Q - Is it true that if you smoke around your tomato plants, they may became diseased?

A - Tomatoes are susceptible to a virus disease called Tobacco Mosaic, which also affects pepper, eggplant, petunia and most members of the nightshade family. The plant may not be seriously damaged, but the quality of the fruit will be affected. The plants can become infected if they are handled while smoking or soon after smoking. Do not smoke while in the garden, and wash your hands thoroughly after smoking before handling your plants.

Q - When is the best time to fertilize zoy sia grass in the lawn?

A - Zoysia can be fertilized when it is making its most active growth, May through August. If it is an established lawn in good condition, once or twice a year may be adequate; it helps zoysia plugs to spread if fertilized monthly during the growing season.

Q - The blossoms on my tomato plants are falling off without fruit getting started. Is there anything I can do about it?

A - Many varieties will not set fruit if temperatures go below 60 degrees for two or three nights in a row. The pollen grains do not germinate, pollination does not occur, and fruits do not form. The problem will disappear as the weather gets warmer.

Q - When phlox is through blooming, should the old flower heads be cut off? If seed are allowed to develop, will they be all right to plant?

A - Phlox usually will bloom a second time in the fall if the old flower heads are not allowed to go to seed. If seed are produced, they will not come true to type.