Gardening Q and A

Willow – Air Roots

Q: I have two willow trees and both are beginning to show some kind of red growth on the trunk of the trees. They look almost like small shoots coming out. A: You are seeing adventitious roots, sometimes referred to...

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Japanese Beetle – Milky Spore Disease

Q: Japanese beetles are a big problem for us. One of the people in our subdivision is encouraging us to have a community-wide eradication program using milky spore disease powder. There are 500+ homes in our subdivision and it will...

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Petunia – Dying

Q: I am at my wits end regarding “wave” petunias that I have bought. I bought one batch and put them by the mailbox. After about a week they started dying one by one. I bought more and put them...

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Pregnant Onion – Care

Q: My pregnant onion is having babies and I’m not sure how to take care of them. A: Pregnant onion, Ornithogalum caudatum or Ornithogalum longibracteatum, is a fascinating houseplant. The swollen bulb sends forth long green leaves and tall flower...

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Composter – Purchasing

Q: My wife and I are trying to decide on an economical composter. Do you have any suggestions on the best one to purchase? A: It all depends on your sense of aesthetics, your space and your wallet. If you...

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Verbena – Rejuvenating

Q: When is the best time to cut back verbena? Two years ago, when I planted it in the spring, it bloomed beautifully all summer. I did not cut it back because I wanted it to fill a space. This...

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Compost Tea – Making

Q: How do I make compost tea? A: My mother used to soak cow manure in a burlap sack to make manure tea for her flowers. Compost tea is similar but the initial ingredient is less odiferous. In fact, compost...

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Compost – Excluding Rats

Q: I read recently that the rat population (roof rats in the suburbs and Norway rats in the cities) is exploding. I have always taught people to compost only vegetable and fruit scraps from food preparation: no fat, protein or...

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Fence – Hiding with Vines

Q: My next door neighbor has put up a chain link fence which I find hideous in my garden! I really want to hide it; what do you suggest? A: I use evergreen clematis, Clematis armandii, for this purpose and...

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Greenhouse – Operating as a Business

Q: My family has a farm in Wilkes county. I have always had a desire to start a business growing plants of some kind, but I’m at a loss as to which type to grow. Perennials? Annuals? Field grown? Greenhouse?...

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Clematis – Pruning

Q: When and how is best way to prune my two clematis? Both are older vines, one purple and the other white. A: I called upon the experience of my colleague Erica Glasener for the answer to your question. She...

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Strawberry Weevil – On Blackberry

Q: I have found strange bugs eating my blackberry leaves. They are tan, about the size of a BB, and are hard shelled. When I touch one it falls off the plant and acts dead. Damaged leaves have notches along...

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Oakleaf Hydrangea – Problems

Q: I have lost three good-sized oak leaf hydrangeas that were in dappled sun but a fairly wet spot. The leaves wilted from top down over a two to four week period. They were well-mulched and fairly well-watered (on a...

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Pansy – Slow to Bloom

Q: I put out four flats of pansies in October at our subdivision entrance. They were young plants, not at all root bound. The blooms that were on them when purchased opened and looked pretty, but then cold weather came...

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Lantana – Winter Pruning

Q: I have lantanas that need to be pruned back. I heard you say do this in December, then I heard a radio caller say wait until April. If I prune them now and cover them with pine straw will...

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Grub Control – Timing

Q: I am a recent transplant to Georgia and discovered that my lawn has grubs. I know that up North you can spread grub control in May and it will kill them all through the summer. Since it gets warmer...

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Tickle Tongue Tree

Q: My uncle showed me a tree growing on his farm that he called a tickle tongue. He said when he was a kid they would chew the bark if they had a tooth ache. I just licked the inside...

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Moth Control – Using Fish Oil

Q: A couple of weeks ago I read an article in the newspaper about using fish oil and flypaper in your closet to capture clothes moths. Can you give more details? A: I was intrigued by the same article but...

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