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Past Questions and Answers | August 2014

Question #1

Question:  Can I use "Bone Meal" on my day lilies?

  Donald Hoch, Machias, New York


ANSWER:   Bone meal is a source of phosphorous and calcium. You can use it on your day lilies, but you will need to add a source of nitrogen and potassium to produce a balanced fertilizer for them.

Question #2

Question:  We have great looking tomatoe plants but no tomatoes, the blooms come on the plants but fall of and dont produce

  Sue Manning, Venice, Florida


ANSWER:   One of two things is happening. Tomatoes will bloom like crazy in the summer but will not set fruit when the nights are 90 degrees or more. The blooms just drop off. The other thing is that if the blooms are not pollinated, they will not set fruit. With the scarcity of bees this year, you may not have pollinated fruit. You cannot, unfortunately do much in either situation to change things.

Question #3

Question:  Can I cut out dead limbs without hurting an apple tree this time of year?

  Kent Mangnaall, Mesa, Colorado


ANSWER:   It is better to prune apple trees in the winter. However, if a tree limb breaks or is diseased, it should be removed immediately to prevent problems from spreading to other limbs.

Question #4

Question:  What is really good weed killer that I use for my back yard? A large amount of my yard has huge tall weeds. I want them to stop growing.

  Ity Kansas, Kansas


ANSWER:   Glycophosphate, the active ingredient in such herbicides as Round Up, will kill most weeds. It will kill your lawn, too, so you have to make sure that you just spray it on the leaves of the weeds, not the grass or anything else you want to keep.

Question #5

Question:  I have 20 new little lime Hydrangea that were delivered in pots from a reputable nursery. We planted them in less than a week but the weather was very warm so we had to keep them watered in the pots.

We are about to plant them but find the leaves have turned yellow--particularly down near the bottom of the plant. We have had a large amount of rain this month so I figure it must be too much water??? I have never planted Little Lime Hydrangeas before so wonder what else it could be???

Hate to lose 20 Hydrangeas!!!!

  Betty Schneider, Glen Huron, Ontario


ANSWER:   Your plants are suffering from a nitrogen deficiency. You need to fertilize them with a nitrogen that is half slow release and half fast release.

Question #6

Question:  We have 2 avocada seeds that we have had in a cup with water and they both have sprouted a small green sprout (about 1")upward and roots beneath them that are longer. How long before I should put then in a pot for further growing or in the ground if not already? They're from a dwarf tree that gets about 15-16' and are a dark green and smooth. Also being in southern Cal. is there a better season to adhere to for future plantings? Thank you in advance for any information or advise you can supply.

  Bill Parchman, Garden Grove, California


ANSWER:   You should plant your avocado seeds now. Normally, you would plant them in the spring, but it will not hurt to plant them now if you keep them watered.

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Growing Caladium

Caladiums grow from tubers sold in the spring.

You can buy the tubers and plant your own, but buying a full-grown plant is the easiest way to know what color the leaves will be.

Give your Caladiums high humidity or the leaf margins may turn brown.

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