Q: Squirrels are digging up my tulip bulbs. Is there any thing I can do to prevent it? A: Cover the place where the bulbs are planted with one-inch mesh wire. Peg the wire down and if the appearance bothers you, cover it with a thin mulch. There is no chemical repellant that is practical and effective in keeping them away.
Q: I grew some pumpkins this year for the first time. How should I store them? I've heard conflicting things about how to do it.
A: After harvesting, keep the pumpkins at a temperature of about 80o F. for about two weeks to cure, then store them in a dry place at a temperature between 50o and 60o F.
Q: I used a fertilizer on my lawn last month that had a weed killer mixed in with it. Two of my lilacs appear to have gotten some of it. What can I do to save them?
A: Once a broadleaf weed killer enters the plant, there is nothing that can be done that will stop its action. These materials are hormone-like in nature and become part of the plant sap. Keep your lilacs well watered when there is little rainfall, fertilize them with a 5-10-5 fertilizer to restore plant vigor, and it may help them to recover.
Q: My iris is getting crowded. Should it be divided?
A: Bearded iris usually needs to be divided every four or five years. The best time to do it is soon after they finish blooming. Siberian and Japanese irises do not need to be divided as often as the bearded ones, usually every 10 years or even longer.
Q: My crape myrtle bloomed only sparingly this year, the leaves at the end of the branches were mildewed and the bark was dry and peeled off. What can I do to help it?
A: Some varities are very susceptible to powdery mildew and if badly diseased will produce poor flowers if they bloom at all. As the plant increases in diameter, the old bark peels off and new bark forms. Spraying regularly with ActiDione-PM after the leaves appear next spring should take care of the powdery mildew. Directions on the label should be followed closely.
Q: I am moving in late November to a new location and want to take some three-year old azaleas with me. Can they be transplanted at that time of the year?
A: Azaleas can be planted and transplanted almost any day of the year if the ground is not frozen or too dry for digging.