Gardening Q and A

Manure – Testing For Herbicide

Q: I was interested in your radio comments about using straw treated with Grazon for mulch under tomato plants and the resulting curly leaves. I use manure from a local farm and have had problems. How do I get rid...

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Tomatoes – Preventing Blossom End Rot

Q: I am growing several kinds of tomatoes and spraying them with Daconil to prevent blossom end rot. Even so, my large tomatoes look perfect on top but the entire bottom is black. A: Blossom end rot isn’t caused by...

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Germination – Hybrid Bermuda Grass

Q: Does the seed from hybrid bermuda grass seed heads germinate? My sodded yard in is full of them. A: Hybrid bermudagrass may form seedheads but there is no good seed inside. Sodded bermudagrass used for lawns is typically a...

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Mosquitoes – Using Repellent

Q: My wife and I just moved here from San Diego and had a concrete patio installed in our back yard. We live on a small lake and get eaten alive by mosquitoes when we’re outside. I’m looking at planting...

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Fertilizer – Too Much Of A Good Thing?

Q: I may have done a bad thing. I fertilized a 1300 square foot lawn with a bag of 28-0-3 which is supposed to cover 5000 square feet. Is there anything I can do to correct the problem or will...

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Wolf’s Milk Slime Mold – Identification

Q: I discovered these things in my garden and am wondering if you can tell me what they are? I believe the grayish color ones are older, and the pinkish/salmon colored ones are fresh. A: It’s wolf milk slime mold....

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Shelf Fungus (Conk) – On Black Locust

Q: I recently had two large black locust trees cut down. They had shelf fungi (conks) growing on them. A friend of the ax man wanted the conks. Do you have any idea what uses one would have for these?...

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Hummingbird Feeder – Cloudy Liquid

Q: My homemade nectar for hummingbirds turns cloudy after a few days. What causes this? A: My guess is that your feeder is dirty when you fill it and the sugar water is rapidly fermenting. I wash mine in the...

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Sweetshrub – Transplanting Method

Q: Three years ago I transplanted a calycanthus shrub. I have noticed that the mother plant has sent out new plants in several directions. Can I transplant these new shrubs ? A: Sweetshrub, Calycanthus floridus, is famous for its spreading...

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Poison Ivy – Natural Enemies?

Q: Poison ivy sure has a lot of friends that help it hide in my back yard. Does it have any enemies? A: I’ve never seen a poison ivy leaf that seemed to have been eaten by beetles or caterpillars....

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Flies – Safe Removal Methods

Q: I have been invaded by fruit flies because I brought home some delicious peaches. Is there a way to safely control them? A: My college-student son had a big fruit fly problem last week. He tried the “rotten fruit...

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Squash – Sunlight Concerns

Q: I have very healthy squash plants. An older farmer said the best way to get healthy squash plants to continue to produce is to cut off some of the biggest leaves to allow the sun to get to the...

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Wild Plants – Difference Between Onions and Garlic

Q: How do I tell the difference between wild onions and wild garlic? A: Like edible onions and garlic, wild onion, Allium canadense, and wild garlic, Allium vineale, are members of the onion family that . While both have thin,...

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Hydrangeas – How To Prune Them

Q: I heard your radio discussion about pruning hydrangeas. Do I cut just the green new growth stem or can I cut the old wood too? A: You can cut into the old wood if you need to. Make your...

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Compost – Achieving A Good Mix

Q: While researching composting, I’ve read that microbial activity is greatest when the carbon-to-nitrogen ratio is 30:1. How can I achieve that using only grass clippings and leaves? Are tea and coffee grounds and eggshells considered to be nitrogen or...

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Manure – Using Rabbit Pellets

Q: I have a pet rabbit, so I have plenty of rabbit manure I could use in my gardens. I would like to know if I can use it directly or if I need to compost it first. A: Rabbit...

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Lemon Trees – Pollination and Fruit Bearing

Q: I have a Meyer lemon tree in a pot outdoors for the summer. When we bought it had one lemon. But it has produced flowers twice and when the lemon reaches pea size they fall off. A: I think...

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France – Grass For Colder Weather

Q: I live in France and I like St Augustine grass but I don’t know whether Raleigh or Mercedes is more cold hardy. A: Paris is chilly in winter but I think St Augustinegrass would fare there just fine. ‘Raleigh’...

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