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FAQs / Ask the Expert | Hewitts Garden Centers
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FAQs / Ask the Expert

Welcome to Hewitt’s FAQ page. Don’t see your question answered? Ask our expert!
Don’t forget to check out Peter’s Lawn & Garden Tips.

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Fruits and Berries

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How should I prune my raspberry plants cut them all the way back or what and when?

Raspberries and blackberries produce fruit on 2 year old canes (stems/shoots). If you go look at your berry bushes, you’ll see the remains of the the canes that produced berries this year. Those cane grew last year and produced fruit this summer. They will look dried out and less vigorous. You’ll also see the new canes that grew over this summer. These are the canes that will flower and produce fruit next year so you don’t want to prune them off. Pruning can be done anytime after the fruiting period so go right ahead and prune of the old canes (the ones that made berries this year) since they will never make another berry. This is the annual cycle with blackberries and raspberries…always removing the canes that just finished making berries but leaving the fresh canes that will make berries next year.

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We want to plant Blueberry Bushes … We have trenches sixteen inches deep and sixteen inches wide dug. We believe we have to fill them with a mix of sand, peat moss and sulfur … is this so and how much of each? Please make sure that Peter Bowden understands how much he is appreciated on the Channel six segments he has done for years. M. A. Albrecht

Dear M. A. Thank you for the kind words. It is nice to be appreciated. It sounds like you are off to a good start. The sand will improve drainage while the peat moss will retain moisture. As far as how much sulfer to ad, that will depend on what the pH of the native soil is in the area you want to plant. You’ll need to perform a simple pH test. You can get a pH test kit at Hewitts and it is a very simple task ifyou follow the directions on the package. Make sure you use distilled water though since tapwater of bottle water have a pH value of their own and this will skew the test results. Here’s a link to an excellent website that will answer your question and many other you might have regarding blueberry culture. http://ohioline.osu.edu/hyg-fact/1000/1422.html Have a great harvest! PeterB

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What is the best way to get rid of nutsedge in my lawn?

Thanks for your question Joe, At Hewitt’s, we sell a product made by Bonide called Weedbeater Plus Crabgrass and Broadleaf Weed Killer. Follow the directions on the package and you’ll wipe out the nutsedge as well as some other unwanted weeds without harming the grass. Never apply weed killers when temperatures are expected to go above 85° or it may burn the lawn. September is a great time for weed killing.

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thinking ahead to next year! I have a strawberry bed and last summer chipmunks ate the berries faster than I could pick them.What can I do to keep them out of the bed. Thanks

Thanks for your question Pat, I’d suggest a perimeter barrier of the granular repellent Repells All form Bonide. Apply the barrier whent eh strawberries are in flower and re-apply every couple of weeks through the harvest period. By starting early the chipmunks will learn to avoid that area and will be less tempted to cross the barrier when the fruit finally appears. Peter Bowden

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what is the best way to prepare my soil. It is sandy. also 3 years in a row my tomato plants have grown very very tall and spindly with few tomatoes. What am i doing?

Sandy soil has very little nutritional value and dries quickly. Add lots of composted manure to the soil and I’d also get a bag of Espoma Tomato-Tone food. and be generous with that (according to the label of course). You say that the tomatoes “have grown very very tall and spindly with few tomatoes”. This is usually the result of trying to grow tomatoes without enough sun. Tomatoes need 8 hours of direct sun per day MINIMUM. 10 or 12 hours is even better. Perhaps you need to grow your tomatoes in a sunnier location?

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Peter, you did a show on channel six how to plant blueberry brushes. Could you send me that link. You allways do a wonderful job on your segments

HERE’S a link to a blog post about proper planting.   I’m planting a dogwood tree but the procedure is the same for blueberries or any woody tree or shrub.

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When to transplant Raspberry Bushes

Raspberries are quite durable.  If I had to pick the absolute best time to transplant some, it would be in spring as soon as the ground thaws enough to dig.  Late fall after they are sent into dormancy by a few freezing nights would be my second choice.  Anytime while they are dormant. really.

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What type of cherry tree would you recommend for our area?

There are several varieties that are good in our area.  We stock North Star (tart), Bing (sweet),  Black Tartarian (sweet) and Montmorency (tart).  Remember, you need another tart cherry variety to pollinate a tart cherry and different sweet cherry to pollinate a sweet cherry variety.

