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Past Questions and Answers | November 2015

Question #1

Question:  I have a dwarf banana tree indoors. It's healthy but it has never produced any bananas and I have had it for 2 yrs. Can you tell me why?

  Christine Floyd, Boiling Springs, SC


ANSWER:   Your plant has not produced any bananas because it has not been pollinated by anything. Pollinators cannot reach in when it is inside all the time. When it blooms, put it outside on the patio and let the bees and other pollinators reach it, and it should have bananas then.

Question #2

Question:  I have had a Mother-in-laws tongue for many years and recently it has throw up a flower spray of white flowers. Is this unusual? I have never heard of this before. Can you help me with this please?

  Evelyn West, Lincoln, Uk


ANSWER:   Flowers are rare in this plant, but they do occur. Generally , this means the plant is rootbound in the container it is in. The flowers will not hurt the plant, so just enjoy them while they last.

Question #3

Question:  Hello!!:-) I just have a question about my African Violet plant: It has about 3 crowns and I KNOW it needs separated!! But it has flowers, again(flowers died off and came back-FINALLY-in the last month!!)....and everything I've read, sats if you separate the crowns, You should remove the flowers. Do I Really have to?!! I have always done well w/ African violets and thought the flowers would "survive" separation. What is your advice?!! Thank You for all your help!!

  Laurie King, Ontario, Canada


ANSWER:   Flowers are a big strain on the resources of the African violet. When you divide the crowns and replant them, the plants need to devote all their resources on growing new roots. You need to remove the flower to allow it to do so.

Question #4

Question:  My frangipani buds start to shoots but die within afew days I've had them 12 mths all was good last year

  Toni Giorgio, Adelaide, Australia


ANSWER:   How are you watering the tree? Too much water will cause rot problems, which is what it sounds like you have. Water once a week with an inch of water throughout the dripline. Water only in spring and summer, not in fall or winter.

Question #5

Question:  Do I cut back golden mound spirehea shrubs in the fall?

  Laura W, St Cloud


ANSWER:   You prune then in the winter to early spring.

Question #6

Question:  How can I treat my garden soil for wire worms? How to treat blight on my tomatoes?

  Marvin Swiney, Clintwood, VA


ANSWER:   You can fumigate the soil with Vortex Plus to get rid of the wireworms. Once blight has started on a tomato, there is no cure. You should pull up the effected tomatoes and dispose of them in the trash, not the compost pile. Next year, plant blight resistant tomatoes.

Question #7

Question:  What effect would very heavy rain,very dry conditions,strong winds,frost and hail have on my carrot and asparagus crops and fertiliser planting program? How can i minimise the effect?

  Rick Priestley, NSW Autstralia


ANSWER:   Very wet conditions can lead to crown rot in asparagus and rot in the carrots. Make sure you plant them in soil that drains well to avoid this problem. Very dry conditions will require supplemental watering of one to two inches a week. Strong winds are hard on crops. You should cover them with row covers to protect the plants from the wind. The row covers will also protect the plants from hail. To protect the plants from frost, heap up 12 inches of mulch over them to keep them warm. As for fertilizing, you will need to fertilize more frequently during the monsoon season as the water will leach minerals from the soil and leave your plants hungry for more nutrients.

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Rotate Certain Crops

Avoid planting potatoes and tomatoes where they grew last year. They carry the same diseases, so it's best to rotate them.

You'll have much healthier plants, and more successful crops.

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