Vegetables

Sweet Potatoes – When to Harvest

Q: I just dug up my sweet potatoes. They are very small compared to past crops. Did I dig them up too soon? What else could it be? A: Sweet potatoes should be harvested when the leaves all begin to...

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Cabbage Aphids – Control

Q: I picked cabbage from my garden this morning and the substance is on the underside of the outside leaves. Is it safe to eat? A: I think they’re cabbage aphids. Our winter cold wasn’t enough to kill them this...

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Drip Irrigation for Vegetable Garden

Q: I have a vegetable garden consisting of tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. The soil is mostly clay. I use a drip irrigation system and was wondering what rate of water you would recommend? A: This is hard to answer because...

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Killing Yucca Plants

Q: I have a few yucca plants in my yard I want to get rid of. I need your expertise on how to kill them. A: My expertise is that it’s really hard to kill a yucca! I got rid...

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Corn-Crow Problem

Q: My wife and I spend the winter in Georgia but live in Virginia for the summer, where I plant a large garden. Last year I planted 1700 corn kernels but only 17 came up. I dug into several hills...

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Straw Bale – English Peas

Q: I would like to try planting English peas in straw bales. Is this a good idea? A: Straw bale gardening can be very productive but it takes at least ten days to prepare the bale. It would probably take...

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Potatoes – Cooking in Pine Rosin

Q: Have you heard of using pine tree rosin for cooking potatoes? Is there a local source to purchase the rosin? A: At first I thought you were joking but people do endorse this cooking method! An entrepreneurial family down...

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Watermelon and Squash – Do Not Cross-pollinate

Q: I think I have a watermelon/squash hybrid in my garden. This came up this year where I planted squash. I didn’t plant watermelons this year but had planted watermelons in the spot last year. A: It’s probably not what...

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Blossom End Rot – Control On Tomato and Pepper

Q: What causes young tomatoes to get a black bottom that turns to rot? A: Blossom end rot is caused by lack of calcium in the tomato sap nearby when the small fruit is just starting out. I used to...

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Pea – Caterpillar Damage

Q: I have peas! And bugs, it seems. Time to break out the insecticide dust or something else? A: The pattern of damage looks like caterpillar feeding to me. Any garden insecticide would work to kill caterpillars. But I recommend...

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Sweet Potato – Wireworm Damage

Q: Could you tell me what is eating on my sweet potatoes every year? A: The creatures in question are millipedes but I think they are just enjoying the damage done originally by wireworms. Wireworm control is difficult. One tip...

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Asparagus – Removing Foliage

Q:I planted asparagus crowns this year and the patch has glorious green four-foot high foliage. Should I remove it now or wait? A: The foliage will eventually turn yellow but removing it now while it’s green won’t likely cause any...

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Corn – Pruning

Q: We have a variegated corn plant which we put outside in warm weather and bring back in for winter. It has grown too tall to bring in the house. Is there a proper way to prune it? A: You...

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Water Lettuce – Preservation

Q: Do you have any information on how to preserve water lettuce from year to year? I started my pond with just three plants and they have multiplied beyond belief. A: Water lettuce is an attractive pond plant but it...

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Fertilizer – Veggie Garden

Q: We recently had a University soil test done for our veggie garden and they recommended 15-0-15 fertilizer. I found it, but only labeled for use on lawns. Is it okay for a vegetable garden? A: It’s tough for the...

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Pole Beans – Too Tall

Q: Can I trim pole beans if I can’t reach the tops? My theory is that the growth will return to bottom of plant and produce more beans lower and easier to pick! What do you think? A: The vine...

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Collards – Bolting

Q: On Good Friday, I planted collard plants. I have just noticed they are going to seed. What have I done wrong? A: Bolting (producing flowers rather than more leaves) is usually caused by fluctuations in air temperature when a...

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Onions – Flowering

Q: I have purple onions in my garden. Is there an issue if the onion sends up a flower before the bulbs fully develop? Should I cut off the flower head? A: Once an onion has begun the flowering process,...

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