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Past Questions and Answers | January 2019

Question #1

Question:  I have a Gloxinia that is 10 yrs. old and kept in the house. It goes dormant every year and comes back in spring. This year 2 hardy plants sprang up. I believe it split into 2 plants. Now it is dormant. Could I transplant this into 2 separate plants? This plant is from my father's funeral and is very dear to me so I don't want to transplant it if there's a chance it won't make it. Please let me know your thoughts. Thanks

  Jeanne Haley, Festus


ANSWER:   Ok, there are a few situations that could have occurred. First, since you have two different rosettes then yes you have "two plants," which means your bulb has produced another bulb. Second, you will not know how big this bulb is without digging it up. Now the big question about dividing it and yes you can but gloxinia is one of those bulbs that are very picky about their depth. If planted too deep, they will not break ground. On the other hand, if it is too shallow then it will not do its best. Since you say it is 10 years old and I assume has never been transplanted I would say it is time just be careful of the depth you plant the bulbs. As you may have noticed I said bulbs. If you decide to go ahead and transplant then separate the bulbs and plant in different pots.

Question #2

Question:  On your video on how to organically control rust, mildew and black spots you recommended a solution of 325 mg aspirin in a quart of water. My peach tree has rust on leaves and the fruit stopped growing. What would be the mix and how do I apply it on a peach tree? Also there is weed barrier and wood chips all around the tree. Could that be a problem? I appreciate your advice.

Thank you so much!

  Lily, New Mexico


ANSWER:   The recipe would be the same and sprayed onto the leaves with a sprayer. As far as the fruit goes, I would say that the problem is water. If there is not enough water the fruit will stop growing. Since you are in New Mexico, this could be the case. Also if your tree is under stress because of the rust, the fruit could suffer. The tree will either puts its energy in itself or its fruit. In this case, it may have been itself. Now when it comes to the weed barrier and mulch, both of these are great for keeping the soil moist and cool. This is a good thing but if the mulch is too thick then the water cannot get to the soil. Make sure that the mulch is no deeper than three inches.

Question #3

Question:  My roses have been eaten by small caterpillars how do i treat them

  John Booth, Holmfirth


ANSWER:   Without seeing the caterpillars I cannot tell you how to treat the problem except encourage beneficial insects and birds in your area. Both of these will feast on the caterpillars.

Question #4

Question:  How do you shred leaves effectively and store them for use as mulch?

  Bonnie Regendahl, South Egremont


ANSWER:   The best way I have found is by way of a mower with a bag. The mower will chop them up smaller, which can then be stored in black plastic bags or trash cans. Yes, you will get some grass in the bag but storing in a dark container will allow for solar sterilization of the material. In other words, the dark color will absorb the heat and kill any pest, plant disease or weed seeds. If you have no mower then the chopping of the leaves is more difficult. In this case, just rake them up and store as described. When used for mulch in full size you will get some blowing around but as they get wet and compacted down they will stay.

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Keep that Parsley Coming

Parsley is a biennial, often grown as an annual. Plants prefer full sun, but will survive in partial shade.

Parsley can be picked fresh throughout the season, but for use in the winter, cut the leaves in the fall, and dry or freeze them.

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