Tools and Chemicals

Oregon PS250 Electric Pole Saw – Review

In early summer the Oregon power tool company sent me a 40 volt lithium-ion battery-powered pole saw to try out and evaluate.  I used it several times to cut out dead limbs and limb up small trees and it performed well. But the...

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Imidacloprid Will Not Kill Spider Mites

Imidacloprid will not control spider mites. Why not? The fact that an effective insecticide will usually not harm a mite seems counter intuitive. After all they are both Arthropods i.e. small creatures with exoskeletons and jointed appendages. Although following this...

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Organic Herbicides (Weed Killer)

Many homeowners want “organic” choices when it comes to selecting weed killers. Fortunately, there are several choices for both selective and non-selective weed control. Vinegar has been touted as a herbicide but the kitchen version is too weak to do...

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What is pH?

pH is a mathematical expression of the concentration of hydrogen ions in water. It is measured on a scale from 1 – 14. In practical terms, the higher a pH number the more alkaline a solution is and the lower...

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Dermatitis – Passionvine

Contact dermatitis from exposure to certain plants can be serious business. We’re all familiar with the dermatitis resulting from touching poison ivy but other plants can cause a reaction as well. My son got blisters on his arm from pulling...

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Pesticides – Their History

When did mankind start using pesticides? Would you  believe 1000 BC? Using chemicals to kill insects, weeds and diseases is nothing new. People have been using them for thousands of years. True, wide-spread use didn’t occur until the 20th century,...

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DeKalb County Compost – Safe?

Q: I frequently visit the free DeKalb county compost/mulch pile on Memorial Drive. After spreading two truck loads on my dormant vegetable garden, I‘m worried that the compost might have high levels of herbicides or pesticides. A: I took a...

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Pre-emergent – When To Apply

Many garden tasks can be done almost any time. I’ve transplanted shrubs in July and in December and had success. I fertilize my St. Augustine lawn three times a year but I don’t do it on exact, specific dates. On...

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Antique Garden Tools

When a friend pointed out a New York Times article (digital subscription required) about a museum show of antique garden tools, I was intrigued. When I realized that the owner of the tools, Mark Morrison, lived near where I intended...

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Gardening – Apps for Your Smartphone

Way back in 2003 I wrote a newspaper article about using a Palm PDA (personal digital assistant). In the years since, Palm has gone out of business and many of us use smartphones daily. I use mine all the time:...

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University of Georgia Fertilizer Calculator

It’s a great idea to have your soil tested by the UGA Soils laboratory to find out exactly what nutrients your soil contains. But it’s quite common to receive from the lab a fertilizer recommendation that contains fertilizer products you...

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Ice on Azaleas at Masters Golf Tournament – Not True

Michael D. gives an intriguing bit of information: “I was listening to the radio this past weekend, and heard the discussion about early blooming at the Augusta National. Icing azaleas is a rumor that got started years ago when the...

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What can I spray to kill this

Hi there, I am wanting to know what I can spray on this to kill it without hurting my hybrid bermuda lawn. The sod was laid December 15th 2011, these weeds have been coming up since mid February. I have...

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Dihydrogen Monoxide – Using on Plants

When I mentioned on radio that I had found nothing better than dihydrogen monoxide to keep my Christmas tree fresh, I was deluged with requests for a source. Fortunately, there are several vendors of this miraculous liquid in the metro...

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Pre-emergent (Halts, pendimethalin) – Staining Driveway

Sometimes it just takes a little hands-on research to solve a problem. A member of Hometalk.com asked this question: How can we remove the rust stain from a fertilizer from our concrete driveway and sidewalk? I replied: If the product...

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Glyphosate (Roundup) – Claimed Not to Work

Glyphosate (Roundup, etc) is a common herbicide. By most accounts it is effective at killing plants as stated on the label. However, some gardeners swear that “Roundup won’t touch my ivy (liriope, wisteria, etc)!! Why doesn’t it work?” I think...

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Bioassay – Testing Manure and Hay for Herbicide Contamination

How to Test for the Presence of Herbicides: Pot and Field Bioassays taken from “Herbicide Carryover in Hay, Manure, Compost,and Grass Clippings” NC State University Some laboratories can test for the presence of  herbicides, but the tests are expensive and...

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Dominion – Use for Azalea Lacebug

Q: Can I use Dominion insecticide to control azalea lace bug? It has the same ingredient as the “tree & shrub systemics” I see for sale at garden stores but Dominion is more concentrated. A: Dominion 2L insecticide is labeled for use...

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