Fruits

Is It True That Female Watermelons Are Sweeter?

Q: I was bragging to a friend that my sliced watermelon is always sweet because I choose the round female ones and not the longer male fruit. He laughed at me at said this was an urban myth! Who is...

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My Large Peach Tree Is Not Producing Well

Q: I have a rather large peach tree that doesn’t produce very well. I didn’t prune it properly at the beginning so it’s about 15 feet tall with lots of branches and doesn’t have an open center.  A: A short...

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How Can I Help My Peach Tree Resume Vertical Growth?

Q: Our peach tree has suffered for years from extensive shading on one side, encouraging it to lean precipitously. It has lots of green leaves. I removed the trees around it recently. Can I help the peach to resume vertical...

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Advice For Proper Varieties And Planting Of Fig Trees?

Q: What advice do you have for proper varieties and planting of fig trees?  A: Figs growing in the open in Dahlonega can suffer lots of damage in a severe winter. But given a sheltered planting spot by a wall...

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Should I Put Crushed Egg Shells In Soil Around Tomatoes?

Q: I saw online that you can put crushed egg shells in the soil around tomatoes for extra nutrients. Is this a good idea?  A: It doesn’t hurt anything to put crushed eggshells around tomato plants, but it probably doesn’t...

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Where To Get Non-GMO Heirloom Big Boy And Better Boy Tomato Seeds?

Q: Where can I get non-GMO heirloom Big Boy and Better Boy tomato seeds?  A: When I saw your question initially, I thought to myself “What does he mean by ‘heirloom’? Those tomato varieties aren’t that old!” But I am...

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Solving Fusarium Wilt Wilt On Tomatoes

Q: My UGA Extension office says I have fusarium wilt on my tomatoes. I was thinking of laying plastic over the area and letting the sun cook the soil.  A: Solarizing the soil is a good option to control diseases...

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Termites in Tomato Stakes

Q: We pulled up the wooden tomato stakes from our raised beds and found them covered with termites. What would you do? A: Finding termites on untreated wooden stakes is not a problem. This is the way nature is supposed...

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Tomato Producing Too Small Fruit

Q: I had the worst year ever for tomatoes. The plants didn’t produce as many tomatoes and the tomatoes themselves were smaller than normal. A: I think it was just the vagaries of your local environment. Several things can cause...

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Figs – How to Know When Ripe

Q: My figs are turning brown. How do I know when they are ripe? A: One way is to look for those that have bird peck holes. They have spent thousands of years contemplating your question, so they are experts!...

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Big Boy vs Better Boy Tomato

Q: What is the difference between Big Boy and Better Boy tomatoes? A: Both are hybrid tomatoes that were developed to perform better than “open pollinated” types. Dr. Oved Shifriss developed ‘Big Boy’ while working for W. Atlee Burpee &...

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Repeatedly Planting Tomatoes In The Same Area

Q: I have a small vegetable garden in which I plant tomatoes. I’m concerned about repeatedly planting tomatoes there year after year. The garden isn’t big enough to rotate plants.  A: You have a problem faced by many gardeners with...

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When/How Far Can You Trim Kiwi Plants?

Q: When and how far can you trim kiwi plants back?  A: They can be pruned much like muscadine grapes are pruned, typically in January or February. But the people I know who have kiwi vines usually let them grow...

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What To Do If You Put Too Much Compost In Tomato Beds?

Q: We put too much compost in a raised bed for tomato plants. Now we have tall, healthy plants but no flowers a month later. What to do?  A: Not much can be done except to wait until the plants...

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Is Celebrity Tomato A Determinate Type?

Q: I planted a ‘Celebrity’ tomato. The label says it is a determinate type. But mine already has six vigorous stems and doesn’t look determinate to me. I thought I’d have more of a bushy type plant.  A: I once...

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Making Kieffer Pears Palatable

Q: On your website you say that only canning makes Kieffer pears palatable. I’ve found an exception. A few years ago I had a bumper crop of hard pears. I gathered a paper bag full and left it in my...

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Apple – Brown Corky Skin, Russetting

Q: This brown ring is on most of my apples on this years crop. What is it and can it be treated? A: It looks like apple russet, the brown scarring that sometimes appears on the skin of apples and...

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Muscadine – Dropping Little Fruit

Q: I was out looking at my muscadine vines this morning and the fruit seems not as plentiful compared to previous years. Looking on the ground, I see these small fruit. Is this possibly a pest chewing the small stems...

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