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Hi Peter! I have an elderberry bush doing poorly this year, about half of it started leaf blossoms and then they just stopped…looks dead or severly stalled out.The other half is doing much better but I have noticed some new growth branch tips going limp. I’ve had the plant for 3 or more years now and it gets sun at least the first Half of the day. Any thoughts?

It sounds like verticillium wilt…not good.  HERE’S a link to more on that.  No chemical treatment.   Make sure that mulch hasn’t been piled against the stem of the plant.  Getting some Bio-tone food into the soil may also enhance the plant’s ability to fend off the disease.

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Do you have blueberry bushes for fall planting?

There are still some around but the selection isn’t as goo as it is in spring.  It would be best to call ahead to the Hewitts you plan on visiting to see if they still have them in stock.  They are on sale now though so that is nice.   HERE’S a link to the store phone numbers.

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Hello Peter,i have a small Garden at my home with Tomato Plants. It seems as though my plants have started to get Septoria leaf Spot. It is starting to work its way up the plants. I always water from the bottom of the plants to avoid wetting the leafs. Are there any organic products I can get to slow this process down. Thank you Dave

You are not alone.   The weather this summer has been wetting the leaves plenty.  You can treat with copper or sulfur fungicides and that will the leaf spot from spreading but won’t cure the leaves already damaged…they should be cut off and disposed of into the trash…not the compost bin.  Pruning away some of the leaves will also improve air movement through the plant helping it dry more quickly and keeping it a bit healthier.  Don’t plant tomatoes in that spot for a couple of years.

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How do I make my HUGE poinsetta turn red? It is all green at this time. Also how do I get the christmas cactus to bloom. It blooms in the back room that is cool and not in the warm livingroom.

Both Christmas cactus and poinsettias are triggered into their flowering phase by the shorter day length. They need to follow the natural cycle of sunlight in October for the change to occur. The lights in your living room are preventing these two plants from getting the message the sun is sending them. Move them into the back room and make sure there are no lights on in that room for more than a few moments. Once you see that the cactus is budding or that the poinsettia’s leaves have started to change color, you can bring them back to the living room to enjoy. Once the change starts, it will continue regardless of the light.

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My pears on the tree are big yellowish with brownish dots and hard. When should i pick them? Will a frost harm them? Thanks.

Sounds like you have some nice pears. The brownish dots are nothing to worry about…they can be avoided by using a fruit tree spray every 2 weeks during the growing season but the spots are harmless and common on organically grown pears. I go ahead an harvest them. A light frost probably won’t harm them but a freeze will. They will finish ripening just fine inside the house.

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Hello Peter, I have a small strawberry patch (8′ X 3′). Do i need to use straw to cover the plants? I prefer not to get a bale of straw for such a small area. Thanks.

You can rake some leaves over your strawberries to protect them. Another choice would be some evergreen boughs which might stay in place better than leaves.

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I want to plant either a Burbank Plum or Bing Cherry tree. Can either fruit tree be planted in two’s to pollinate each other or do both need a different variety to pollinate each other?

Bing Cherry and Burbank plums will not pollinate each other. Bing Cherry tree will need another sweet cherry tree to pollinate it. Black Tartarian wouldbe a good choice to pollinate Bing. Sour cherry varieties will not pollinate sweet cherry types. Burbank Plums can actually pollinate themselves or from another plum variety planted nearby.

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What kind of fruit trees do you need two of to produce fruit

Except for peaches and nectarines most other fruit trees require another for cross pollination.  Here’s a great fruit tree cross pollination guide for you to refer to.

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Do you sell Meyer lemon trees

Yes we do but please call the Hewitt’s location before you visit to confirm that they still have some available since the selection may vary by location.

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My raspberries last year had a lot of tiny white worms in them. How can I prevent them from coming this year? Thank you. CF

I sounds like you’ve got some Spotted Wing Drosophila, a fruit fly type insect. The worms are the larvae od of the fly.  Start spraying before they show up with Spinosad, and organic insecticide.  We sell the Bonide version called Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Brew.  Just follow the directions on the package.  Start right away as they are attracted to ripe berries.

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Can I plant rasberries in the fall?

Yes, but wait until a couple of frosts nip the leaves and send the plants into dormancy…usually mid October or so.

