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Past Questions and Answers | September 2014

Question #1

Question:  When should I plant fall perennials? eg. Black eyed susan, coneflowers

  Wanda, Chattanooga, Tennessee


ANSWER:   Fall Perennials are planted in September and the early part of October in your area.

Question #2

Question:  I have gnats invading my bay window house plants. How do I get rid of them without hurting my beautiful plants?

  Miriam Thom, Killingworth, CT


ANSWER:   You have fungus gnats. Spray the soil with Sevin spray or cover it with Sevin dust. It will not hurt the plants but will kill the fungus gnats.

Question #3

Question:  I have some allum flower seeds and lupin seeds. what is the best way of planting them in a greenhouse and how long does it take for when they can they be given away to friends and planted out for myself?

  Brenda Baines, Manchester, England


ANSWER:   Plant the allium seeds as you would onion seeds in October in flats. Barely cover them with soil. Water from the bottom and let them germinate. Thin to one every six inches. They are ready to transplant in the garden as soon as you can work the soil in the spring.

Start lupins around 6-8 weeks before the end of the frost in the spring. Soak the seeds for 24 hours prior to planting. Plant them in peat pots so that you do not have to disturb their roots before replanting. Barely cover the seeds with soil. Water from the bottom. Plants are ready to put in the soil in 6-8 weeks.

Question #4

Question:  If I spray neem oil on rusty bean plants, are the slightly rusty beans edible?

  Lona Engberson, Terreton, Idaho


ANSWER:   Neem oil does not have a wait time before harvest. I would shell the beans before eating them as some rusts are toxic.

Question #5

Question:  I have 6 bell pepper plants and only 1 is producing. The others have real small (1/8") peppers and blossoms but do not grow.

  Jerry Buchholz, Owosso, MI


ANSWER:   You are having problems with pollination. The bees are not visiting the other plants. You can plant some marigolds or other ornamental flowers around the other pepper plants to draw the bees.

Question #6

Question:  Can you remove a rose of sharon from the ground to a large pot container at this time of year?

  Clare Crozier, Belfast


ANSWER:   If you are referring to the tropical shrub, Hibiscus syriacus, than yes, you can remove it to a pot and bring it in for the winter.

Question #7

Question:  I am planning to feed Royal Palm(Roystonea) and False Ashoka(Polyalthia longifolia)Tree at my home. Please let me know the plantation process, like dig, soil, watering.

  DP Singh, Ghadra, Rajasthan, India


ANSWER:   Royal palms should be planted in full sun in well drained soil. Dig a hole as big as the root ball of the palm tree and place the tree in. Fill in with soil and water well. Water the tree one inch a week of water. Use palm tree fertilizer to fertilize according to the instructions on the label.

False Ashoka is planted from seed. Plant the seed by completely covering it with soil and watering it in. It will grow without much intervention on your part. Fertilize with common 12-14-12 fertilizer once a year in the spring. Do not prune it and it will be a pretty tree.

Question #8

Question:  Hi there, Unfortunately I harvested and shelled my pinto beans too early and was wondering if there is a way to dry them. Thanks for any help you can give me.



ANSWER:   Place them on screens and place in a warm, dry area until they dry out enough for storage.

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