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Past Questions and Answers | August 2016

Question #1

Question:  What causes the leaves of the peonies to turn white?

  Barbara, Plymouth, CT


ANSWER:   This is caused by White Mold (Sclerotinia sclerotiorum). You need to remove the infected plants, being very careful to get the fallen leaves as well as the live ones. Discard the infected plant in the trash, do not compost it or the disease will spread. White Mold lives in the soil, so do not plant anything there that is susceptible to it.

Question #2

Question:  Have a Midget Arborvitae, there is a growth around the root ball to inch to two inches, top of ball, exposed, plant looks heathy, the growth is orange in color and is thick, with a skin on it that looks like a pumpkin, I was able to break a peace off of it, it looks like a living mold or something, never seen anything like it?? You have any ideas about it!

  Charles Kalb, Alabaster, AL


ANSWER:   Your shrub has one of the many fungus that attack ornamental shrubs. You can spray it with a fungicide that has been approved for use on ornamental shrubs. If it is approved for that use, it will be on the label.

Question #3

Question:  Is it safe to harvest and eat after fertilizer with organic liquid such as Alaska Fish Fertilizer, thanks.

  Cindy, Chesterfield, Virginia


ANSWER:   It depends on the vegetable and what the label says. Some vegetables draw the fertilizer up into the part of the plant you eat and will make you sick if you eat them. If the label does not name the vegetable you are treating and say it can be used on that vegetable, you cannot eat it. Also, the label may say you must not use it within a certain time before harvest.

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When to Water

If you can, it is always best to water early in the morning. This allows the plant's leaves and flowers to dry off as the day warms up.

If you water at night, the plant stays wet for hours in the cool, which are prime conditions for fungi and other problems to set in.

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