General Garden Info

Pears – Fire Blight

Q: I went to a nursery and they sold me a Bartlett pear. Doing my research after the fact, I found this pear is not recommended for Georgia. Why? A: ‘Bartlett’ pear isn’t recommended because it gets fire blight disease...

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Farm – Proper Zoning

Q: We are under contract to buy a seven acre property just outside the Perimeter. It has a nice house and a horse barn with different sections of fencing for livestock. We want to make this an after school/camp/birthday party/farm-styled...

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Mushrooms – Removal

Q: I have orange mushrooms in my mulched areas. How do I get rid of them? A: The constant wet weather of the last couple of weeks has made conditions perfect for fungi to “bloom” as they decompose damp mulch....

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Aerating – Best Times

Q: I saw on your website that it could be a good idea to aerate highly compacted soil twice a year. Besides late April, when would be the best time to do the second aeration on zoysia? A: Since the...

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Hillside – Erosion Control

Q: I need something to keep a very steep hillside from eroding and I thought of the grass that GDOT plants along the roadsides. It seems to be drought tolerant and low maintenance. Any idea what it might be? A:...

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Leaves – Removal After Seeding

Q: What’s the best way to remove leaves from a newly seeded lawn? Is it best done with a rake or with a blower or grind them up with the lawnmower? A: It’s best to shred them with a mower....

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Vines – Privacy Barrier

Q: I want to know how to transplant and grow kudzu vine. I would like to plant it onto a barbed wire fence line to form a privacy barrier. A: In the early 1900’s my grandfather Walter Cowart actively promoted...

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Trees – Fertilizing Time

Q: Is this a good time to fertilize six-month old dogwood and redbud trees? A: No. My general recommendation is to fertilize plants in early spring, before green growth begins. I think organic, slow-release fertilizers (Holly-Tone, Milorganite, E. B. Stone)...

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Grass – Full Sun, No Water

Q: What is the best grass to plant on a grave in northwest Georgia? I do not want to use gravel. It is in full sun with no water. A: I think bermudagrass has the best chance of succeeding but...

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Potting Soil – Growing Mushrooms

Q: One of my potted plumerias has dime-size red mushrooms on the soil. The plant has been on the decline for the past couple weeks. Is there anything I can do to get rid of mushrooms? A: In my experience,...

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Retaining Wall – Disintegrating Ties

Q: I need guidance on repairing a railroad tie retaining wall. Some of the ties are disintegrating. The wall is around twenty years old. A: I’ve heard landscapers say that repairing failing railroad tie walls was their main source of...

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Pre-emergent – Overapplication

Q: I have a bad feeling that putting down pre-emergent on landscape beds every six weeks is not working. Should I step it up to once a month? A: Weed preventer products are very good at controlling weeds that come...

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Chicken Manure – Why Use It?

Q: In my county farmers put chicken manure on their pastures. Why do they do this? It really smells! A: Farmers put chicken litter on pastures instead of having to buy and apply commercial fertilizer. Chicken litter is a good...

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Winter – Late Planting

Q: I have a major landscaping project this fall and am wondering how late I can go in Atlanta before the soil gets too cold to encourage root growth. A: There is really no hard and fast rule. While plant...

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Hand Pulling – Controlling Weeds

Q: When do I apply pre-emergent to my garden to control coffeeweed, bermuda, and Johnson grass? A: You are facing a big problem. Pre-emergent chemicals are ineffective on coffeeweed seed. Bermudagrass and Johnsongrass are perennial plants and pre-emergent won’t hurt...

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Phlox – Mildew

Q: We are building planters in a corner of our yard. I would like to use perennials that will be hassle free and come back each year. Is tall phlox a good choice? A: Phlox is a beautiful plant but...

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Muscadines – Planting/Propagating

Q: While jogging I came upon dozens of muscadines on the road. What I need to do to get vines from the seed? A: Propagating muscadines from seed is a long, slow process. You can plant collected seed in loose...

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Lawns – From Scratch

Q: Your website says that May or June is best for establishing a lawn from scratch using centipede or zoysia seed. What would be the odds for success doing it this fall? A: Both centipedegrass and zoysiagrass seeds require a...

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