Q: I want to make fresh homemade apple juice this fall. What apple varieties do you suggest I use? A: One bushel of Red Delicious, one bushel of Golden Delicious and one bushel of tart apples (Winesap, Rome Beauty or Stayman) make a good blend. Q: My cucumber plants are in serious trouble again this year. What can I do for them? A: Cucumber plants are subject to bacterial wilt, and once they have the disease there's no way to save them. Cucumber beetles carry the wilt virus and spread it when they feed on your cucumber vines. To prevent it, spray with sevin regularly after your plants come up. Read and follow all instructions on the label. It's important to you. Q: I've come across an amber-colored strain of black raspberry growing wild. I would like to transplant some of the plants to my back yard. Can I do it in the fall or should I wait until next spring? A: Early spring is by far the best time, but it can be done in the fall. However, bringing in raspberries from the wild is seldom a good idea -- they're too likely to be infected by a virus. Certified virus-free plants available at nurseries are much more likely to be dependable, and you can harvest the fruit from the wild ones where they are. Q: The black-eyed susans growing along the roadside: Can they be grown in the garden, and what's the best way to get started with them? A: Black-eyed susan is easy to start from seed, which may be started indoors in February or March or outdoors in April or May. The seeds can be collected during the summer after they have ripened. Store them in a dry, cool place for the winter. Q: I planted too pine trees year before last. They are six feet tall and were nice and green last year; now the needles are turning brown on both of them. Can you tell me how to save them? A: It's usually impossible to even guess what's wrong without examining specimens from the trees, and often that doesn't help because it may be due to something wrong elsewhere in the tree. But when a tree turns brown almost overnight, it's often due to exposure to week-killing chemicals. Applied a block away when the wind is blowing in your direction, they can do considerable damage. About the best you can do for the trees now is to water them regularly during prolonged dry weather. Q: I want to store a load of fireplace wood in the basement for use next winter. Is there any risk of termites? A: The subterranean termite, the one that does damage to the home, cannot stand freezing weather. If the wood is left outdoors until after a hard freeze, there's little danger of a termite problem. Q: My spider plant has two new baby plants dropping over the side, but the tips of the leaves on the main plant are brown and dead. Could this be from over-watering? A: Most likely it's because you are not giving the plant enough water when you water it. Unless the entire soil mass is moistened, the roots do not get enough water. Water until it comes out of drainage holes at the bottom, then wait 15 minutes for excess water to drain and empty the saucer. Q: I have had a bromeliad plant for four years. It had a bloom when I first received it, but has never bloomed since. How can I make it bloom? A: Put the plant in a plastic bag, put an apple in with it, close and tie the bag, and leave it alone for four days. Then remove the bag and apple and take care of the plant as usual. Ethylene gas given off by the apple will cause the plant to bloom in one to six months, depending on the species. Q: I have a three-year-old African violet that has bloomed all that time except one month. It has been transplanted twice and is in a 16-inch pot. Is it possible to separate it, or should I put it in a larger pot? A: Putting it in a larger pot is undesirable because as the pot gets larger and larger, it gets more difficult to handle the plant. If it becomes potbound and stops blooming, it can be divided. Large plants usually have several crowns. They can be cut apart so that each crown has a portion of the plant's original root system, and each crown potted separately. Q: The roots of a large oak near the house are pushing up the bricks of a 20-year-old walk that passes near it. Is it safe to cut back the roots under the walk? A: It may or may not be safe; it depends on how much the tree needs those roots to keep it from toppling over and to give it moisture and nutrients. Any tree surgeon or expert can make an examination and give you an opinion. The health of a tree is in direct proportion to the extent and effectiveness of its feeder roots. The damage might not kill the tree, but it might so debilitate it that it would become an easy prey to insects and diseases. It takes a long, long time to replace a big oak tree.