“What is the best thing to do about peach leave curl?” Question from Craig of Big Bar, California
Answer: This disease of peaches and nectarines is caused by the fungus Taphrina deformans, and it is really damaging, causing deformations of flowers, leaves, fruit, and even shoots. It can cause real problems with tree health and fruit production. There are a few things that you can […]
“Any idea what kind of plant this is? It was given to my mom and looks pretty bad. We were also wondering if it’s ok to cut all of the brownish leaves off. Will It come back with new regrowth?” Question from Donna of West Chester, Pennsylvania
Answer: You have a Japanese Sago Palm (Cycas revoluta). It looks like it is struggling. Definitely remove the brown […]
“How do you recommend dealing with Japanese beetles?” Question from Debbie of Lapeer, Michigan
Answer: I know that Japanese beetles are a chronic seasonal problem in Michigan, laying in wait to devastate roses, hibiscus, and many other ornamentals in the summer months. These voracious eaters are known to feed on over 300 plant species. They skeletonize leaves and flowers, weakening plants and making beautiful specimens […]
What is the best way of getting rid of ticks? My yard is infested and I have gotten Lyme disease. Question from Kathy of West Rutland, Vermont
Answer: Ticks are the worst and a real worry for people living where Lyme and other tick-borne diseases are a problem. Of course, tiny deer ticks are the carriers of Lyme disease, and they contribute to over 99% of […]
“I have planted heirloom tomatoes and they rot on the vine before they turn red. Why?” Question from Susan of Lexington, Kentucky
Answer: There are several reasons why this can happen, but the most common is a physiological disorder called blossom end rot. This is most likely your problem, especially if your plants look fine. You can see an example of this disorder in the photo. […]
I have tomato seedlings that have tiny dark spots on the top of the leaves after it got down to 40 degrees the other night. I live in South Florida. Could this be cold damage? Question from Susan of Pembroke Pines, Florida.
Answer: The most common physical tomato leaf response to chilling is physiological leaf roll, which your tomatoes don’t seem to have. Unfortunately, cold […]
“How do you get rid of squash bugs?” Question from Judy of Louisville, Mississippi
Answer: Surely these are some of the most annoying and destructive of all summer vegetable garden pests. To manage squash bugs (Anasa tristis), you need to understand their life cycle.
Squash Bug Life Cycle
These true bugs attack squash and relatives, like cucumbers, pumpkins, and zucchini. They spend their winters sheltering under garden debris, […]
“How do I get rid of blight (early and late) spores in my tomato garden soil?” Question from Thomas of Maineville, Ohio
Answer: Tomato early blight and late blight are terrible soil-borne diseases that all tomato growers fear. Thankfully, you can manage them once they get into your soil. I’ll provide an overview of each disease and its management.
Tomato Early Blight
Early blight (Alternaria tomatophila and Alternaria […]
“How do I keep fire ants OUT of my raised beds? I’m in Texas, and those buggers are devastating! I hate to poison my food … any advice would be appreciated.” Question from Amy of Terrell, Texas
Answer: The red fire ant (Solenopsis invicta) is an introduced species that’s a painful problem down South, and gardeners with fire ant problems really pay the price. Thankfully, there […]
“Tomato killer caterpillars are a problem in my garden. How do I prevent and catch them before they kill my plant?” Question from Karen of West Des Moines, Iowa.
Answer: The key to stopping these destructive pests is knowing their life cycle and how to stop them at the egg stage. Not only do these large hawkmoth caterpillars attack tomatoes, but they will also dine on […]
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