General Garden Info

Vines To Stop Erosion On A Hill?

Q: I have a vertical red clay bank that is several feet high and twenty feet long. Is there any vine I can plant at the top or bottom to stop erosion?  A: I would compare English ivy, Confederate jasmine,...

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Methods To Kill Bamboo

Q: I heard you say on the radio that no herbicides will kill bamboo. I have had reasonable success killing bamboo by cutting every cane a little above ground level, just below a joint. I then fill the cell, which...

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How Invasive Is Climbing Hydrangeas?

Q: I want to plant climbing hydrangea but I am concerned about how invasive it is. How would you compare it to other vines?  A: Climbing hydrangea, Hydrangea anomala ssp petiolaris, is not nearly as fast growing or invasive as...

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Are fern fiddleheads toxic?

Q: Are these ferns toxic or edible? A: I believe this is Christmas fern, Polystichum acrostichoides. Since deer don’t bother it in the woods, I believe it is inedible. Bracken fern, Pteridium aquilinum, often seen on disturbed roadsides, has the...

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Gooey orange glob on cedar tree

Q: Do you have any idea what this is? After I first saw it, a few days later it was still there, but all dried up. There were several of these “masses” on the same tree. A: Nice photo! This...

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What is the difference between 34-10-10 and 4-3-4 Azalea Fertilizer?

Q: What is the difference between Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron fertilizer (34-10-10) and Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron fertilizer (4-3-4)? A: An excellent question! Let me put my thinking cap on. As you know, most fertilizer products are made by mixing different chemicals...

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Do I Use Native Soil To Fill Around Trees?

Q: On the radio, you told a listener they should remove most of the soil a tree has around its roots before planting. You also said use only native soil to fill around the roots, no amendments.  A: You should...

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Can I Toss Vegetable Scraps Into My Shrubbery?

Q: I’m too old to do classic composting with a pile. Every day I have a cup or so of vegetable scraps to dispose of. Can I just toss them over my shrubbery to decompose or am I asking for...

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What To Do With My 4-5-4 Fertilizer?

Q: I just discovered an unopened bag of 4-5-4 plant food I purchased for my azaleas. It contains “material recycled from the food processing industry, formulated specifically for all acid-loving plants…” What would you suggest I do with it? A:...

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How Was Fat Lighter’d Formed?

Q: As a child, I remember hunting in the woods for “fat lighter’d” to be used as kindling in the fireplace. How it is formed? A: Fat lighter’d is the center portion of a pine tree stump (the heartwood). It...

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How To Plant White Oak Acorns

Q: I have recently collected some white oak acorns. What is the correct way to plant them? A: The best time to plant white oak acorns is in fall immediately after you collect them because they sprout so quickly. In...

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Pruning Trees – Should I Get A Pro?

Q: We have five medium-sized trees in our landscape. They need to be trimmed up at the bottom and thinned out to keep branches off the house. Is this something I can do or do I need a pro? A:...

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What is this plant?

A hiker in N. Georgia observed this branch. What do you think is going on? Play Video Email Walter with your...

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Tomato leaf miner control

Q: What is this on my tomato leaf? A: It’s the trail left by a tomato leaf miner. Leaf miner adults are small, black and yellow flies. Eggs are inserted in leaves and the resulting larvae feed between leaf surfaces,...

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Should I Shred My Leaf Pile

Q: I have a heavily wooded lot. I take the fallen leaves off my grass and move them into an area with mature oak trees. The piles are four feet high when I’m finished. Is it better to leave the...

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Vines To Stop Erosion

Q: I have a vertical red clay bank that is several feet high and twenty feet long. Is there any vine I can plant at the top or bottom to stop erosion?  A: I would compare English ivy, Confederate jasmine,...

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Should I Get A Backyard Greenhouse?

Q: I am considering getting a small backyard greenhouse but I am concerned about it getting too hot.  A: A greenhouse is fun to have but sometimes you have to learn by experience what it takes to cool and heat...

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Do Organic Pesticides And Fertilizers Work?

Q: What are your thoughts on organic pesticides, and fertilizers? Do they work as well as non-organic? A: Organic pesticides can be as good as, or better than, conventional pesticides. It all depends on the pest being controlled. I have...

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