Questions and Answers

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  • We've tried pour boiling water on the ant hills but they come back again. What do you suggest to kill them out.

Answer: CLICK HERE to read what Byron Suggests!

  • I asked Byron about how long it takes fruit and nut trees to begin producing after they are planted. Also information about raised beds and watering. Nita

Answer: CLICK HERE to read what Byron Suggests!

  • In planning our gardens for the coming season, I had to wonder what things might grow in the shade since we have a lot more shade than sunny garden. We can only grow squash in areas that get good morning sun but no noon or afternoon sun. Same with the cucumbers. So I asked Byron what he thought about the shade and what about using all these oak leaves for compost. (Find a great formula for making compost and making it cook fast) Nita

Answer: CLICK HERE to read what Byron suggests!

  • In Leonie’s latest article, she asked the following question: “If any of you have any hints or tips about gardening in windy, salt-laden climates, I'd be obliged to hear from you.”

Answer: Click Here to read what Byron suggests!

  • Hi, I have been reading all your gardening ideas and plans. Years back we used an organic fertilizer. We could use it on anything, gardens, flowers, shrubs, lawns, it was like pellets and we just tossed them everywhere we wanted to fertilize. Now we would like to find an organic fertilizer and I can’t seem to find anything. The salesman that used to sell ours has since passed on. Do you use organic fertilizer? We live in a small town, so we don’t have much compost. Thank you for any ideas. Ruth Ann

Answer: Click Here to read lots of great how to information!

  • We want to use a 100'X100' plot to raise extra fruits and veggies to sell in the Farmer's Market or roadside stand. What do you suggest. (Canada)

Answer: Click here to read all the ideas and tips!

  • We have never used any sprays on our apple trees, we have good & bad years. What can I do for better fruit production? I prefer something more natural than the commercial sprays. I live in NE North Carolina..Thank you.

Answer: I always fertilize my fruit trees in the fall of the year with a high phosphate fertilizer.  Try not to use nitrogen.  Something like a 0-15-15 is good for future fruit production.  Also in the fall, use a dormant oil spray over the entire tree. You can get a good organic fertilizer for fruit trees at just about any organic nursery.

  • This is about the potatoes in cages. We have harvested the potatoes. None grew in the hay we kept piling on the plants, but rather all over the dirt on the bottom of the cage. What did we do wrong? Should the hay have been packed tighter, ground up small???? Any suggestions would be appreciated.


  • I wonder if you could tell me what to put on my zinnias. They have either mold or mildew on the leaves. They have been so pretty this summer and now the leaves look like they are curling up and have white fuzzy stuff on them. They are in about 8 hrs. of sun. Also, We have tomato plants in our garden and the plants started dying from the bottom up and the leaves look like they have been scalded. When I look at the green leaves that are left on the plants, I can see real tiny white things crawling. I think my husband said that they were white flies and these have also been on our green beans, and sucked the leaves til they died also. We live in the middle of South Carolina.


  • I had read that you can get some brand-new types of daylilies absolutely free by harvesting your daylily seeds!   Pick the seed pods when they turn brown and begin to crack open on top. Remove the seeds from the pods and air dry for a couple of hours on a paper towel.  Place the seeds in a Ziploc bag, label with date and where you collected the seed.  Refrigerate for a minimum of three weeks.  In warm weather,  the seeds can then be planted about ¼” deep in a well-draining area of your garden or in pots in a good starter mix.  The seedlings should appear in a little over a week and will look very much like nutgrass.  Fun thing about this process is that you never know what kind of flowers you will get because each and every seed is genetically different…you might have daylilies that look like the parent plant or the plant that was the pollinator or a brand-spanking new daylily that is a combo of both! 

Answer: I am all for planting any plant from seed if it is possible.  Yes, the system described will produce more plants.  The problem is some of the plants will be inferior plants due to the parent plants used.  Some will also be superb plants.  It is worth a try with any plants.  That is the way we got our Kiwi plants here.
You can always discard the bad plants and keep the good ones.  This is also a great way to develop your own strain of plant.

