General Garden Info

Crapemyrtle – Black Leaves

Q: I have eight large crepe myrtles that have a black fungus and tiny insects on nearly all of the leaves. A: You have a beautiful example of crapemyrtle aphids. The white things on the leaves are their cast scans....

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Basil Leaf Spot – Identification

Q: This week I noticed black spots on the leaves of my basil. Today, I saw these weird dots/bumps on the stems. Are they eggs of a bug or maybe a plant disease? A: At first I thought the brown...

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Does UGA Test Soil For Weed Killer Chemicals?

Q: You recently responded to a question about wilted vegetable leaves that might be caused by weed killer. I had the same symptoms in a new garden bed I planted with top soil from a nursery. Does UGA test soil...

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Crapemyrtle – White Substance On Leaves

Q: I have a crape myrtle with a white substance on the leaves and no blooms. What do I have? How do I treat it?  A: I’m almost certain you have powdery mildew. Cool nights and warm, humid days provide...

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Algae – How To Get Rid Of It From Our Pond

Q: Our small pond in front of our house has been very low. It developed red algae a month ago. My husband dipped his finger in the water and there was green algae underneath the red algae. Can we kill...

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Plants With The Name Walter

Q: I’m looking for a plant with the name “Walter” to plant in my garden to honor my great-grandfather. Any suggestions? A: I have an evergreen Walter viburnum, Viburnum obovatum, and a Walter dogwood, Cornus walteri, in my landscape. The...

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Applied Pre-emergent in August – Can You Overseed Fescue In October?

Q: If you apply pre-emergent in August can you overseed fescue in October? A: Sure you can, but you won’t get any weed control from the pre-emergent application you put down in August. Most winter weeds germinate in October, just...

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Garden Compost – What Is Okay To Put In It?

Q: Is it okay to put citrus fruit rinds, coffee grounds, and tea bags in my garden compost? A: Everything except milk and meat products is fine to put in a compost pile. You can add the compost to your...

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Apple Trees – Orange-Yellow Spots On Leaves

Q: We just purchased a new house with a couple of apple trees on the property. The leaves have lots of little orange-yellow spots on them. A: It’s likely cedar-apple rust. Your trees may start dropping leaves soon. Red cedar...

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Blueberry Bush – Leaves Are Yellow With Green Veins

Q: My Premier blueberry bush looks sick. It is full of fruit but the leaves are yellow, with green veins. Any ideas? A: Yellow leaves with green veins indicate iron chlorosis, which can be caused by soil pH that’s too...

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Mass Planting Ferns – Which Type To Get

Q: I am looking to do a mass planting of ferns. The least expensive way to go is to buy bare root ferns online. I’m looking at beech fern, autumn fern, cinnamon fern, and bracken fern. A: The ferns you...

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Cinder Block Raised Beds – Is there A Danger Of Chemicals Leaching Into The Soil?

Q: I have seen plans for making raised beds with cinder blocks. Is there any danger of chemicals leaching into the soil? A: Once upon a time cinder blocks were made from cinders that were left after coal was burned...

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Green Lawn Year Round – Options

Q: I’m building a house that will be done in September. The contractor normally uses bermuda grass but I prefer a green lawn year round. What grass would you recommend for our full sun yard with irrigation system? A: You...

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Tree Peony – Does It Grow Into A Tree

Q: You mentioned a tree peony a few weeks ago. Does it really grow into a tree? A: They are called “tree peony” but they are more like “shrub peony”. My fifteen-year-old Paeonia suffruticosa is three feet tall and three...

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Do I Need To Dethatch?

Q: I am unsure whether I need to dethatch my lawn or not. It is mainly bermuda grass. I am asking because a neighbor dethatched his lawn. A: It doesn’t look to me like it needs dethatching. Thatch is a...

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Slime Mold – Black Bubbly Substance

Q: Last week a black, bubbly substance started seeping through my pine straw. It looks very much like caviar coming through, then once it bubbles to the top, the sun bakes it to a tar-like substance and congeals it. Any...

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Plants With the Name “Walter”

Q: I’m looking for a plant with the name “Walter” to plant in my garden to honor my great-grandfather. Any suggestions? A: I have an evergreen Walter viburnum, Viburnum obovatum, and a Walter dogwood, Cornus walteri, in my landscape. The...

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Rose Rosette Disease – Will It Spread To Other Plants

Q: I was dismayed to discover this morning that three of my rose buses have Rose Rosette disease. The symptoms couldn’t be any clearer – the rose bushes have the telltale excessive thorns, the witch’s broom leaves, & the buds...

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