General Garden Info

Sinkholes in the Landscape

Sinkholes in the yard are an unfortunate but common problem that may arise five to ten years after a home is constructed. These holes, or underground cavities, form gradually but can appear in your lawn overnight. In Florida, where some...

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Gardening – Yields Unexpected Results

My friend Vickey C. once gave me a few plants of Yellow Archangel (Lamiastrum galeobdolon) for my shady back yard. I planted it and didn’t notice it again until months later – when I found it had already engulfed six...

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John Travolta – Gardener??

“Ah, Ah, Ah, Ah….Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive….” The disco beat propelled John Travolta (as Tony Manero) across the dance floor. Fingers popping, head snapping, his fluid moves propelled the disco craze of the Seventies. As you watched, Did you realize...

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Plant Societies – Locating

Lois M., who describes herself as “a seventy year old gardener who has been enjoying tomatoes, squash, beans and peppers from my garden since early June” directed a string of questions to me recently. “In your calendar, you said to...

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Storing Pesticides and Tools

Walter’s Garden Joke of the Day: How are my garden tools and my dirty clothes alike? Answer: They both have compost clinging to them and both never seem to make it to their proper storage site. Last year I replaced...

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Starting Plants from Seed

Starting seed indoors is a great way to save money when you need lots of plants for your landscape. With a sunny window, a sunroom or an artificial light set-up you can raise hundreds of dollars worth of plants for...

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Pressure-treated Wood – Safety

Pressure-treated lumber (sold prior to 2004) has come under fire as dangerous to those who use it in the landscape. There are extremely intense arguments on both sides of the question. I can not judge which side is correct but...

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Pike’s Pick (Cool Plant)

Each weekend, longtime Pike Nursery garden expert Mickey Gazaway describes a particularly noteworthy plant which Pike Nursery has chosen to stock and to offer at a 20% discount. Click here for the current Pike’s Pick. In addition, we feature a...

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Lime – Different kinds

Quicklime (calcium oxide) is a white solid having a crystalline structure. Quicklime is highly reactive with water, generating considerable heat in the hydration process. It can be bought at masonry supply stores. CAUTION: HIGHLY CAUSTIC Hydrated lime (calcium hydroxide) is...

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Plants Called Grasses That Are Not Grasses

When I mow my lawn, I say that I am cutting my grass. But many plants are called “grass” without really being a grass. The website www.wikipedia.com has some enlightening details. “In popular language grass means a short, green, ground...

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Soil – Percolation Rate

Throughout my childhood, I was awakened each morning by the sound and smell of percolating coffee. After a hearty cup of Maxwell House, my father was off to feed the chickens, milk the cows or tend to the innumerable chores...

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Soil Testing – Using Gypsum

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the importance of soil testing and the role of pH in plant health. I gave instructions on how to collect a soil sample and have it tested. In the days following, several...

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Drought – Watering Shrubs

Plants must have water to survive. Water in a plant is like blood in an animal. Water carries dissolved nutrients, sugars and hormones throughout the plant’s system. Some plants can go for long periods receiving only minimal water. Others require...

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Cold weather – Protecting Plants

(written in 2000)The predictions of the weather forecasters have proven true this winter season. It has been COLD!! After December, Atlanta gardeners have begun to appreciate the travails their neighbors from the North talk about each winter. We now see...

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Planting zones- Explanation

I was following a slow-moving compact car on a suburban street last week when it suddenly pulled to the right and decelerated to a crawl. On-coming traffic kept me from passing. As I waited, the driver of the car grabbed...

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Plants of the Bible and Middle East

Plant enthusiasts come in all stripes. There have been many attempts to create “Biblical gardens” using plants mentioned in the Bible. In Fair Haven, Vermont, the First Congregational Church created a wonderful list of plants and the verse in which...

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Irrigation Systems – Maintenance

Summer’s hot, dry weather can force many Atlanta irrigation systems to work overtime. Lacking an underground system, some homeowners break out the hose and sprinkler. Watering seems to be a mindless task – but done wrong, it can do more...

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Clay Pots – Cleaning

If you have several clay pots that contained annual flowers on your patio last summer, now is a good time to clean them before spring. The easiest method is to stack them in a big bucket and soak them. Mix...

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