  • I live in southwest Louisiana and we planted citrus trees and they have a hard time growing because of the clay soil. We also have lots of pine trees; so what can we do to help our trees? They are sickly looking.


  • Do you know anything about helping trees after they have been attacked by termites or carpenter ants?  We have a beautiful three trunked tulip poplar that is in pretty bad shape.  We think we have all the critters gone but the tree is hurting.  The bark at the ground level is chewed up pretty good.  I suggested that we get some wound dressing or tree tape but Jan doesn't think that will help.  People say that termites do not get into live wood.  Well, people are wrong.  We have used some 13-13-13 around the tree and mulched it with gin trash but it is already dropping its leaves. 

Answer: We have 5 poplar tulip trees, and they are beautiful.  The flowers are wonderful when they are in full bloom.
If the bark of the trees are not eaten over 1/2 way around the tree, there is a chance it can be saved.  Wound dressing is the way to go and get in on ASAP.  If the bark is eaten over 1/2 way around, unfortunately the tree will probably die back.  We had one that died 2 years ago, and in the spring it sprouted again from the roots.  I put a stake beside it, but father-in-law did not see it, and mowed it down.  It is now sprouting again and I hope it survives this time.
They are hearty trees and will come back from the roots if the roots are not damaged.  Fertilize it, and water it regularly.  Do not let the ground dry out around it.  Do not soak it, but keep it moist.  It should do just fine.

  • We've always used Mineral Oil on the corn tassels to keep the bugs away. Any suggestions?

Answer: We buy mineral oil at Eckerd's Drug Store.  Wal-Mart should have it also.  I have never ask for it, but it should be in the drug section. (Ours doesn't have it) We use mineral oil because it seems to last the longest.  You can use any type of light oil like vegetable oil or I have even heard of some spraying the silks of their corn with WD-40.  My uncle swore by WD-40.  While I am thinking of it, you can get stickers off of fine furniture or glass etc. by spraying it with WD-40 and gently rubbing it with a soft cloth.

  • Is well water too cold to water garden plants?

Answers! Click Here!

  • Thank you Byron for the help with my Iris and Daffodils; now, how about what my Daylilies really need. They bloom but not a lot like the used to. Nita

CLICK HERE for all of Byron's great help with the Daylily Garden !

  • My Daffodils grow well and put out one silly looking seed pod type stalk. No blooms since the second year and that's been a long time. I need help. Nita

CLICK HERE for great how to do it right with Daffodils from Byron!

  • My tulips were beautiful last year but are few and small this year. What should I do to have lots of blooms. A reader...

CLICK HERE for great hints and tips from Byron.

  • I read about taking a long branch from something like a forsythia and scraping part of the bark off for about 3 inches, then taking a pot of dirt and while the branch is still attached to the main bush, burying and staking down, the scraped part into the pot of soil. It will then, supposedly, make new roots and one can then cut the scraped branch from the main part and thus have another rooted forsythia. Arlene Correll...

It works.  The only thing you really should do is DO NOT scrape through the cambrain layer just below the bark.  Only scrape off the bark.  Also it is best if this is done at or just below a leaf node.  The leaf node will actually grow roots instead of a leaf.  Also pin the branch to the earth with a U shaped piece of wire like a piece of coat hanger. Other than that, it works really good.  Roses do real well this way also.  It takes some patients as some plants take from 6 month to one year to grow roots.

  • How and when to thin out the following: Iris and Hostas

I have always had luck with Hostas early in the spring when they transplant best.  With an iris they should be dug every year and separated and replanted.  They make larger and more colorful flowers this way.

  • About the iris, what time of year is best to dig and replant. You answered my question about why mine haven’t bloomed since their first year; now, I am ready to move them.
Dig them after they die back in the fall, or as soon as they die back in your area.  Also I did not mention, always put about 3 to 4 inches of new compost over the area and work it in before planting.