Gardening Q and A

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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Houttuynia – Chameleon Plant

Q: I bought a plant labeled ‘Chameleon’ houttuynia, labeled as a colorful perennial. I have another plant simply identified as ‘Chameleon’ which is pretty in the spring and summer but becomes raggedy in the winter. The plant I have had...

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Camellia – Planting Seed

Q: I have two camellias that have been in my family for over 60 years. One of them has always produced an occasional fruit. This year there is a large crop of 10 or more. I remember asking my mother...

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Japanese Beetle – Controlled by Drought

Q: Where have all the Japanese beetles gone? Last year I had thousands, this year only one (and I had to search for that one). I do not spray so I know I had nothing to do with their disappearance....

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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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Crape Myrtle – Don’t Prune in Fall

Q: I have seven crape myrtles. I want to cut them back in October so I won’t have to clean up their shedding leaves. Plus, I think their leafless stems are ugly in the winter. How low can they be...

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Geranium – Hardy Type

Q: On your radio show you mentioned hardy geraniums to use as a ground cover. I didn’t catch all of the conversation. Could you fill me in? A: In my opinion, hardy geraniums are vastly underused in Georgia gardens. Unlike...

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