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Past Questions and Answers | January 2014


Question #1

Question:  The fern in my asparagus bed after harvesting is hugely overgrown and covers the walkway. Since it provides nutrients, I've let it grow in past years but it's overwhelming. Can i trim it back w/out slowing next years harvest?

  Julia Baird, Garland, Texas

 

ANSWER:   You can safely cut off the fern after it has had its berries. You can prune it back some before that if it is overwhelming but do not prune more than one third of its size.



Question #2

Question:  I just moved here from texas is there a grass that will grow in shade as my lot is tree covered very little sun hits the ground

  Martin Davis, Appleton City, Mo

 

ANSWER:   No, there is not a grass that will grow in the shade in that climate. Saint Augustine will not survive the winters there, and that is the only grass that will grow in shady areas.



Question #3

Question:  How do you get rid of gotu cola its taking over my vegie garden

  Susan Robinson, Lancelin, Perth, Western Australia

 

ANSWER:   Glyphosate wicked on the leaves will kill it without hurting any of your other plants. Get a small mop, the kind you use to put bbq sauce on ribs, and soak it in the glyphosate. Then rub it on the leaves of the gotu cola. It will be taken in and travel to the roots and kill them. Be careful not to get the glyphosate on anything else.



Question #4

Question:  How do you feed a African Violet planted in a African pot?

  Linda, Warwick, RI

 

ANSWER:   You use a water soluble fertilizer and set the pot in the solution of fertilizer once a month instead of setting it in water.



Question #5

Question:  We are situated in the kind of southwest,Region 9. A huge Hospital, I am the in house landscape designer -I have an area above a 500 car park,. It is the lowest area of the car park garden and has very shallow sandy soil. All the excess water collects there, and it is in the full sun , average temp. 22 C.

I’m looking for " wet feet" full sun, public garden plants, strong , and then on the other hand not much depth.

  Nomi Weingrod, Tel Hashomer Hospital

 

ANSWER:   I am not aware of any plants that will tolerate wet feet and grow in the full sun in such heat. The best thing to do is create a raised bed that is amended with lots of compost and that will solve the drainage problem. Then you can grow the normal plants that thrive in full sun.



Question #6

Question:  My main Aloe Vera plant is about 2.5 ft acrosspot, 12 to 18 inches high, with many plants inside the pot.

However, I have alarge plant hanging OUTSIDE the pot on about a 1 ft long by 1 inch stem. Can this be cut off and propagated, and how would I do it. We got the original plant when our first son was born. He is now 26. thank you.

  John Wood, Comox Valley, BC

 

ANSWER:   Yes, it can be cut off and propagated. Simply cut it off and plant it in the soil. Keep the soil moist and it will root itself and become a new plant. Be careful to keep the soil moist but not soggy or the plant will rot.



Question #7

Question:  My African violets are planted in African violet pots. I did as you suggested and put the water in the lower pot, let it sit for over an hour and then poured the excess water out. The plants still seem so dry and are limp. What am I doing wrong?

  Betty Goll, Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin

 

ANSWER:   It sounds like something is preventing the water from drawing up into the top pot. Are the drainage holes blocked? If not, try leaving the pots in the water longer and letting it stay until the soil is evenly moist.




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Gardening-tip:



Lady Beetles

Commonly known as Lady Bugs, eat aphids, mealybugs and many different types of insect eggs.

If you want to use them as beneficials in your garden, release them at night, or keep them in their wire topped containers for a day or so before release.

Either technique will help keep them in the area, and working on your specific insect problems, instead of just flying away.


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