Q: Is now a good time to prune my Knockout Roses? How should I do it?
A: This is certainly the time of year to do it - late winter/early spring, just as buds break dormancy, is when one should prune roses. But with Knock Outs, pruning should wait until the 2nd season of growth (some say its best to wait until even the 3rd season). Knock Outs are designed to grow vigorously, so prune them down to about two feet below the height you want them to reach during the growing season.
For more information and other suggested resources about pruning Knockout and other roses, check out this article written by Karen Neill & Guilford County Cooperative Extension, http://guilford.ces.ncsu.edu/2013/02/200515/.
A: Snow and ice on branches can cause them to break or bend from the extra weight. High winds will compound the damage. The result is often misshapened plants from broken or split branches. Little can be done about removing ice from plants. Snow can be removed with a broom. Always sweep upward --- lifting snow off. When the branches are frozen they are quite brittle.
Do not be in a hurry to prune to correct plants bent out of shape by snow or ice. Often the plants will straighten up in a few days by itself. Broken branches, however, should be pruned as soon as possible. Proper pruning is effective in minimizing potential damage from ice and snow. Particularly important is the removal of weak, narrow-angled, v-shaped crotches. --from NC State University Cooperative Extension
A: Make sure you mulch your perennial beds with at least 2-3 inches of hardwood mulch. If you have tender perennials, you may need to cover them with a freezing blanket but be sure and remove the blanket once the temperatures rise above 32 degrees.
A: 120-180 days from planting.
A: Most grape growers, in our area, wait as late as the end of September, but that is the absolute latest date.
A: Sounds like bacterial wilt. There is really nothing that can be done other than remove the infected plants. If you want, there is still time to plant another crop.
Q: My house has recently been treated for termites using a chemical called adonis. Are garden vegetables, planted close to the house, safe to eat?
A: The key ingredient in adonis is imidacloprid. Although, it is used on vegetable crops, we are providing you a link so you can read and make your own determination: www.clemson.edu/extension/hgic/pests/plant_pests/shrubs/hgic2059.html
A: Sounds like you could have pickleworms. Use a product with BT, which is good for any caterpillar problem and safe for beneficial insects. Read the instructions carefully. The Label is the LAW!
A: Sounds like it could be the tomato horn worm. To get rid of them, find a product that contains BT, which will not harm beneficial insects or birds that eat the worms. If any of the caterpillars appear to have white raised rice spots on them, leave those alone. These rice spots indicate parasitic wasps' larvae, which are good guys.
A: There is a fall Master Gardener class we can send you information on. We'll contact you with the email information. Thank you!
Previously Asked Questions & Answers
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Union County, NC