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Dear Mr. Bowden,I hate to bother you and know that you are very busy, but I had a few questions concerning my newly acquired raspberry plants (my first time raising virtually anything on my own) that I was hoping to please ask you if you had a moment to spare. I have two varieties (Heritage red everbearing, and Fall Gold everbearing raspberries), and I selected the ones with the nicest buds and some green shoots already starting to develop. As of right now, they are still in their white bag within the box. Some of the leaves are turning slightly brown, though still appear to be healthy. Would this be because perhaps they are too dry, too moist (as I imagine the container they are in holds in moisture), or they are running low on their reserves and should be given a supplement considering I don’t know how well along they were in the nursery (something low in, or without nitrogen right now?)…or perhaps it could be any of these causes, if that is not normal coloration? Overall, since it may be a few more weeks before they can go into the ground, what would you recommend care wise while they are still developing? Thank you very much for your time and I look forward to hearing from you soon. Sincerely,Cody Himelrick, J.D.

It sounds like they are drowning.  Keep them in a cool location to slow them down and water the sparingly.  No need to feed them until planting time (early/mid May after frosts are done).  I’d mix some Espoma Bio-Tone starter food into the planting holes…that’s all they need for the first year.

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Have always wanted a cherry tree for my yard and wondered if there is a variety that would be best for our area?

There are several varieties that are good in our area.  We stock North Star (tart), Bing (sweet),  Black Tartarian (sweet) and Montmorency (tart).  Remember, you need another tart cherry variety to pollinate a tart cherry and different sweet cherry to pollinate a sweet cherry variety.

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We have older apple trees (est 15 yrs) that produced very heavily in 2013, blossomed in spring of 2014 and produced only a handful of apples. The very same thing happened to our pear trees. The variety of apples and pears are unknown. Any suggestions? Truly appreciate your assistance. JudyC

I can think of three possibilities.

 

It got hit by a late frost or freeze while it was flowering.

The bees in your area have disappeared and the flowers aren’t getting pollinated.

It got sprayed with an insecticide while it was in flower which can prevent fruit formation (as well as killing the bees that were trying to pollinate it).

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Hi Peter. I am going to put together a raised bed for strawberries. What would you recommend to use as a good soil mixture? I hear so many different ideas .

There are great soils like Pro-Mix that come in bales but this can get pricey id they are large raised beds…I’d give the folks at Saratoga Sod a call and tell them what you project is…they now sell large bags of black soil…perhaps that to fill the boxes and they lighten up the top 6″ with Pro-Mix and Bio-Tone Starter Food

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I have been looking at the possibility of planting 4-in-1 fruit trees, apple, pear and cherry. What is your opinion on these types of trees, yay or nay? If I do plant them, would I need more than one for pollination or, since they are 4-in-1, will them pollinate themselves?

Some fruit trees are self pollinating so, hopefully the varieties that were chosen to be grafted to make this 4 in 1 are self pollinating.  If you can find out what varieties are on the tree, you could look that up.

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Peter – Really enjoyed your talk at East Greenbush and learned a lot about organic solutions. Forgot to ask – would Captain Jack’s Dead Bug Spray be useful to combat the borers in my blueberry bushes? Thanks!

There are a couple of borers that can affect blueberries.  The flathead borers which have no spray that can control them.  There are some cultural steps you can take to minimize the damage.  HERE’S a link to information on that.  and another LINK that may be helpful.

 

If they are tip borers then a pyrethrin spray (pyrethrein is found in the Bon-Neen product we sell) can be helpful.  HERE’S a link to more on tip borers.

 

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I planted a strawberry bed this spring. Is it ok to put down fabric weed barrier to keep the strawberries off the ground and from rotting?

Yes you can and you might consider some straw on the fabric. for the berries to rest on…that’s how they got their name after all.

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Hi,I recently saw you advertise a bug killer for strawberries. My leaves are being eaten by something but I cannot see what it is. Can you advise a chemical to use?thank you,Elaine

Damage to strawberries by slugs is common.  they come out at night to feed on the leaves and fruit but hide in the daytime so you don’t see them.  We sell Slug Magic, an organic slug killer.  Sprinkle some little piles around your strawberry patch and the slugs will disappear…like magic.

