Landscaping

Squash – Preventing Vines

Q: On a recent radio show you talked about placing cheesecloth over squash plants until flowers appear to keep squash vine borers at bay. Where can I buy cheesecloth big enough to cover the plants? A: I was wrong to...

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Hydrangeas – Mysterious Boring

Q: For a number of years I’ve had a problem with some sort of borer getting into the stems of my hydrangeas. What can I do to get rid of them? A: There are any number of cane boring insect...

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Roses – Sawflies

Q: Will neem oil work to kill sawflies on my roses? A: Sawfly larvae can quickly riddle a rose leaf. The “worms” chew the leaves and leave characteristic holes. Neem oil, spinosad and insecticidal soap are all good organic means...

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Tree – Mushrooms on Trunk

Q:This recently started growing on my pecan tree. It is getting larger and multiplying. The tree did have leaves on it this summer but I do not remember if it had pecans. What is this and is it going to...

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Tomatoes – Applying Lime

Q: Can I put dehydrated lime around tomatoes? When? A: I think you mean hydrated lime, calcium hydroxide. It is much different from garden lime, calcium carbonate. I do not recommend using hydrated lime in a garden: it is much...

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Sand – Usage Under Soil

Q: Does sand help a bermuda lawn grow faster? If so, how deep should it be? A: Sand by itself does not help a bermudagrass lawn grow faster. Sand is often used on golf courses to fill divots because the...

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Mushrooms – Identification

Q: I believe I have some morel mushrooms growing in my yard. I have looked morels up online and the pictures look exactly like what is growing. Can you help? A: I am not a mushroom expert so I can’t...

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Peonies – Time For Planting

Q: I have just received two peonies. Everything I read says fall is the best time to plant them. Can I store the tubers until this fall? A: No, no: you should plant them now. Fall is designated the “best”...

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Briars – Removing

Q: Our property was hit by a tornado four years ago. We lost big trees that shaded a creek; now there are lots of briars there. How can I eliminate them? A: You probably have wild blackberry or smilax plants....

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Sandy Soil – Adding Color

Q: I have moved near Savannah. Our house doesn’t have much color in the landscape. There is a lot of sand in the soil here. What plants would you suggest for color? A: I’m terrible at landscape design and I...

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Pyracantha – Pruning

Q: I have a pyracantha growing beside my house. You’ve really got to love gardening to prune one, as you will have to endure getting stuck by its thorns. Is there a better way? A: I generally tell folks that...

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Vines – Climbing Stone

Q: I am in the process of buying a rather ugly rock house and had thought I’d use creeping fig to redeem it, but I’ve seen a lot of it in Atlanta this spring that is dead from the cold....

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Hawthorn – Still Viable?

Q: For sentimental reasons, a dear friend of mine doesn’t want to part with an old Indian hawthorn. Because there are still a handful of green leaves scattered on top, he is encouraged that it can be saved. Any advice?...

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Zoysia – Seeding

Q: When I moved into my house, I noticed that half of my front yard is zoysia. I love it. I want to kill the non-zoysia grass and weeds and replace it with zoysia. Should I kill the grass and...

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St. Augustine – Thin Spots

Q: I have a St. Augustine grass lawn but have areas that are thin. If I throw out some St. Augustine grass seed will that make it thicker? A: Sadly for your project, you can’t buy St. Augustinegrass seed. The...

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Planters – Space Fillers

Q: I have large planters on my porch. Do you have any tips for a space filler at the bottom other than potting soil? A: I use two-liter soft drink bottle filled with sand and capped. Most container plants have...

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Snowball – Rooting Options

Q: My parents have a gorgeous snowball bush. Is it possible to root a piece for myself from their bush? A: I think the best way to propagate woody shrubs is to do something called “air layering”. The process involves...

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Rose – Are Petals Poisonous

Q: Are Knock Out rose petals poisonous? I’m not planning to make a meal of them, but I’d like to decorate desserts with the petals. A: I’m not aware of anything detrimental in the petals, as long as no pesticides...

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