Gardening Q and A

Golden Goddess Bamboo – Growing in Atlanta

Q: I recently planted five Golden Goddess bamboo plants seven feet apart and about the same distance from the fence line as a privacy barrier. What kind of growth should I expect from them? A: ‘Golden Goddess’ is a clumping...

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Sedum – Not Blooming

Q: I’ve had John Creech sedum in my full sun perennial garden for four years and it’s never once bloomed. It looks healthy and grows tight to the ground. I do divide it throughout the growing season to fill in...

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Cotton Seed Meal – On Blueberries

Q: I found some cotton seed meal to put around my blueberries. When and how much should I use? Should I use 10-10-10 on them too? A: One of the great things about using organic fertilizers like cottonseed meal is...

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Grape – Tube Gall

Q: I found this growing on a wild grapevine off my deck in late summer at my cabin in Rabun Gap. Very curious looking spikes. A: They are grape tube galls. They are caused by a small flying insect called...

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Podocarpus – Fruit

Q: I recently found these pods on a tree in Marietta and would love to know their origin. The fruit/pod are dark purplish black and spongy and then this glorious green grape at the end. Fascinating! A: My friend Shannon...

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Squash – Bumpy Skin

Q: This summer I had knobby squash. I know what old squash looks like. These are immature in size, young, not very fat, but the skin looks like we waited too long to pick it. Why? A: This looks like...

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Evergreen Screen Plant – Fast Growing

Q: A developer is putting multiple homes on the hill across the creek from our back yard. If we are to have any measure of privacy, we need to get something tall and fast-growing planted quickly. A: I visited with...

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Canna Lily – Preparing Seed to Sprout

Q: I’m a high school student doing a project for science but I’m having a hard time germinating canna lily seeds. I have tried many things but I did not get any results. A: The seeds will germinate best if...

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Red Pine – Growing in Georgia

Q: Will Michigan red pines grow in Georgia? A: Georgia has many microclimates that resemble other parts of the country. Red pine, Pinus resinosa, grows well in Canada and New England so my bet is that it would grow in...

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Fescue – Fertilizing Late in December

Q: What is the latest you can fertilize fescue? We had landscaping done in our yard a couple of weeks ago and I wonder if it is too late? A: UGA turf expert Clint Waltz says you need a fertilizer...

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Planting Fruit Trees – Too Late in December?

Q: Is December too late to plant raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and fruit trees? A: You are still well within the time for success in planting fruiting plants. Garden-working weather isn’t great for humans but your plants will have no problem...

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Bonsai Soil – Mixing Your Own

Q: Tell me about bonsai tree soil. I’d like to mix my own. A: Bonsai soil is very much different from potting soil. It has much less organic matter and a lot more rock or rock substitutes. Most bonsai enthusiasts...

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Animal – Making Nest Under Car Hood

Q: Something has used my gardenia for nesting material (which ended up under the hood of my car). What do you think? A: My original answer was: “It’s gotta be a squirrel! They like twig nests….but I’ve never heard of...

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Yoshino Cherry – Repairing Root Damage

Q: I have a Yoshino cherry tree that is showing signs of stress. It’s bleeding amber sap that turns rubbery, goes away, and then returns as a “bubble” of sap. This is in two spots a foot or so above...

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Japanese Maple – Leaves Never Turned Red

Q: My beautiful Japanese maple never turned red this year but the leaves turned black. Do you have an explanation? A: My guess is that this joins the phenomenon of “My ginkgo didn’t turn yellow this fall!” I saw brilliant...

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Green Material – To Patch Green Lawn

Q: I have seen golf courses use green sand to fill divot holes on their course. How can I make green sand to cosmetically hide small problem areas in my lawn until the grass takes over the spot? A: I...

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Engineered Soil – Where to Buy

Q: During a radio show, a caller mentioned his tree was pushing up the brick walk nearby. Walter suggested he might level the walk with “engineer soil”. What is this? I have an area around a long stone walk which...

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Hydrangea – What to Do in Winter

Q: I have fifteen beautiful established hydrangeas. The freeze a couple of weeks ago did a job on them: they are all brown and lifeless looking. Do I do anything to them or just let them be until the spring?...

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