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Past Questions and Answers | January 2016

Question #1

Question:  How do I stop blossom end rot on tomatoes?

  Bud Craig, Audubon, NJ


ANSWER:   Blossom end rot is caused by a calcium imbalance in the tomato. It frequently happens when tomatoes are subjected to a drought after having had adequate supplies of water up until the drought. The best way to prevent it is to give the tomato water on a regular schedule. It should have good drainage so the water does not puddle around the tomato but is absorbed into the ground. You can also spread fertilizer containing a lot of phosphorous such as 4-12-4 as a side dressing.

Question #2

Question:  My rm. is 70 degrees, banana roots look like limp spaghetti & no leaf growth. If I put heat pad under & humidifier will banana start growing good roots & leaves again? What about changing soil to cactus soil?

  Christine M Horan, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


ANSWER:   Bananas should be overwintered in a cool and dry place. They need to be at about 45 degrees to go dormant. You have had your banana tree in an area with too high a temperature for it and it has had root rot and died. At this point all you can do is replace it with another plant.

Question #3

Question:  When is the best time to transplant a trumpet plant?

  Ann Lucas, Wewahitchka, Florida


ANSWER:   The best time to transplant a trumpet plant is late fall or early spring.

Question #4

Question:  I read about the molasses usage for the crops and interesting.

I was about the buy 500 tons of damaged molasses, the molasses became like clinker.

The potasium(K) content in the damaged clinkered molasses was 2.4%.

Please advise can i apply this damaged molasses make it powder and spread on the Sugar cane fields to supplements the potasium.

As i expect its worth to buy and sell as equivalent cost of 12 tons potasium to the farmers.

Your help on this issue is highly appreciated,



ANSWER:   I cannot advise you on this. Your best bet is to contact your county or district extension agent for this.

Question #5

Question:  My lawn has been waterlogged since June, any rain we get turns it into a paddy field.

How can I get the water to drain quicker?



ANSWER:   You will need to consult with a contractor for this severe a drainage problem. They can advise you whether to raise the yard with dirt to increase the drainage problem, install a French drain or other drainage system, or other remedies for the problem.

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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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