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My Early Girl tomato plants have developed leaf curl. They are planted in same garden as Sweet 100 plus which are healthy. The soil is a 1:1:1 mix of new humus, manure and top soil from Hewitts and is mulched with cedar mulch from Hewitt’s. . I planted an Early Girl in a large pot using Promix at my father’s house. His Early Girl has leaf curl also!

There are several causes of leaf curl one of which is excessive moisture which we have had lately.  Obviously don’t water until the soil is getting dry and never spray water.  When you have to water, water just the soil and NEVER spray the plant’s leaves and stems with water.  More on that HERE.

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I live in Ballston Spa where the soil is very, very sandy. Our lawn even has wild strawberries growing on it. I’m looking for a fruit bush or tree that would do well in this climate and soil. We have everything from full sun, to shady, though the shady area is under some pines so the soil tends to be a bit acidic there. I intend this as a gift to my husband for our fourth wedding anniversary (fruit).Thank you,Gina

Everything about your question makes me want to scream “BLUEBERRIES!!!”  Blueberries like acidic soil and like sun but don’t need full sun all day to thrive.  They aren’t picky about soil but are well suited for sandy soil.  Blueberries aren’t prone to insect or disease problems so there won’t be a lot of spraying necessary as there is with fruit trees.  They have lovely white flowers in the spring and the leaves turn red in the fall…what’s not to love?  Can you tell I love blueberries.  We still have a nice selection too and they can be planted anytime.

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Is Soil Doctor RX Lawn Lime safe for garden plants, tomatoes, etc.?

Well, we don’t sell that brand so I can’t say for sure (perhaps ask the folks at Walmart), but the pelletized lime that we do sell is fine for use around edible plants.

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what is the correct fertilizer and time to apply for raspberries.Also will cutting them back after the first harvest allow for a second harvest in one season

Raspberries should be fed in smid spring (May/early June) .  For an organic food, I’d suggest Espoma Bio-Tone mixed into the soil around each plant.  Raspberries produce one crop.  each year you’ll see two types of canes, the ones that will flower and produce berries and those that just grow but don’t flower.  After the berries have been harvested, the canes that produced them should be cut to the ground.  Leave any canes that didn’t produce flowers.  They are the canes that will flower during their second year and then they get cut away.  in other words, cut away all post berry canes…they will never bear berries again but leave non fruiting canes for the next years crop.

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I was wondering when and what type of fertilizer for my raspberries. Aso should I cut my plants back after they produce the first time?

Raspberries should be fed in smid spring (May/early June) .  For an organic food, I’d suggest Espoma Bio-Tone mixed into the soil around each plant.  Raspberries produce one crop.  each year you’ll see two types of canes, the ones that will flower and produce berries and those that just grow but don’t flower.  After the berries have been harvested, the canes that produced them should be cut to the ground.  Leave any canes that didn’t produce flowers.  They are the canes that will flower during their second year and then they get cut away.  in other words, cut away all post berry canes…they will never bear berries again but leave non fruiting canes for the next years crop.

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i have loads of plums on my tree but when i cut them in half they had little orange colored catapillor like things in them, could you tell me what they are and what to do about them. thanks

It sounds like plum sawfly larvae.  Plums, like all fruit trees, are prone to a variety of insect and disease pests.  When growing fruit trees, you need to commit to a regular spraying schedule such as that described on the label of Bonide Fruit Tree Spray.   Here’s a link to more on the plum sawfly.

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How do I get rid of black rot on Concord grapes?

Prevention starts now since the disease starts from remains of last years infection.  More on that HERE.  After that, early applications of fungicide will be needed.  Bonide Copper Fungicide will work if it is used early and according to the directions on the packaging.

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Are there particular raspberry and/or blueberry varieties you could recommend for a berry beginner? We’re in Delmar.

Blueberries are the best for beginners…or anyone.  They are easy to grow and are adaptable to a wide variety of condition and require minimal pruning.  We sell blueberries from Virginia Berry Farm and their website has all the information you need.

Choose the raspberries that you like the flavor of.  Ours again come from Virginia Berry Farm.  HERE’S A LIST of what we’ll be offering and you’ll find how to care for your berries HERE…an excellent resource.

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Where can I buy gooseberry plants?

We sell small, bare root gooseberries in March but they’ve sold out now.  Try us again earlier next year or start calling other sources.

