Gardening Q and A

Composted Cow Manure – Planting in It

Q: I have access to composted cow manure. I’ve ammended my vegetable garden with tons of the stuff and the soil is excellent. Can I use this same compost behind a stone wall in a new flower bed, 20 inches...

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Leyland Cypress – Substitutes

Q: What are some substitutes for Leyland cypress? A: Theresa Schrum replies: “We usually recommend plants that have a similar appearance and growth habit: Cryptomeria ‘Green Giant’ Arborvitae Eastern Red Cedar and ‘Emerald Green’ Arborvitae (which is smaller:...

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Native Plants – Identifying

Q: I would like to purchase a book about identifying native plants of Georgia which includes pictures of them. Any suggestions? A: Start with these excellent downloadable references: Native Plants of North Georgia – A Photo Guide. Native Plants for...

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Ant – Control

Q: We are under attack from Argentine ants. Do you have any suggestions for getting rid of these creatures? A: The May rainfall affected ants in two ways: it flooded their nests and it slowed their foraging for food. Little...

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Dragonfly – Raising

Q: I am interested in introducing dragonflies into a three acre wetland area on my property to assist with mosquito control. Does this seem feasible, and if so, where do I turn for information on obtaining larvae? A: This promises...

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Butterfly Bush – Problems

Q: I have a problem with a butterfly bush that has been very healthy every season until now. One side of it is wilted with all the leaves shriveling. However, all the leaves are still green – none have turned...

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Horse – Toxic Plants

Q: I have the perfect area for a new garden on our property! However, the garden site is accessible on two sides to horses leaning over the fence to check out the new plants. Do you know where I can...

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Sequoia – Growing

Q: A few years ago, after visiting Sequoia National Park, I talked my parents into planting some giant sequoia seeds. They germinated but they don’t seem to be growing very fast. Most of them are only three inches tall and...

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Frogs – Buying

Q: My dad has returned to live on the farm he grew up on in eastern Kentucky. He is a man of few wants but recently he has been complaining about the lack of frogs on the farm now. There...

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Rhubarb – Growing

Q: Recently moved here from Canada, I really miss growing and harvesting rhubarb for pies and jams. Can it be grown here? A: Transplants to Atlanta from northern climes long for two things: lilacs and rhubarb pie. Both are difficult...

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Fragrant Plants

Q: You mentioned daphne in a recent article but can you list other fragrant plants that do well in our climate? A: I don’t think I appreciated the value of landscape fragrance until the last few years in my garden....

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Poppy – Planting

Q: When can I plant poppy seeds? A: Poppy seed are most commonly planted in late October. Several kinds of poppy are grown in the South: Shirley poppy (Papaver rhoeas), Iceland poppy (P. nudicaule), Oriental poppy (P. orientale) and the...

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Pine – Spittlebug

Q: We have several pine trees in a landscape island. At the end of the branches there is a substance that looks like white foam. Each tree has several masses, about one inch in size. Is it a normal happening...

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Fertilizer – Mixing Your Own

Q: I had a soil sample from my vegetable garden tested by the Extension service. The resulting report recommended I use ammonium nitrate (34-0-0) and 5-10-15 fertilizer. However, when I went to several garden centers they did not carry the...

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Blueberry – Highbush

Q: I have recently moved to a new place and want to plant blueberries. Although I’ve found information about them, I haven’t seen specifics on whether southern highbush or northern highbush blueberries would be the best for my spot south...

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Moss – Control On Roof

Q: Could you advise how to deal with moss on a home’s roof shingles? A: Walk through your neighborhood and observe the roofs. Notice that the shingles below a roof-penetrating vent pipe are often a different color from the rest...

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Daylily – Evergreen

Q: I saw an “evergreen” daylily offered in a garden catalog. They say it will not flower year-round but plants will keep their leaves in winter. Is there really such a plant and where can I purchase them locally? A:...

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Tomato – Deciphering Letters on Tag

Q: I recently bought a tomato plant from a garden center. The label says it is Lycopersicon esculentum ‘Celebrity’ VFFNTASt. Can you decipher the letters after the variety name? A: I’m sure you recognized the Latin words Lycopersicon esculentum as...

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