General Garden Info

Sticky Stuff – Falling From Trees

Q: I’ve noticed in early Noveber that the sidewalks and even cars under all kinds of trees get a light sappy coating on them. It doesn’t feel as sticky as pine sap and comes off with a little rubbing. A:...

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Hole in Landscape – Not Made by Snake

Q: I’m stumped by what made this hole. It is near some recently planted evergreens. When we planted the evergreens, we dug up a few snake eggs. Thinking this hole is from snakes. A: The hole couldn’t be made by...

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Castor Oil – Ineffective for Mole Control

Q: I found information on mole control using castor oil, water, and Dawn detergent applied with a garden sprayer. Do you think it would work with a hose-end sprayer? A: This concoction is useless. Despite its reputation, castor oil has...

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Yellowjacket Nest – Structure

Q: I have dug up yellow jacket nests, after killing them, but they usually get torn up in the process. A friend sent me this picture of a nest which was under an AC unit. They didn’t see any insects...

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Potatoes – Cooking in Pine Rosin

Q: Have you heard of using pine tree rosin for cooking potatoes? Is there a local source to purchase the rosin? A: At first I thought you were joking but people do endorse this cooking method! An entrepreneurial family down...

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Pond Bank – Weed Control

Q: We recently had stones placed on the bank of our detention pond to prevent erosion. Many animals and birds live there. Weeds are growing between the stones. We need an environmentally safe herbicide to kill the unwanted plants. A:...

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Hydrangea Summer Pruning – Step by Step

The recent summer rains filled the leaves and roots of my hydrangeas with water, making them strong. Now that the flowers have faded in late June I can prune them to the size I want for next year. Look at...

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Raised Bed – Filling With Bagged Products

Q: I’ve built my raised beds but I don’t have a lot of soil to fill them. What should I use? A: I have had good success with Big Yellow Bag,  Scotts Premium Topsoil, Kellogg Raised Bed Mix,  Nature’s Care...

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Pollen Analysis – From Honey

Q: I am interested in matching pollen granules that my honeybees collect with the plant of origin. A: The best help I can find is from a professor at Texas A&M University in Austin. Although Austin is a bit warmer...

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Boxwood Blight – Not This

Q: Is this boxwood blight? A: My plant pathology friend Jean Williams-Woodward says “The plant looks like it is dying from a root problem, not boxwood blight. It is planted next to a stone walkway. It looks like the roots are suffering...

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Plant Labels – Making Big Ones

Q: Can you suggest a source for large plant markers, easily read while standing? A: I use metal tags that stand on tall wire legs (everlastlabel.com). You can use a grease pencil or make printed labels on clear tape with...

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Ginkgo – Sprouts From Stump

Q: Our beautiful ginkgo tree was destroyed a few years ago in a storm. We left the stump in place. Now, there are two new trees sprouting up from the stump. What is the best thing to do? A: I...

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Hole in Ground – No Earth Piled Nearby

Q: We built a fire pit in our backyard where the previous owners had an above ground pool. I tilled the grass and covered it with stone. A couple nights ago, we had friends over and one of our friend’s...

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Lawn Aeration – How Much/Proper Method

Q: I got the following from my lawn company when I asked about aeration. We provide core aeration but do not offer the Criss-cross method. We have found this to cause too many divots in the lawn from the tires...

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Aerify Plus – Thoughts

Q: I’m about to aerate and overseed fescue in my lawn but the drainage is poor with lots of compacted soil. I read about a product called Aerify Plus that you spray on the lawn. Ever heard of it? A:...

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Rain Garden – Designing

Don’t beat your head against a wall! If your landscape has a wet area, stop trying to cultivate plants that dislike wet feet. Instead, install a rain garden, using plants that easily tolerate soggy soil. First, check my lists of...

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Calico Scale – Identification

Q: Any idea what these black and white things are? They are on the trees along a front walkway near Atlantic Station. A: They are calico scale. You can control them by scraping them off the trunk and keeping watch...

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Termites – In Dead Stump

Q: I prepared to remove a stump in my parent’s backyard and realized that it has termites. I want to remove and grind the stump; however, I’m not sure if we need to treat the termites first. Her house is...

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