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what type of fig tree can grow in upstate zone 5 – either patio or cold hardy for outside?

There are a couple of figs that can survive outside in zone 5.  HERE’s a link to more on them.  Even those will die to the ground during our winter without extreme protection.  If you want to talk to our resident hardy fig expert, give our the manager of our Saratoga store Chris Berninger a call…he is an avid fig grower and has lots of experience with them.  The number to reach him at is 580-1205   tell him Peter B sent you his way.

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What would you suggest for a partially shaded 120′ chain link fence in 5a zone. I’d prefer a fast-growing, flowering (possible food source, i.e. berry, fruit) vine that doesn’t look too bad in Winter months? Thank you for any ideas!

My best suggestion would be a Trumpet Vine…it should be able to tolerate the heat of a metal fence.  No fruit and it will lose it’s leaves in winter but butterflies bees and hummingbirds love the large flowers.

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Rooting grapes

It would have been better if you had started earlier when the vine was dormant but here’s a link to the procedure…I’d give it a go anyway…grapes root pretty easily.

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Care for Meyers lemon. All the leaves dropped yesterday. I was wondering what you guys do for water and fertilizer schedules. It stayed in the pot we bought from you guys last month . It has been raining a lot. It was in full sun. We were watering it fully till water came out the bottom 2x per week. Then we would ensure that the tray was emptied and dry. The top 2 inches was dry while the bottom was always damp before we would water it. I repotted it since it was really hot and a wen site said the black pot can heat the roots up too much. I also just put it in a 4″ wider pot. Same height. What else should I do to ensure the lemon tree leaves come back and we get some fruit?

It sounds like you’re keep it too damp…leaf drop is a symptom of drowning.  If it was outside in the rain with a saucer under it then it has been drowning.  Keep it out of the rain.  They like the soil to get pretty dry between watering.  Also, repotting stresses it so now it will have to recover from that too.  What you need to do now is check to make sure you didn’t bury it too deep so brush any soil away from the stem until you see the original soil and keep it that way.  The relax and water lightly…stop the deep soaking until it has leaves and is actually using more water.  It needs lots of sun.  Feed every three week with a 20-20-20 soluble plant food.  Chill out and give it some time to recover.

 

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My father in law planted cherry and apple trees about a year and a half ago and is now moving. We were going to try and transplant those trees to my home but it is June in Nebraska, what are some things we can do to increase the odds of survival with transplanting?

The chances for them making it are slim since you’re digging them up right during the peak of the growing season.  Have the holes where their getting moved to ready and waiting so they spend the minimum time out of the ground as possible.  Cut the branches back about 1/3  or remove 1/3 of the branches.  Dig up and maintain as large a root ball as possible wrapped in burlap.  If the dirt falls off the root ball, they won’t have a chance.  Keep wet and get into the new location ASAP.  Keep moist and cross you fingers…this is a long shot.

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I have something attacking, my blueberry trees, apples trees. and cherry trees.

I’m going to need more than “attacked”.  Are the leaves being eaten.  Is the bark being stripped off?  Are the stems being broken off.  If you can, send some pictures to peterb@hewitts.com so I have a chance of helping.

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I have a problem with my blueberries this year. Most of the bushes have been in the ground over ten years. The fruit is very soft/mushy and falling off the bushes. I did notice some very tiny red spots on the underside of some leaves. Is this some sort of fungus? What can I do to save the bushes. Most of the berries are a lost cause this year. I will salvage what I can. Also what is a good mulch around the bushes. I had been putting pine needles down for years, but my source (an old pine tree) has been cut down. After the berry season, I usually weed thoroughly before winter sets in. Thank you for any advice you can give me.My email address is; kathyc@ptcconnect.net

There a number of blueberry disease that can cause the symptoms you describe.  HERE’S A LINK to a page that will help you determine what is happening.  I suspect that it is more than one thing.  The wet growing season this year has been causing all kinds of problems for plants.    Since blueberries like a slightly acidic soil, pine bark mulch would be a good option.  Make sure to use bark mulch as opposed to wood chip mulch.   http://extension.missouri.edu/blueberry/documents/Shared_Documents/MOBBSchool/MOBBSchoolConf12/SchilderOverviewBlueberryDisease10_19_12.pdf

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We want to plant Elderberry bushes as property borders this year. Do we need to special order them? When is the time to plant them in Queensbury? We have sandy soil…how should we prepare soil and choose type of plant? Thank you.

