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Past Questions and Answers | May 2014


Question #1

Question:  Planted asparagus for first time and covered with hay for winter, when do I uncover and should I trim?

  Florence mathieson, Burlington, MA

 

ANSWER:   You should uncover your asparagus about six weeks before the last frost in your area. Do not cut asparagus until they are three years old. Let them grow, fern out, and cut the fern off when it turns brown. When the asparagus are three years old, you can cut any stalk larger in diameter than a pencil.



Question #2

Question:  I am growing rhubarb but have a job getting the stem to thicken up.

  Jenny Pendrey, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

 

ANSWER:   Rhubarb does not thicken up enough to be harvested until the second year, when it can be lightly harvested. By the third year, you should be getting thick stalks of rhubarb to harvest.



Question #3

Question:  I have over 20 fruit trees in my back yard. they were doing good until recently, persimmon and cherry trees are dried up completely,fig tree and apple trees are peeling their skin. I use sprinkle system to water the hiil and deep water every month.tell me what is going on,thanks.

  George Karaelias, Brea, California

 

ANSWER:   You are not watering them enough to compensate for the drought. Trees need an inch to three inches of water a week under the entire canopy to survive. You should be using sprinklers to water that much each week, not every month. You water under the entire area where the branches and leaves are, so you will have to water, then move the sprinkler and water some more to get all of it watered enough.



Question #4

Question:  Last year I had quite a few tomatoe horn worms. I turned the soil twice this winter hoping to kill any larva. What can I use organically to prevent them

  Richard Schnyderite, Old Bridge, NJ

 

ANSWER:   You can plant dill in a circle around your tomatoes. Horn worms do not like dill and it will significantly decrease the number you see to have it around.



Question #5

Question:  What is the most effective method to kill dallas grass in a bermuda or st.augustine lawn?

  Gregg Daniell, Plano, Texas

 

ANSWER:   You can use MSMA to kill clumps of dallisgrass growing in the lawn. You will have to apply it two to three times at three week intervals in the summer when both grass and dallisgrass are growing well. Do not mow for two weeks before applying the herbicide and do not water for 24 hours after applying it. Do not use it when the grass is stressed by extremely hot weather and make sure you follow the label to avoid injuring the turf grass. There are some restrictions as to what type of turfgrass you can use MSMA on. You can’t use it on St. Augustine lawns. There, you will just have to dig the dallisgrass out as anything that will kill it will kill the St. Augustine.



Question #6

Question:  How would one go about making a flower tower or column? Thanks in advance.

  Lisa Beal, Seabrook, NH

 

ANSWER:   One way is to start with a big pot filled with soil, then put a smaller pot on top of it. Plant flowers in the big pot around the smaller pot. Continue stacking pots and planting around them until you reach the desired height of the tower.



Question #7

Question:  How do I stop my lawn going brown after my female dog has urinated on it?

  Hazel, York, Northyorkshire

 

ANSWER:   You can’t. The urine has a high concentration of Nitrogen and burns the lawn just as if it had been over fertilized. The only thing that may help if to water the area immediately after the dog urinates there to dilute the urine and the amount of Nitrogen the grass is getting.



Question #8

Question:  Where can I find African Violet pots and when should they be transplanted?

  Ruth Ward, Columbia, South Carolina

 

ANSWER:   African violet pots are readily available from a variety of internet sellers. Simply type “African violet pots” into the search engine of your choice and you will be overwhelmed with the number of places from which to purchase them. African violets should typically be repotted when they are root bound or become too big for the pot they are in. Time of year is not that important with African violets, so you can transplant them any time.



Question #9

Question:  I have a Christmas Cactus that blooms very pretty during the Thanksgiving or Christmas season that I think it needs to be repotted. How can I tell when it needs to be repotted?

  Ruth Ward, Columbia, South Carolina

 

ANSWER:   A plant needs to be repotted when it gets root bound. This is when the roots fill the pot and have no more room to grow. If you take the cactus out of the pot it is in and the root ball is more roots than dirt, you need to repot it.




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Gardening-tip:



Low Light House Plants

Many plants thrive on very little light, making them ideal for those parts of your house that are not well lit.

A couple good choices for areas without lots of light are:

Aspidistra
Dracaena
Sansevieria
Chinese Evergreen

For more information about this, watch our video on low light houseplants in the video tips section!


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