General Garden Info

Dawn Redwood – Losing Leaves

Q: I bought a dawn redwood through the Arbor Day website two years ago. It seemed to be thriving until recently. After Thanksgiving, I noticed all the needles had fallen off. But the branches seem to be alive still. A:...

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Perennials – Near A Septic System

Q: We just moved into a new home and want to do some landscaping in the back yard. Can you suggest some shallow rooted perennials that can safely be planted over our septic drain field? A: I don’t think there...

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Egg Cartons – Use As Seed Starters

Q: I have collected paper egg cartons to use for seed starters. Will the paper bio-degrade or will I need to ‘pull’ the seedling and soil to transplant it? A: In my experience, you can “crumble” the carton pocket on...

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Landscaping – Taking Care Of Plants In the Meantime

Q: I bought several plants recently that were great buys: althea, crepe myrtle, camellia, azalea, magnolias and rhododendron. We are having grading done for a new driveway and retaining walls. What is the best way to take care of the...

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Asparagus – Killing Weeds In The Bed

Q: I fear that my compost is not getting hot enough to kill weed seeds. I topdressed my asparagus bed and now they are full of weeds. A: It really takes work to get ALL of the weed seeds cooked...

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Vegetable Garden – Plants For Each Month

Q: I’m trying to find a resource that lists what plants I can plant in each month in a vegetable garden. A: The University of Georgia Extension has several excellent publications for beginning as well as experienced gardeners. You’ll learn...

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Raised Beds – Improvising Materials

Q: My wife and I are going to add raised garden beds to our garden. Pine framing lumber deteriorates quickly and I don’t like treated wood. I work for a company that has hundreds of discarded tracks from loaders. Could...

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Soil – Dressing A Flower Bed

Q: I am top dressing my perennial flower beds with a combination of soil conditioner, mushroom compost, and steer manure dug in around my plants. Should I add lime or cottonseed meal? A: It’s a fact of garden life that...

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Gardening – Scientific How and Why

Q: I am a chemistry student at Emory University. I enjoyed your website article about evaluating scientific claims. I would really like to know chemical and biological explanations for all the gardening information I see. Do you have suggested references?...

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Mexican Heather – Survival Through Winter

Q: I planted a Mexican heather the summer before last. After one growing season I cut it down and planted pansies around the remaining twigs. It returned this year and has grown to look like a low hedge. How can...

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Acorns – Why So Few?

Q: There are almost no acorns north of Ellijay this year. There were no late freezes. What can explain this? A: Nut trees typically bear heavy crops in alternate years unless they are stressed by drought. This was a good...

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Pre-Emergent – Diminishing Activity?

Q: I put pre-emergent on my common Bermuda lawn a couple of weeks ago. My pine trees drop a ton of pine straw. Would raking interfere with the action of the pre-emergent? Jen Marion, email A: I don’t think you’d...

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Clay – Tips For Planting Bulbs

Q: I recently relocated from central Florida. Our back yard has a slope where I want to plant bulbs but it is solid packed red clay. It is like cement! I’m used to sand! Is there a way of breaking...

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Bulbs – Protection From Rodents

Q: Is there anything I can do to prevent the chipmunks and squirrels from destroying my tulip and daffodil bulbs? A: The easiest thing to do is to spread chicken wire over the spot and cover with mulch. Make “hairpins”...

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Straw Bales – Containing Seeds

Q: I am interested in straw bale vegetable gardens but I can’t find clean wheat straw bales anywhere. Several folks have told me that big box stores sell bales that are full of weed seeds. A: Wheat straw bales inevitably...

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Organic Garden – Staying Strong and Healthy

Q: I need advice on how to keep an organic vegetable garden and survive the multitude of pests that make waste of my attempts. A: Helping plants resist disease and insects rather than automatically reaching for the spray bottle should...

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Juniper – Growing From Cuttings

Q: I have several Blue Rug junipers I planted on a slope twenty years ago. They are now forty feet in diameter. I want to root a couple of hundred runners off of these plants and transplant them to another...

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How to Grow Ferns from Spores

Have you ever wondered how to grow ferns from spores? This article has good DIY tips. How to Grow Ferns From...

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