Q. I think I'll try growing apples. Which ones are considered best for eating fresh and which for making apple sauce?
A. Golden Delicious is the most popular yellow variety today, according to specialists. Yellow Transparent, Lodi and Grimes Golden are others. For eating fresh or for salads, some of the best are McIntosh, Red Delicious, Rome Beauty, Jonathan and Stayman.
For apple sauce, Golden Delicious, Melrose, Yellow Transparent, McIntosh, Cortland, Jonathan, Grimes Golden, Stayman Winesap and Rome Beauty are considered to be very good.
Q. I want to plant three or four apple trees and I want the kinds that don't have to be sprayed all the time. Can you suggest a few?
A. At this time, there is little hope of getting a good crop of apples without regular spraying. The recommendation of specialists is that apples must be sprayed about once a week from the time the green leaves begin to appear until the flower petals fall and then spray every 10 days until September.
Miss one timely application and your whole can be lost to disease or insects. Problems of disease and insects tend to intensify as the years go by, specialists say. An all-purpose spray, if applied properly, can be effective. Dwarf trees are best because they are much easier to spray effectively.
Q. Please explain what is meant by disbudding?
A. Disbudding is the removal of some flower buds while they are yet small. The purpose usually is to get flowers of larger size from buds remaining on the plant. Plants on which disbudding is commonly practiced include chrysanthemum, dahlia, peony, tea roses and camellia.
Q. How can I get mistletoe to grow on an oak tree?
A. Extract seed from the mistletoe berry, dry the seed for a day or two, and store for two months in the refrigerator at a temperature of about 40 degrees. Then put the seed in a crack in the bark of the tree and lightly pack it with moist peat moss. Scotch tape a piece of plastic over the peat and seed to hold them in place and maintain moisture until the seed start to sprout. Then remove the plastic.
Q. Black-eyed Susans are lovely growing in fields and along the roadside. Are they okay for the garden and how do you get started?
A. The Black-eyed Susan needs full sun and well-drained soil. The seed can be harvested from plants growing in the wild which may be sown indoors in February or March, or out-of-doors in the fall or April or May. A plant growing in the wild will seldom survive if transplanted after growth starts in the spring.
Gloriosa Daisy, a horticultural variety of the Black-eyed Susan, is perhaps much better for the garden. Seed of single, semi-double and fully double varieties are available.