For The Answer
By Calvin R. Finch, PhD, SAWS Water Resources Director, and Horticulturist
Week of November 12, 2007
Q. We checked out our stored bird seed from last year and find it is full of weevils. Will the birds eat it or should we throw it away?
A. The birds will usually eat it, but I would suggest the infested seed be spread on a platform or the ground rather than placing it in tubular or hopper feeders. Clean out your storage cans (bins?) with a 5% bleach solution, let them dry and then you can put the fresh seed in the storage can.
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Q. Which fertilizer should we use for our broccoli and cabbage?
A. Use a slow release lawn fertilizer such as 19-5-9 or a winterizer lawn fertilizer, such as 18-6-12 or 15-5-10. Apply a quarter cup per plant..
Q. What is causing my tomatoes to split at the top?
A. Tomatoes split when there is fluctuations in growth rate due to water and temperature changes. In some conditions the skin does not grow as quickly as the interior of the fruit. To reduce cracking, water every two days with drip irrigation.
Q. We have a million acorns. Can my daughter just plant one and expect it to grow?
A. Yes, if weevils have not penetrated the shell and eaten the meat. Select several acorns that sink in a pail of water and then plant them one inch deep in a container filled with potting soil. Water the plant enough to wet the whole pot and then water every month if it does not rain. The seed should sprout next spring.
Q. When should we move our bougainvilleas into the greenhouse?
A. Now is a good time. They do not prosper when temperatures fall below 50° F.