General Garden Info

Planting A Native Wildflower Pasture

Q: I remember watching honey bees and rolling in fields of white clover as a child. We have a big back yard, where I’d like a native wildflower pasture. What are your recommendations? A: Don’t forget that our commonplace white...

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Can I Shave Down Roots?

Q: We purchased a house with a big corner lot. I have Bradford pears on one side of my lawn and five cherry trees around the corner. Some of their roots protrude from the ground. Can I shave them down...

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Planting A “Green Fence” With Slate Chips

Q: I want to plant some type of narrow “green fence” between my property and my neighbor’s. He uses slate chips along his property line and is fine with me planting something there as long as I use slate chips...

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Japanese Maple – Asian Ambrosia Beetle toothpicks

Q: My Japanese maple appears to have fallen victim to some sort of attack. Some of the limbs and branches have begun to sprout some kind of growths and the leaves on the affected limbs and branches are wilting. What...

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Professional Referrals For Landscape Services

Q: Is there a good source for professional referrals for landscape service? I need a high quality comprehensive turf and tree/shrub maintenance company but I don’t trust online referral lists. A: The Georgia Urban Ag Council has a searchable list...

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Is Soil Sold For Gardening Tested For Lead Or Arsenic?

Q: Is soil sold for gardening routinely tested for lead or arsenic? Should I be concerned?  A: My bet is that all of the commercial or bagged soils are tested for lead. I doubt that bulk soil, delivered by the...

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Moss Growing On My Asphalt Driveway

Q: What can I do about moss growing on my asphalt driveway? Grass killer didn’t work.  A: On one hand, I am glad the herbicide didn’t work. It confirms my observation that weed killer hurts weeds much more than moss....

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Putting A Garden In – Can I Spray Weed Killer In The Area?

Q: Is it okay to spray weed killer on a area where I’m putting a garden or will the grass killer leach into the ground and affect the plants ? A: There are several types of weedkiller, so you’ll have...

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Can I Put Rubber Mulch Around My Trees?

Q: Is it ok to put rubber mulch around the base of my trees?  A: I do not recommend using rubber mulch. Even though it does an adequate job preventing weeds, the stuff is hard to keep clean and it...

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A Plant To Avoid Erosion Of A Shady Slope?

Q: I have a steep slope in my backyard that is covered with English ivy. What’s the best ground cover I can plant instead to avoid erosion of the slope? It’s pretty shady. We back up to a park where...

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Should I Put Sand Down Before Zoysia Installation?

Q: I am going to be installing zoysia sod soon. My lot is heavily shaded but I’m having my trees thinned to help with sunlight. The soil stays a little damp. Would it be good to put down 3″ –...

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Making A Raised Bed – Should I Kill The Grass There First?

Q: I would like to make a raised bed to plant perennials and annual flowers. The area has a lot of tree roots. My husband suggested using Roundup to kill the grass in the area before adding soil. A: You’ll...

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Why Should`nt I Use Dawn Dish Soap To Kill Bugs/Weeds?

Q: Why don’t you recommend using Dawn dish soap to help kill bugs and weeds? A: The number one reason I don’t mention Dawn for garden use is that it doesn’t have a pesticide label that permits it. Strictly speaking,...

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If I Raise My Soil Levels Around My Trees Will They Die?

Q: If I raise the soil level around my trees about two feet, will they die?  A: If you cover your mouth and nose with a wet washcloth, will you find it hard to breathe? Tree roots require the ability...

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What Can We Plant To Repeal Mosquitoes?

Q: What can we plant to repel mosquitos instead of using chemicals? A: I hate to burst a popular bubble but no landscape plant has been shown to repel mosquitoes. It is true that the sap of some plants is...

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Cleveland Pear Trees – Can I Replant In Late Spring?

Q: Four of our fourteen Cleveland pear trees have been killed by ambrosia beetles. Can we replant this late in the spring?  A: You can plant trees now but let me urge you to plant something other than flowering pear....

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Deer- Resistant Plants?

Q: We recently planted some dwarf loropetalum and mahonia. We were told they were deer proof but the neighborhood deer ate them. We are looking at the following replacements: abelia, gardenia, camellia, osmanthus, and distylium. Any more? A: You’ve made...

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How Much Composted/Bagged Cow Manure To Use In A Vegetable Garden?

Q: How much composted and bagged cow manure should I add to my vegetable garden before planting? A: Bagged cow manure contains very little nutrition for plants. And as for adding organic matter to your soil, there are better materials...

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