Gardening Q and A

Carrots – Growing

Q: We are trying to grow carrots in our garden. I prepare the soil well and the other vegetables do great except the carrots. The carrots are very short and many have 2 or 3 short roots. What am I...

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Daylily – Reblooming

Q: My Stella d’Oro daylilies bloom great at the first of summer and almost never after that. They are three years old and appear to be well established. I fertilize in early spring but I’m not sure how much and...

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Tree Leaves – Mulching

Q: I would be very appreciative if you could answer a simple question. Is it beneficial or detrimental to the lawn if one mulches the tree leaves and lets the shreddings lay on the grass? My wife admonishes me every...

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Colorado Blue Spruce – Planting

Q: I am drawn to the beauty of spruce trees and was contemplating buying one to plant in my yard. However, I lost interest because of their slow growth rate until I discovered the cultivar ‘Hoops’ blue spruce. It is...

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Mirliton Squash

Q: I listened to your radio discussion of the mirliton squash a few weeks ago and wondered what was the resolution of how to plant it. Do you plant the whole thing? Will it grow here? A: The beauty of...

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Root Ball – Remove Burlap

Q: A landscaper just installed for me a seven foot Kousa dogwood and did not remove the burlap from the root ball. All he did was to peel it back on top. Am I correct that it should be removed?...

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Mulching – Correct Procedure

Q: I’m confused about “proper mulching”. I see references everywhere that I’m supposed to mulch but no information on how to do it correctly. I’ve been told by a fellow gardener that I’m mulching too close to my plants. Could...

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Pesticide – Degradation in Water

Q: Several weeks ago you wrote about the half-life of insecticides after application. I assume that the same breakdown occurs in herbicides. Does the degeneration occur after mixing, or only after application? I have been mixing Roundup(tm) in five gallon...

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Lawn Care – Surfactants

Q: What is your opinion about using surfactants (wetting agents) as part of a residential lawn care program? I recently used a surfactant lawn care product (bought on the Internet) on my yard. I hoped for better water penetration into...

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Caladium – Flowers

Q: I have red and green leaved caladium plants and to my surprise they bloomed this year! The flower is like, but larger than, a peace lily flower. It had an upright thing in the middle. I did not know...

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Weed Control – For Cemeteries

Q: Is there a product that will control grass and weeds on a cemetery plot? A: There are several soil sterilants available. The biggest caution I can give you is that these chemicals will affect ALL plants in the plot...

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Holly Berries – Not Poisonous

Q: Are the berries of dwarf burford holly poisonous? A: Auroleus Phillipus Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim (known as Paracelsus by his friends) was born in Switzerland in 1493. His work as a physician and pharmacist earned him the name “The...

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Sunflower – Harvesting Seed

Q: Please tell me how to harvest sun flowers. I would like to have seeds for next year and let the birds have the rest. A: The back of a completely ripe sunflower head is brown and dry, with no...

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Hanging Baskets – Evergreen

Q: I’m looking for a plant that will stay green all year long and flourish in a hanging pot on my porch. In years past we’ve just bought annuals. Is there a perennial that will work under these conditions? A:...

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Curcuma

Q: I love the flowers of a plant labeled “curcuma” I bought at a home improvement store. What should I do with it this fall and winter? A: You have a Siam tulip: Curcuma alismatifolia. It is not hardy outdoors...

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Muscadines – Pollination

Q: Four years ago I planted a ‘Cowart’ muscadine vine. To this day I have gotten no grapes. Leaves and new growth appear in spring. Little grapes show up, but they never get large and in mid-summer the grapes go...

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Jelly Bean Plant

Q: I was given a plant called a...

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Iris – Winter Care

Q: I planted bearded iris roots in early November and now they have shoots about six inches tall. Will these survive the winter? Should I trim or replant? A: This is a common question each winter. Fall-planted bulbs (daffodil, tulip,...

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