General Garden Info

Is Golden Jackpot Barberry Invasive Here?

Q: Is the Golden Jackpot barberry invasive here? A: It is hard to know. Japanese barberry is very invasive in some parts of the country, like New England, but does not seem to be as vigorous in the Southeast. Yellow-leafed...

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Differences Between 34-10-10 And 3-4-3 Fertilizer

Q: What is the difference between Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron fertilizer (34-10-10) and Azalea, Camellia, Rhododendron fertilizer (3-4-3)?  A: As you know, fertilizer products are made by mixing different chemicals together. These chemicals supply the nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium that plants...

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Sticky Stuff On Hemlock Trees

Q: I have a white, sticky substance on my hemlock trees up at Lake Burton. Any advice would be appreciated.  A: It’s very likely you are seeing hemlock adelgid insects. These sap sucking creatures have killed thousands of hemlocks in...

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“Piggies” Plants From My Childhood?

Q: As a kid, we would hunt what we called “piggies” in the woods. As I remember, the leaves were sort of heart-shaped and when we found them we would bend away the leaves so the little piggies could be...

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Opinion On Hydroponic Gardening?

Q: What is your opinion on hydroponic gardening? A: Hydroponic gardening is lots of fun as a hobby but it’s lots of work as a business. There are several methods of suspending plant roots in nutrient-filled water. You’ll be astonished...

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When To Plant Tomatoes And Peppers

Q: I know it’s customary to wait until mid-April to plant my tomatoes and peppers, but I’m getting antsy. Given the mild winter we’ve had, do you think it would be okay to go ahead or should I hold my...

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Chickweed In My Lawn

Q: My lawn was covered with chickweed last year and this spring! I put down a pre-emergent carefully last fall and watered it in. Why did it not work? A: Since chickweed is an annual plant that sprouts from seed...

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Azalea and Camellia – Leaf Gall

Q: The leaves on the ends of some of my camellia branches are swollen and thicker than the rest of the leaves. They are also lighter green. I’ve seen this on azaleas but not on camellias. Is it the same...

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Landscaper Chopped Off A Third Of My Encore Azaleas

Q: The community landscape crew used a hedge trimmer to chop off about a third of my healthy, newly-planted Encore azaleas. I presume the spring blooming will not happen but I’m wondering if they will survive this butchering?  A: If...

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How To Lower pH Of Soil?

Q: I’ve been amending my garden with compost for more than ten years. Soil tests every year show P, K, Mg, Ca, and Zn all in the excellent range. My problem is I can’t get the pH lower than 7.0....

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Caring For Amaryllis

Q: I have amaryllis in pots that I have tried unsuccessfully to force into bloom during the holidays. They all sprout prolific leaves and look healthy but no flowers appear. Are they just too old? A: I think the bulbs...

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Which Plants In My Landscape Are Poisonous?

Q: I have young children and would like to know which plants in my landscape are poisonous. A: Many landscape plants and houseplants are “poisonous” to one degree or another. It is always important to remember that “The dose makes...

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Hedge To Plant In Between Yards

Q: We are transplants from southern California. I want to landscape my grandson’s new home with a hedge in between his yard and his neighbors. He is twenty-one with no interest in gardening and I will not be around forever...

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How To Speed Deterioration Of Leaves?

Q: My mother has big pecan and oak trees. This year I dumped the fallen leaves in a low part of her back yard in an effort to build it up. How can I speed their deterioration.  A: If you...

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Info On Fruiting Quince

Q: I have become interested in growing fruiting quince and have several plants (‘Le Page’, ‘Aromatnaya’, ‘Cookes Jumbo’, ‘Van Deamon’). Do they fruit on current year’s growth or last years? I need to prune them a bit. They are delicious...

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Do Coleus Belong In The Shade Or Sun?

Q: I planted coleus in my garage flower bed last year and they all died. I read somewhere that direct sun would be an enemy to coleus. But my neighbors grow them in sunshine despite this.  A: Once upon a...

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Harm/Benefits Of Spreading My Dogs Ashes On Landscape?

Q: Can ashes from my beloved dog be scattered in my landscape? Is there any benefit or harm to the plants?  A: There will be no direct harm to your plants from scattering the ashes around them. But there might...

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Best Time To Plant Bamboo?

Q: I want to plant bamboo along my fence to add some privacy to my back yard. When is the best time to plant bamboo?  A: The best time to plant a bamboo screen is never. Over my career I...

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