Gardening Q and A

European Hornet- Damage to Plant

Q: I have a row of ten foot tall ‘Nellie Stevens’ hollies. Last summer I noticed severe yellowing of the leaves on two of them. Recently I crawled under these large shrubs and discovered on the trunks concentric rings where...

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Plumbago – Hardiness

Q: I planted several blue plumbago plants last spring. Their blue and white flowers were outstanding all spring and summer until the first frost. Will they make it through the winter? A: Plumbago is also known as leadwort. However, confusingly,...

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Open Meadow- Creating

Q: I have several acres of fallow farm land that I am trying to keep as an open meadow. It is a constant battle to keep the sweetgum trees out. We have mowed them down twice a year for several...

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Fungus on Tree Root

Q: I have had a lot of erosion in my back yard so there are a lot of exposed roots. I’ve seen a couple of them that have this hard, white crust on them, sort of like a rubber coating....

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Crape Myrtle – Straightening

Q: I need some advice on what to do about a crepe myrtle that was partially uprooted by recent winds. It is leaning about 30 degrees and is about 20 feet tall. My plan is to dig under where it...

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Limb – Repairing Broken

Q: I need help. A big pecan limb split away from a similar-sized limb way up in the tree. Do you think I should cut off the whole limb to which both are attached? A: Someone brave is going to...

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Yellowjackets – Nest Dug Up

Q: We have noticed some bees in a corner of our property. After a recent rain, it looked as if an animal dug up several flat bee combs. There were four of them, about the size of a six-inch pancake,...

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Yellow necked Caterpillars – On Blueberry

Q: Some very large, fuzzy, black caterpillars with yellow stripes are devouring the leaves of my blueberries. Should steps be taken to eliminate them? A: You are seeing yellow neck caterpillars. Notice how they lift their front and hind quarters...

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Rat and Mouse – Identification

Q: We found the droppings of an animal in our kitchen. My husband thinks it is a mouse, I think it is a rat. Is it possible to tell the difference? A: It may be distasteful, but it is possible...

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Jack (Sword) Bean

Q: A friend got some bean seed from his Dad, who told him to plant them and they would do great. I think the word “great” is an understatement. The Dad said they are called “Fala beans”. I’m thinking he...

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Tomato – Roots on Stem

Q: This year I decided to try my luck at growing a few tomato plants. They are in containers and have done quite well since Easter. However, now the lower leaves are turning yellow and on one of them strange...

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Rat and Mouse – Poisons

Q: Is there a rat poison that keeps the dead rodent from smelling? I was told that one formula contains formaldehyde, which preserves the body. A: It is a false conception that rat poisons dry out the animal. Several of...

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Flying Squirrel – In Birdhouse

Q: This weekend while cleaning up my backyard I encountered an unexpected resident in our bluebird house. I cannot see the tail or markings. I look forward to your reply. A: You have a flying squirrel! They commonly make their...

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Rat and Mouse – Control

Q: Do you know of any Internet sites that discuss control of rodents? A: The key to controlling outdoor rodents like rats, squirrels and chipmunks is to understand carrying capacity and seasonality. Every landscape has the capacity to support a...

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Caterpillars – Which Ones are Poisonous

Q: My friends and I have found dozens of caterpillars under the trees in our school playground. How can you tell if a caterpillar is poisonous? Are there girl and boy caterpillars? I am nine years old. Nick East, Candler...

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Bamboo – Fiberglass Barrier

Q: My neighbor and I are trying to control the bamboo he planted along his property line. The patch was planted three years ago. Today I was out cleaning up my landscape and found runners about one-half inch in diameter...

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Kimberly Queen Fern

Q: I planted Kimberly Queen ferns in my shaded garden last year and they were beautiful until the ice storm hit. They, of course, died shortly thereafter, but I am noticing that there are green grape-like things on the ground...

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Daphne – Wilt

Q: My daphne looks like it is wilting. I watered it but it does not look any better. How can I save it? A: You probably can’t save it. Daphne is very susceptible to a disease called Phytophthora, which infects...

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