Gardening Q and A

Tomato – Bacterial Wilt

Q: I need information on tomato bacterial wilt. Specifically, how to contain it, how contagious is it, what else it can affect, how I can keep from spreading it to the rest of my garden. A: Bacterial wilt is a...

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Tree – Roots in Pipes

Q: Do river birch trees act like weeping willow trees regarding water pipes? I have a river birch approximately three years old over my water pipes coming into my house. Is this of great concern? A: All trees act the...

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Mosquito – Soapy Water Trap

Q: I recently got an e-mail about using dish detergent in a shallow plate to attract and drown mosquitoes. Is it horticultural pseudo-science or does it work? A: I would not use the word science anywhere near this recommendation. It...

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Flowers- Protection

Q: I am fairly new to gardening and would like to know if there are certain flowers that can be planted in my veggie garden that will ward off deer and bugs. Any truth to this? A: Flowers in the...

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Dogwood- Drought Effects

Q: With the terrible drought, I have several dogwood trees on which the leaves have all turned brown and have begun to fall off. I know they won’t put back on leaves this year, but are they going to be...

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Daylily – Proliferation

Q: There is a clump of what resembles miniature daylily leaves growing half-way up a flower stem on one of my daylilies. I have never seen this before but I want it to keep it alive if possible. What is...

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Daylily – Self-Cleaning

Q: As I add more daylilies to my garden, I find that I am spending more time removing spent blooms! By doing this am I actually helping the plant or just increasing the aesthetics? A: Daylilies have varying abilities to...

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Ornamental Grass – Pruning

Q: I have two four-year old clumps of maiden grass in an island. Every spring I prune the dead growth and they always grow back beautifully. This summer I’ve noticed they have died out in the center. Is this typical...

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Petunia – Dying

Q: I am at my wits end regarding “wave” petunias that I have bought. I bought one batch and put them by the mailbox. After about a week they started dying one by one. I bought more and put them...

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Butterfly Bush – Remove Flowers

Q: My butterfly bushes have been blooming wonderfully! Is there anything I can do to make them keep putting out the large flowers? A: Butterfly bush produces blooms on new stems. This means that unless new growth is constantly being...

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Cabbage – Collecting Seed

Q: I have had good luck with gathering seeds from plants in both my flower beds and vegetable garden. I need your help in determining how to get seeds from a cabbage. A: Strictly speaking, cabbage is a biennial which...

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Blossom End Rot – Spray

Q: I have heard that calcium chloride is the fix for tomato blossom end rot. If this is true, could you please tell me the mixture I should use? A: Blossom end rot accurately describes the large tan or black...

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Millet – Ornamental

Q: I’ve recently purchased two ‘Purple Majesty’ millet plants. I was wondering if this plant comes back true to seed and when to collect the seed. They both have several seed heads on them and the kernels are fat and...

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Fungicides – Expensive

Q: Can you suggest any alternatives to the “store-bought” fungicides for bermudagrass? They get awfully expensive when you are trying to control fungus in an acre of lawn! With the wet weather we had earlier I need a maintenance program...

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Canna – Planting Seed

Q: I am a new gardener and planted three canna lilies this spring. When the old bloom died away a group of black pods took its place. They are round with points coming out of them. If these are seeds...

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Willow – Air Roots

Q: I have two willow trees and both are beginning to show some kind of red growth on the trunk of the trees. They look almost like small shoots coming out. A: You are seeing adventitious roots, sometimes referred to...

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Japanese Beetle – Milky Spore Disease

Q: Japanese beetles are a big problem for us. One of the people in our subdivision is encouraging us to have a community-wide eradication program using milky spore disease powder. There are 500+ homes in our subdivision and it will...

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Strawberry Weevil – On Blackberry

Q: I have found strange bugs eating my blackberry leaves. They are tan, about the size of a BB, and are hard shelled. When I touch one it falls off the plant and acts dead. Damaged leaves have notches along...

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