How-To Archive

How to protect a stump carving

Q: A stump carver made this statue out of the stump of a water oak that we removed in November in our back yard. In spring, branches started to grow. A: Water oak has many shallow buds under the bark,...

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Aftercare for poinsettia, amaryllis and paperwhite narcissus plants

Decisions, decisions…what to do with the poinsettia, amaryllis and paperwhite narcissus plants you got for the holidays? Poinsettia Amaryllis Paperwhite...

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I’m retiring from radio (mostly)

January 4, 2020 Three months ago somebody lightheartedly asked me “When are you ever going to retire from radio” I have been asked this many times before. You know that I already retired once from the University of GA after...

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Using Native Soil To Plant Trees

Q: On the radio, you told a listener they should remove most of the soil the tree has around its roots before planting. You said use only native soil to fill around the roots.  A: You should get a prize...

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How To Dispose Of Liquid Weed Killer

Q: Are the disposal guidelines for putting liquid weed killer into kitty litter still correct? What about powdered and granular pesticides? A: Yes, if you have a liquid pesticide you can’t use or which doesn’t have a label, pour it...

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Yellow Jackets In My Maple Tree

Q: Yellowjackets are coming out from a hole underneath a young maple in my front yard. How do I get rid of them without killing the tree?  A: All of the aerosol wasp and hornet sprays I’m familiar with have...

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Getting Rid Of Mushrooms In Zoysia Lawn

Q: I have mushrooms in my new zoysia lawn. What steps can be taken to get rid of them? The yard gets plenty of sun to dry it out.  A: The mushrooms most likely are coming from fungi feeding on...

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Popcorn sheller

Q: Here is my DIY popcorn sheller. I don’t know why more people don’t grow popcorn. Especially folks with kids. So easy to grow and fun! A: On the farm, we used a purpose-built hand-cranked cast iron corn sheller to...

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How to root a fig cutting

Q: A fig tree that has been in my family for three generations and produces a great harvest. My father recently passed away and we are selling the property. It is too large to transplant. Is there a way to...

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New Zealand Trip – 2020

Come next February, I’ll be enjoying the warm summertime in New Zealand…and you can enjoy it with me! I hosted a garden tour of New Zealand in 2011. Ever since, I’ve wanted to go back. So now we’re going again…and...

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How To Cut Back My Huge Buckeye

Q: My buckeye lost its shade when two old pines were removed. Now it has absolutely taken over a side of my yard, covering everything in sight: azaleas, nandina, weeds, etc. The buckeye has white flower spikes in June. Should...

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Will A Vinegar And Salt Solution Kill Underbrush?

Q: Can you spread a vinegar and salt solution under big pine and oak trees to kill the underbrush below them?  A: Neither vinegar nor salt will kill the underbrush. Concentrated acetic acid, which smells like vinegar, might burn the...

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Mouthwash, Epsom Salts And Stale Beer – Mosquito Repellent?

Q: I have been told that a mixture of mouthwash, Epsom salts and stale beer can be sprayed around your landscape to keep mosquitoes away. What do you think?  A: I think this is an excellent recipe for hogwash. For...

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Fan Palm With Seed Pods On It

Q: I have a twelve-year-old fan palm outside. The tree has seed pods on it. How and when can I take the seed pods off and plant them?  A: There are several different plants that are called fan palm. In...

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Bumper Crop Of Baby Peaches – How To Thin The Peaches

Q: I have a bumper crop of baby peaches. Is there a rule of thumb for thinning the peaches? I know the branches won’t support all of them.  A: You are right. If you don’t remove some of the fruit,...

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How To Get Rid Of Johnson Weed

Q: How do you get rid of Johnson weed?  A: It’s tough! Johnsongrass, Sorghum halepense, was introduced from the Mediterranean as a pasture grass. But farmers soon found that this tall, aggressive grass, while favored by cattle, was very difficult...

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Squirrel Problem

Q: I have a problem with squirrels digging in my pots. I can’t keep anything growing in them since they dig up everything.  A: One of my gardening friends collects sweetgum balls and uses them to mulch around summer annuals...

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Filling In A Gully On A Sloping Yard

Q: I have a sloping yard that has developed a gully on one side that is hard to mow. I am having a tree removed and wonder if I can fill in with the chips, then cover with dirt and...

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