General Garden Info

After My Daffodils Are Spent, Can I Cut The Existing Foliage?

Q: After my daffodils are spent, can I cut the existing foliage? A: You can cut off the stem that has a flower on it but don’t remove the other green leaves. They will spend the time between now and...

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Is The AJC Biodegradable/Safe To Use In Gardening?

Q: I purchase the AJC every Sunday and am interested in using it in more ways than one. Does the AJC print using soy-based inks? Is the newspaper biodegradable and safe to use in gardening? A: Yes, the newspaper is...

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How Long Can I Keep Grass Seed In My Shed?

Q: If I buy grass seed now, will the seed be good in October? I would keep it dry and off the floor in a shed.  A: Grass seed best retains its germination ability when it is stored in a...

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Planting Seeds In Used K-Cup Pods

Q: I hate the thought of all my K-Cup pods going to the landfill. I planted Blue Lake green bean seeds and poblano pepper seeds in used coffee grounds after removing the aluminum covering. I put them in a plastic...

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How To Prepare Soil For Spring Planting

Q: I have gotten a plot at my town’s community garden. I am wondering what I should be doing to prepare the soil for spring planting. Add compost?  A: Much of your success in the plot will depend on how...

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I Love Mahonia!

Q: I think mahonia is a beautiful, colorful, and interesting plant!  A: The unique foliage and bright yellow flowers in early spring certainly make this a distinctive plant. Spikes of blue berries follow the flowers. Some gardeners don’t like mahonia...

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Developing A Native Plant Hill: Should I Cover Them In Plastic When Cold?

Q: I am developing a native plant hill in our back yard. Last fall I planted beautyberry, viburnum, fothergilla, St. Johns wort, bee balm and butterfly weed. I am diligently covering them with plastic whenever it is going to be...

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Starting A Dunstan Chestnut Orchard

Q: I’m in the planning phase of starting a large Dunstan chestnut orchard. Is there anyone to help me in the process? One issue I need to address is irrigation.  A: Few people alive remember the billions of American chestnut...

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Pine Cone Cluster

Q: While running at Cochran Shoals, I found this pine cone cluster. I thought it was unusual, as I have never seen more than two cones together. A: Wow, you are right, that is pretty unusual! Pine trees have two...

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“Wormy” Things on Driveway

Q: What are these brown wormy things on my driveway? I see them every April. A: They are the spent male flowers of a nearby pine tree. The majority of the yellow pollen we see blowing around Atlanta each spring...

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Planting Over a Septic System

Q: Any suggestions what we might plant over septic field to add some interest to the blank area? It gets filtered sun. A: Trees and shrubs are risky to plant over or near a drain field. Their roots penetrate more...

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Tulip Poplar Seed Identification

Q: I get a gazillion of these spinning seeds each year and wonder what tree they are from. A: I believe they are tulip poplar seed. Spinning seeds are called samaras. Many trees produce single-wing samaras. Maples form two-winged, two-bladed...

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To Compost Or Not To Compost?

Q: I am new to rural living but we have recently moved to a big forested lot. The house is surrounded with typical plants for which I have no great love. I want to compost all of the plant material...

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How Long Does It Take Rock Salt To Dissipate – When Can I Plant?

Q: I used half of a box of rock salt two years ago to kill a big pyracantha climbing up my home’s wall. Has there been enough time to plant a tree near this same location? How long does it...

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Small Maple – Split Trunk

Q: I received a red maple sapling as part of the Georgia Power Arbor Day program. It is growing well in the back yard but it has a split trunk. Should I trim the two limbs forming the “Y” ?...

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How Can I Make My Curly Sedge Curl Again?

Q: My curly sedge was curly for the first year but now the stems are straight as a stick! Anything I can do to make it curl up again?  A: My guess is that yours has reverted back to the...

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How Do We Protect Creeping Fig In The Winter?

Q: We have a wall covered in creeping fig. How can we protect it from freezing this winter?  A: Ask at your local nursery if they sell frost cloth. This is a lightweight polyester fabric used to drape over tender...

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Found Seeds In My Purse – Can I Germinate Them?

Q: I found in my change purse some seeds that were given to me five years ago. They look like peas and are sooty black with a white eye. Is there any chance of germinating them? A: They might be...

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