Gardening Question of the Day

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How can I keep my geranium leaves from turning yellow?

Geraniums like moist, well-drained soil. Yours may be drying out too much between waterings. Geraniums should bloom heavily in the spring and early summer, then go into a dormant stage.

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How is the herb winter savory best used?

Savory is a great flavoring for beans, eggs, sausage, stews, fish, and poultry, and it makes a good substitute for sage. As a garden plant, it is an attractive addition to a rock garden. A perennial that grows 8 to 12 inches tall, it can be started from seed sown directly into a moist, sunny location. Germination is slow, however, and you may have more luck with stem cuttings or dividing existing plants. Cut savory back to 3 inches each spring to encourage new growth and to keep the plants compact. Replanting may be necessary after five years.

Can I keep a staghorn fern in a four-inch plastic pot?

Staghorn ferns prefer to be planted on a slab of wood. You can find your own slab or buy one at a garden center. Wrap the wood with sphagnum moss and attach the fern to this, making sure the roots are covered. Secure them in place with a thin wire. Keep the fern in the shade and water daily until it takes hold. Feed with 10-10-10 fertilizer or any houseplant food.

How should we overwinter a floribunda rose?

Do not fertilize your rose after late summer. Leave the last crop of blooms on to form hips, which will help stop the plant's growth. Keep it well watered. After a couple of hard freezes, mound soil about 1 foot deep around the stalk and cut the canes back to two to four feet, tying them together to prevent them from whipping in the wind. In the spring, remove the soil carefully, as tender new growth may be starting.

How can I tell when my horseradish is ready to harvest?

That depends on how you planted it in the first place. If you took the roots from a plant or cuttings, it may take a year before you can harvest horseradish. If you created a clump, however, you can dig the soil away and cut what you need into the early fall.

Is it bad to have earthworms in my flowerpots?

They probably aren't eating your plants, but they may be clogging your drainage. Water the plants with lime to get rid of them.

Should tomatoes be suckered?

You can sucker tomatoes if you like, but you'll be cutting down your crop. Suckered plants yield bigger tomatoes but fewer of them. The more foliage your plants put out, the more tomatoes they can nourish.

What are "spitbugs" -- the kind that leave little clumps of white, bubbly "spit" on my plants?

They are more accurately called spittlebugs and are also sometimes known as froghoppers. These bugs and their offspring nymphs, which are found in the "spit," are sucking sap from your plants. You can control them by washing them off with a strong stream of water.

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