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Past Questions and Answers | January 2013

Question #1

Question:  My older apple tree has black spots on fruit. what can i do to get rid of the spots?

  Jon Donahue, Graham, Washington


ANSWER:   You have apple scab. The only way to get rid of it is to spray a fungicide such as Nustar, Systhane and Score.

Question #2

Question:  My geranium leaves are turning yellow. Is this too much water or not enough?

  Joyce Kearius, Port Edwards, WI


ANSWER:   It depends on whether your geranium is in a pot or being kept bare root. If it is bare root, you need to water it. If it is in the pot, you are likely overwatering it. The soil should be kept moist but not squishy wet.

Question #3

Question:  When is a good month to start vegetable seeds indoors for outdoor planting?

  Mary, Troy, MI


ANSWER:   Vegetable seeds are typically started six to eight weeks before you would transplant them outside. As such, start dates vary by when a particular plant would be planted outside. Take that date and count back eight weeks, then start the seeds.

Question #4

Question:  I have grown an orange tree from a pip and is only 2ft high after 4 years. What sort of soil and size pot should it have and what is the ideal growing conditions?

  Brian Stuart, Quimper, France


ANSWER:   It is likely root bound. Try transplanting it into a pot two sizes bigger than it is in now. Orange trees are tropical plants and need warmth and sunlight to grow well. If it gets too cold, the growth is stunted. Another thing that may be holding back your plant is that most orange trees are grafted onto a sturdy rootstock. Oranges grown from seeds may not grow well since they may come from dwarf plants, or be vulnerable to diseases that grafted plants are not.

Question #5

Question:  I just got a tropical foilage plant. I cant find any info that really makes since about its care. i know I can use distilled water,but will fish water serve as a good fertilizer. How often should I water? What the best lighting appropriate?

  Rachel Sewell, Belleville, Michigan


ANSWER:   You can use distilled water, but fish water does not have a high enough concentration of nutrients to be an effective fertilizer for a tropical plant. You use a fish emulsion fertilizer that is water soluble and follow the directions on the package. You water when the soil becomes dry. The goal is to keep the soil moist but not squishy wet. Full sun is the best lighting for your plant.

Question #6

Question:  I am really keen on planting the Caesalpinia Ferrea in my garden an have some concern after reading about the aggressive root systm. I was planning to space them about 3 - 3.5 metres apart and about a metre from the garden wall and driveway. I am wondering, why, if the roots are that invasive, a lot of people and our government have planted them, even close to sidewalks an dboundary walls. Do you think the tree gehaves differntly in an equatorial, sunny and wet year round climate?

  CC Lim, Singapore, Singapore


ANSWER:   Brazilian Ironwood is a big tree. It will grow 12 meters high and should be 6-9 meters away from each other and any structure. It can be kept trimmed so that it is smaller, but the roots will still spread out and cause problems. You should rethink the distances at which you are planting them in light of these guidelines.

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