Gardening Q and A

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

Nutsedge (Nutgrass) – In Liriope

Q: This weed has a spikey seedhead. It is growing wild in a liriope bed that is in full sun. A: You have yellow nutsedge (nutgrass). The chemical imazaquin (click for sources) is labeled for use on some liriope varieties,...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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:...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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....

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE

Butterfly Nectar

Q: I am looking for a recipe for butterfly nectar. I have a couple of very nice glass butterfly feeder flower stakes but have no idea how to make the nectar. A: Experienced butterfly fanciers are unconvinced that butterfly feeders...

READ MORE

Leaves – Flip Before a Storm

Q: I have a friend who was told that the leaves on trees flip over when it is going to rain, in order to better absorb the rainwater, and this is what gives trees their “silvery” tint before a storm....

READ MORE

Insecticidal Soap

Q: Could you please advise if insecticidal soap is a healthier way to treat pests on plants, trees, etc. than using other chemical pesticides? Is the soap gentler on the greenery? A: I think we have to get away from...

READ MORE

Cottonseed Meal vs Cottonseed Hulls

Q: I recently heard you advise gardeners to mulch with cottonseed meal, saying that it provides nutrients to azaleas, blueberries and raspberries. However, when I went to the feed store to buy some, I was told to use cottonseed hulls....

READ MORE

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...

READ MORE