General Garden Info

Steep Slope – Controlling Erosion

Q: My sister has purchased a house with a steep drop off from the road to her home. It is eroding badly. Terraces are essentially out of the question for this area, since it is very steep. What groundcovers, shrubs,...

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Landscape Design – Courses of Study

Q: What credentials should one have to be a landscape designer? In college, I considered studying to be a landscape architect, but I chose accounting instead. After twenty years of income taxes, I’ve realized that my true calling is gardening....

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Soil Conditioner – Replacing

Q: I added soil conditioner last year on your advice and the soil was wonderful to work with! Do I add more this year? If not, do I add lime again? A: Once the soil is soft you can just...

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Soil Temperature – Measuring

Q: What is the best way to measure soil temperature? A: You’re smart to monitor your soil’s warmth. Soil temperature determines when to do many garden jobs…from putting out pre-emergent herbicides to planting summer bulbs. You can buy a soil...

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Fertilizer Capsules – Identifying in Soil

Q: I’d like to know if the tiny eggs that I see embedded in a pot of soil make it unsafe to plant there. I’m assuming that these yellowish eggs are from spiders. I don’t want to simply throw out...

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Stumps – Preventing resprouting

Q: How do I kill very large stumps that have been cut down to ground level? A: If you need to keep the stumps from resprouting, chop into the edge of the stump with a hatchet and spray glyphosate (Roundup,...

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Ornamental Grass – Cutting Back

Q: On one of your TV shows you demonstrated a good way to cut back pampas grass. Can you refresh my memory? A: I demonstrated cutting the grass with a carpenter’s saw but I’ve found an electric shrub trimmer (or...

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Mushrooms – Growing

Q: I want to grow edible mushrooms but I don’t know where to buy the logs and supplies. Can you help? A: Mushrooms seem more mysterious than most garden plants but, in fact, raising them is not very hard. Different...

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Landscaper – Finding

Q: I am looking at doing a stone patio and wall in my backyard. Is there anyone you know that does quality work? A: The best way to find a good landscape construction company is to ask friends, and friends...

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Rose – Hips

Q: A friend was on a trip recently and saw these on the side of the road. We are at a loss as to what they are. A: Your friend saw the seedpods (hips) of a particular kind of rose:...

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Earthball (Puffball) Mushroom – Identification

Q: I have found in my yard something which resembles a potato, but I think is some type of mushroom. It is embedded in the ground, round, light tan in color, and when crushed it has a black core. Do you know...

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Mowing – Mulching vs. Bagging

Q: Which is best – mulching or bagging? I used to be a firm believer in bagging but my son convinced me that mulching was the way to go. My main concern with mulching is the cutting and broadcasting of...

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Sicklepod (Coffeebean, Coffeeweed) – Identification

Q: This interesting plant came up in my flower bed. I let it grow to see what it would be and it continues to grow! The leaves have a soft touch and around sunset the leaves begin to close and...

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Salt Damaged Lawn

Q: I am a realtor in Indiana and have searched the web for this problem with no success. My clients did a walk through the day before closing on their new condo and noticed a huge spot of dead grass....

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Pecan Phylloxera

Q: We have an enormous old pecan tree on our property. While planting some vegetables in mid-summer, we noticed some horrible looking leaves on the ground. We aren’t sure if it’s scab or something worse. Our main concern is if...

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Ivy – Removing from Brick

Q: We recently purchased a house that has a hideous overgrowth of ivy on the brick walls and siding. How can I properly remove the ivy without damaging the restored masonry underneath? A: Allowing ivy to grow on walls is...

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Acorns – Control Sprouts in Lawn

Q: I have a problem with acorns dropping in beds (pachysandra and juniper). Would Preen inhibit their sprouting in spring? We spend soooo much time on our hands and knees pulling oak “babies”.   A: Mark Czarnota, my UGA weed...

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Hydrangea – Damage Nearby Pipes

Q: I recently planted a hydrangea bush next to my house. When I was digging the hole I found a gas pipe and an irrigation pipe directly underneath. Do I need to worry about the roots damaging these lines as...

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