Gardening Q and A

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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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...

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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....

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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...

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Native Azalea – Rejuvenating

Q: In the course of clearing some old heavy undergrowth I discovered several deciduous azaleas. Some have pink, honeysuckle-like blossoms; others have orange blossoms. Because they have been struggling to survive in that shady jungle, they are very spindly…one is...

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Loropetalum

Q: My neighbor has a variety of loropetalum in her yard that is very dark purple and stays that way all year. It is not that dull green color that sometimes looks purple. It is very low and bushy. Can...

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Mugo Pine – Pruning

Q: I have a mugo pine in front of my house that is out of control. It is seven feet in diameter and encroaching onto the sidewalk in two directions. It needs to be cut back by half to get...

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Hosta – Care After Hail

Q: Most of my hostas were beaten down by the hailstorm two weeks ago. Afterwards, I wasn’t sure what to do. Should I cut them back or just leave them alone? A: My hosta, banana and lamb’s ear plants were...

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Bradford Pear – Fire Blight

Q: Can you tell me what is wrong with my two Bradford pear trees? They have black leaves and dead ends on many of the branches. A: Your pears have fire blight. This disease is caused by bacteria rather than...

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Goosegrass – Control

Q: What is the best way to get rid of (and then prevent) goosegrass in my fescue lawn? A: Goosegrass is an annual grass just like crabgrass. It comes up from seed every summer but it germinates much later than...

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Lawn – Weed Identification

Q: I seem to have an inability to match the weeds growing in my yard with the illustrations in books at a garden center. Is there a website of good quality photos of Georgia weeds to compare with the things...

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Lawn – Choosing a Mower

Q: My husband and I just bought a house with an established bermudagrass lawn. We need to buy a lawn mower but we can not agree on the type to buy. He believes that we have to have a reel...

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Bahia (Bahiagrass) – Control

Q: I have bahiagrass, which I hate, in my yard. Do you have any long term solutions/suggestions for getting rid of it? A: Bahiagrass is sometimes used as a turfgrass or forage but it is usually viewed as a weed...

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Iris – Aphids

Q: I have irises that have bugs on the leaves. The bugs seem to be tiny, green-winged creatures and there are LOTS of them. Can you tell me what I should use to spray or treat them? A: The insects...

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Weed and Feed – Poor Performance

Q: I have a question about what to do to kill weeds. I have bermudagrass in the front lawn and fescuegrass in back. They are infested with crabgrass and chickweed, etc. I purchased several weed and feed products to use...

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Propagation – Reference Books

Q: I have been reasonably successful rooting woody plants in my landscape but I need to know more. Is there a good reference book on plant propagation that you could recommend? A: I like “Secrets of Plant Propagation: Starting Your...

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Cherry – Sweet

Q: I recently purchased a ‘Tartarian’ cherry tree at a home improvement store. I can’t find much information on growing it. Any info on this subject would be appreciated. A: Sweet cherry trees (‘Bing’, ‘Tartarian’, ‘Ranier’, etc) do not survive...

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Dodder

Q: I maintain a large flower bed . Several week ago, I noticed a bright yellow vine growing over one of the plants. After just a couple of weeks, it had spread over the whole bed and covered many of...

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