All of us have read the claims of amazing fruits and vegetables. Robert Westerfield, Georgia Extension Horticulturist, offers several rules to follow before purchasing unknown fruits to avoid disappointment and wasted money.
The first rule is, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is. A good example of this is the advertisement to grow tomatoes and potatoes in one single planting.
Planting perennials properly and at the right time can determine whether and how prolifically they bloom the first year.
For shrubs, fall is considered the best time to plant perennials in the South.
Three years ago, I received my first phone call about a mass of small insects (not lady bugs) on the side of a building.
As I expected, the insect in question was megacopta cribraria, also known as the kudzu bug.
It has been said money cannot buy happiness. The end to our dry weather would make gardeners and farmers happy.
However, all of the money in the world could not buy rain. I believe it is good that man does not control the weather.
Fall is a time when most plants go dormant and a good time for the homeowner to help protect plants from the cold days ahead.
The physiological changes that occur within a plant as it goes dormant are complex and not fully understood.
Every fall I will receive calls from homeowners with the problem of squirrels in the attic. At first the person may think there is a rat chewing on the inside of the attic, but after days of hearing sounds, they discover the problem is squirrels.
A squirrel is really not a rat, but once squirrels begin to live and play in your attic, it can be as bad as any rat. Squirrels in the attic will not only keep you up at night, they can also cause damage to your home by eating holes in walls and wires.
What can you say about collards? You either hate or love collards. My wife of 26 years and I have most things in common; however, my love of collards is not one. Leafy greens, such as turnips, mustard, collards, kale and spinach are cool season crops. They should be grown in early spring and fall for maximum yields.
Kale and spinach can withstand temperatures into the upper teens. The other greens may withstand light to medium frost. As a matter of fact, some people prefer a light frost on collards before they are harvested.
Fall begins in the Northern Hemisphere on Friday. So, what does this date mean as it relates to your landscape? Not much.
Fall, however, is a time of change from hot days of summer to cold days of winter.
One item many gardeners fell to add to soil is lime.
Lime increases the pH of soil. The soil pH strongly influences plant growth, availability of nutrients and the activity of soil microbes.
The summer of 2011 has been hard on lawns. If you need to plant, or in many cases replant your fescue lawn, mid- September through October is excellent. With cooler nights, milder days and rain, fescue seeds will germinate quickly.
For many years the best known fescue has been Kentucky 31. It is durable and still used as a pasture grass. As a lawn grass Kentucky 31 tends to be coarse and clumpy unless seeded thickly and well-tended.
During late summer many gardeners begin to think about saving seeds from garden vegetables for planting next year.
For open pollinated vegetable varieties this practice works; for hybrid varieties, it can be a disaster. Many gardeners plant "hybrid" cultivars and should not save the seeds from hybrid plants.
Buying herbicides can be a challenge.
There are so many different types of herbicides that are used on different plants, how does a homeowner decide which one is best?
Many trees around Dawson County are showing dieback and decline symptoms.
Twig or branch dieback is initiated in the tree as a response to poor growth conditions and/or pest attack. Usually a combination of physical, climatic, and pest problems lead to the tree shutting off some of its outside portions.
Pesticide poisoning is more common than you may think.
Many cases are mild and unreported. However, death from pesticide poisoning does happen. A few years ago a child in our area died after drinking pesticide that was stored in an unmarked container.
If you have tomatoes growing in your garden, chances are good you have at least one of these problems.
1. Failure to set fruit. Every year gardeners have tomatoes that flower but do not set fruit.
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