a local lawn maintenance company for several years. They always want to start the new season with an application of pre-emergent and...

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Fig – Damaged by Rabbit

Q: Something is chewing on my big fig bush! All of the damage is within eighteen inches of the ground. There is nothing up higher. With this much damage will the fig be harmed? A: The key to your description...

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Holiday Cactus – Care

Q: I inherited a Christmas cactus when my mother passed away. I do not know how much light it needs or the amount of water. Also, what about fertilizer? A: I was delighted recently to find flower buds on the...

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Ginger Root – Growing

Q: After reading a suggestion in your column last winter, I planted a piece of ginger root from the grocery store. It grew outside in a pot all summer. Recently I dug up a few roots and found that they...

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Chipmunk – Control

Q: I recently poured one hundred and fifty gallons of water down a chipmunk’s hole and it didn’t fill it, nor did any come out anywhere else. I even checked under the house in case it was leaking there. How...

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Trees – For Shade

Q: We live north of Atlanta and our soil is red clay. We need some evergreen bushes or hedging trees for privacy and noise blocking from a roadside. They would be planted in a woody area that is shady most...

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St. Augustine Grass – Growing

Q: I heard that you are cultivating a St. Augustine grass in your yard. I have had good success with it over the past forty years in a lawn near Stone Mountain. I have not seen any cold damage over...

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Aerator Shoes

Q: Rather than contacting an aeration service to aerate our fescue lawn this fall, I was wondering your opinion of the “aeration shoes” sold by specialty stores/catalogs. Are they a substitute for core aeration? A: I know the shoes are...

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Garlic – Growing

Q: I was wondering if you could give me some advice on growing garlic. What kind of soil do I need? A: Felder Rushing, author of the newly released “Tough Plants for Tough Places” is an eighth generation Southern garlic...

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Leyland Cypress – Problems

Q: We have four Leyland cypress trees that were planted after the big blow in ’98. They are beautiful, more than thirty feet tall. One looks as though it is dying. The branches are drooping and the foliage has withered...

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Crape Myrtle – Transplanting

Q: My wife has several small crape myrtles growing from seed in her garden. They came from a large white crape myrtle nearby. If I transplant them will they grow into a normal bush/tree or should we just cut them...

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Nutsedge – Control in Lawns

Q: Our community has a problem with nutsedge in the lawns. Our landscape company recommended a product called Basagran. They used it on a test area but I was not very impressed. The company says it requires two applications, but...

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