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Past Questions and Answers | September 2012


Question #1

Question:  My Cauliflower is looking VERY healthy with nice green/blue tint leaves. They are about 2 to 2-1/2ft tall but yet no cauliflower is growing yet, all conditions PH and soil are good. Should I be concerned that I may not get any cauliflower and just leaves ? Im ready to pull them out but wonder should I give them a little more time.

  Jim Perez, Michigan

 

ANSWER:   Don.t pull it just yet. Cauliflower concentrates on putting on greenery first when it is still warm, then will put out the cauliflower heads as it gets cooler.



Question #2

Question:  What household remedy can I spray on my Avocado tree (about 2 feet high) to keep grasshoppers from eating the leaves?

  Peggy Bennett, Lincoln, CA

 

ANSWER:   There is no home remedy that will safely kill grasshoppers. Tempo is a pesticide that will kill them but it is rather expensive. It is not to be used on the Avocado tree, but can be sprayed around it to keep the grasshoppers off.



Question #3

Question:  Our backyard has been neglected for many years and was over grown with weeds . We pulled the larger weeds but would like to kill the smaller ones and rototill the soil giving us a clean slate. What poison can we use that won't compromise the new turf and plants we plan to put in the yard?

  Mary Benham, Pueblo, CO

 

ANSWER:   RoundUp will kill the weeds and does not stay in the soil after use. You spray once, wait two weeks, then spray again. The soil must be at least 60 degrees F for it to work and the plants must be growing for it to work. RoundUp goes on the plants, is absorbed, then sent down to the roots, where it kills the root and thus the plant. If the plant is not growing, no RoundUp will be sent down to the roots and you will just waste your money.



Question #4

Question:  I have seedlings that are thin and spindly...watering them presses them down to the soil...I am afraid to put them in full sun yet in the garden, it is in the high 90's for lettuce and cabbage..how do I plump up their stems? Wait till cooler? Too early?

  Iris Fiske, Abilene, TX

 

ANSWER:   The light source over your seedlings was too high, causing them to grow tall and spindly. You can try lowering the light source to two inches over the plants for a week or two and see if they grow thicker. It is not too early to plant lettuce and cabbage but you will have to carefully harden off your plants to have them grow successfully. Start by setting the plants out a few hours in a sheltered area then gradually increase the amount of time you leave them out each day for a week. Then you can plant the seedlings.



Question #5

Question:  Hi. I planted some bell pepper and tomato a month ago which is exactly wrong season !!! now what should i do ? here is the last month of summer . temperature is about 35 c . thanks a lot

  Fa, Dubai

 

ANSWER:   Actually, as the temperature comes down, the plants should start to produce this fall. If you keep them well watered they will survive and when the night temperature is below 90 degrees F for an several days, they will bloom and produce fruit.



Question #6

Question:  I just planted tomato plants ...they are small and had the starting of flowers....is it a good idea to cut them off....because the plants are very small....i heard the flowers on a young plant....can cause stress

  Bob Heiser, Tucson, AZ

 

ANSWER:   No, do not cut them off. Tomato plants grow rapidly and the plant will catch up with the fruit quickly.



Question #7

Question:  My tomato plants have lots of small tomatoes, but they are not getting any bigger or ripening. I have cherry tomatoes and regular tomatoes.

  Debbie, Eagle Point, OR

 

ANSWER:   Tomatoes are heavy feeders. You need to fertilize them with tomato fertilizer now that the fruit has set so the plant has enough nutrients to continue to grow them out.



Question #8

Question:  What perennial plants should I fertilize in the fall? And with what kind of fertilizer? I also have a bunch of Spring blooming bulbs, but do not know exactly where they are. Should the ground, then, in the area where these bulbs are planted be fertilized?

Thanks for the help.

  Sue Burchsted, Meriden, CT

 

ANSWER:   Perennial plants should be fertilized in September with a balanced fertilizer such as 10-10-10. Any later and the tender new growth caused by the fertilizer will freeze. Spring flowering bulbs may be fertilized with bonemeal worked into the top of the soil in September.




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Gardening-tip:



Purple Knight Alternanthera

This ground cover likes partial sun to full sun.

It grows 16 to 20 inches (40-50 cm) tall, and 2 to 3 feet (60-90 cm) wide. It is very heat tolerant.

Its beautiful purple leaves make an excellent accent plant in the garden.


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