Landscaping

Can Arborvitae Splitting Be Avoided?

Q: I’ve seen arborvitae in many beautiful landscapes. But it always seems to split as it grows. Can this be avoided?  A: Arborvitae is an excellent needled evergreen but it can have a problem with splitting. When it occurs close...

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Can I Transplant My Hydrangeas To Zone 9 (Florida)?

Q: Can I transplant my hydrangeas to Zone 9, Florida? They are about three feet tall and wide. A: Hydrangeas will grow in zone 9 if you give them light shade all day long and if they are watered properly...

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What To Do With Old 4-5-4 Plant Food?

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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Correct Way 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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Can I Trim My Medium-Sized Trees Myself?

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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Do Ginkgo Trees Stink?

Q: Do ginkgo trees stink? Does it depend on whether it is a male or female tree? If so, how do you know which you are getting? A: The tree itself does not stink but the fruit from female ginkgo...

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Climbing hempweed – Identified

Q: I found this vine growing in my backyard in September. Is it an invasive weed or something I should leave for the pollinators? A: My friend Shannon Pable says it’s climbing hempweed, Mikania scandens. It is a native plant,...

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Want My Tea Olives To Fill In With Leaves At The Bottom

Q: I would like my 9-foot tea olives to fill in with leaves at the bottom half. How can I make that happen?  A: This is tough. One option is to prune off the top of your shrub, which will...

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Does Elm Have A Deep Root System

Q: Maple trees surface roots are a problem, do Dutch Elm have a deep root system? A: The type of tree you have is not as much a problem as is the hardness of the soil around the tree. Tree...

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Where To Put Portable Tent Greenhouse Plants

Q: I live in Bartow county and purchased a small portable tent type greenhouse to overwinter my hibiscus and mandevilla in since I do not have a basement with good lighting. Is it better to place the plants into pots...

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Planting Shrubs After Spraying Roundup

Q: My house has a steep slope in one spot. It’s been covered in pine straw but weeds have been making their way through. After using organic herbicides to no avail, I sprayed Roundup Extended Control. Now, two weeks later,...

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Using Native Soil To Plant Trees

Q: On the radio, you told a listener they should remove most of the soil the tree has around its roots before planting. You said use only native soil to fill around the roots.  A: You should get a prize...

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Too Late To Prune Winter Jasmine Plants?

Q: I need to prune my winter jasmine plants. Is it too late to prune now? A: It is too late in the season to prune if you want flowers next year. Winter jasmine blooms in January and the buds...

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Water And Emerald Green Arborvitae

Q: At the beginning of May, I had ten Emerald Green arborvitae planted by a local landscaper. Four of them died, one after another, over a three month period. I was told I did not water enough. Russ Jones, Marietta...

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Repurposing Pine Pellets

Q: I have recently switched my cats from clumping clay litter to pine pellets. How can I repurpose the pellets somehow in my yard? A: I don’t see a reason not to use the “enriched”pine pellets as mulch underneath your...

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Where To Find Lime Without Magnesium

Q: Any idea where I can find calcium carbonate (lime) without magnesium in it for my lawn? My soil tested above optimal for magnesium, so I don’t want to use regular lime.  A: Lime without magnesium will be hard to...

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My Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick Isn’t Surviving Here

Q: I had a gorgeous Harry Lauder’s Walking Stick when I lived on Long Island. But the one I planted here is barely holding on. I’m guessing it gets too much sun and heat.  A: I have a ten-foot-tall contorted...

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Where To Buy Mascarene Grass

Q: Where can I buy Mascarene grass (Zoysia tenuifolia)? I plan to create a Zen garden in my back yard with ferns, mosses and this beautiful grass.  A: I saw it growing near Ernest Hemingway’s Finca Vigia in Cuba. I...

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