We sell Black Lace Elderberry, an ornamental variety. We don’t do special orders since we have to order truckloads at a time.  The best time to plant would be Early May.  Elderberry would like plenty of sun…8 hours minimum.  Sandy soil is great since it drains well.  Mix a lots of compost or other organic matter into the planting holes as well a a good starter food like Espoma Bio-Tone.  Keep well watered for the entire first season.  Here’s a great link to a page about the care of the Black Lace Elderberry:  http://homeguides.sfgate.com/care-black-lace-elderberries-26750.html

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Where can I buy black raspberry plants near Queensbury ny

Our Queensbury store on Quaker Ave has Tripe Crown Blackberries in stock

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Hello Peter,What can I use as mulch for my blueberry patch? In the past, initially I used leaves and then pine needles. I’m looking for something that’s fairly easy to use and organic. Thank you.

Your choices of leaves and pine needles are spot on.  Another good choice in a bagged mulch you can buy would be pine bark mulch.   Avoid large nuggets as they will break down too slowly.  Here’s a link to an article you might find helpful:     https://extension.udel.edu/weeklycropupdate/?p=5414

 

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My tomatoes (beefsteak & grape) are thriving, but once again I am getting black spots on the lower branches and many low branches are turning yellow too. I’m removing those branches, but several of the black spots are starting to appear on the mid-height branches too. Is there anything I can do? Thank you so much.

There are several disease that can attack tomatoes but, from your description it sounds like Septoria leaf spot.  Hot humid weather favors these diseases and spray watering even more so.  Here’s a link to more on septoria leaf spot:  http://msue.anr.msu.edu/news/septoria_leaf_spot_on_tomatoes_preventing_spots_before_your_eyes

 

Here’s another like that may help you diagnose the problem yourself:  http://vegetablemdonline.ppath.cornell.edu/DiagnosticKeys/TomWlt/TomWiltKey.html

Sorry, your email wouldn’t go through for some reason.

 

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What are the best blueberries plants for this area

We have a great selection of Blueberries that grow very well in our area.  They are Duke, Blue Ray, Blue Jay, Jersey, Patriot and Top Hat.  We also have a 3in1 Blueberry with 3 varieties grafted onto one bush.

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i have a pear tree that is a good producer however,it has extensive black spots and deformed fruit some years.how can i control the disease.

Fruit trees including pears are prone to insects and diseases like the black spot you have.  Start early with a good fruit tree spray that contains a fungicide.  Follow the directions and spraying schedule on the package and you should enjoy spot free fruit.

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I BOUGHT a couple of fruit tress and I want to plant them. The root is wrapped in plastic and some type of cloth. Do I need to remove the cloth?

The plastic should be removed.  If the cloth is burlap it will rot away.  If you are unsure then remove the cloth as well and any plastic twine as well.

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HelloWhat is the best method to cover blueberry bushes? I have seen netting and cloths but am not sure what to use. I am also looking to possibly make them myself. My row is about 15ft long and 2 ft wide. Any advice is appreciated.

Bird netting is the best protection for blueberries.  It can be draped over the plant although some folks build wooden enclosures and then attach the netting to that.  We sell bird netting in 7′ X 20′, 14′ X 14′ and 28′ X 28′ sizes

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I applied Bauer rose and flower car on blueberries one time for 4 hours and then dig up and repotted plants. Are the blueberries ok to eat?

I’m sorry but I’m unfamiliar with the product you mention and your question is so hard to decipher that I cannot responsibly answer it.  I would strongly encourage you to carefully read the label of the product.  The information you need should be right there.

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What to do to get a peach tree to produce good peaches.

That’s a big question.  Here are a few links you should find useful:

http://gardenersnet.com/fruit/peachtrees.htm

Growing Peaches – A Farmer’s Challenge

 

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I uprooted my kumquat tree, roots and all, but sometime later, a sapling came up in its place. It’s been about3-4 yrs growing and has blossoms. It’s fruit looks like a Eureka lemon but dark green. Could the stress have mutated the original kumquat?

Kumquat is usually grafted to the root stock of another citrus variety since it takes so long to grow from seed.  Often it is citrus macrophylla.  Probably a bit was left after you dug it up and that is what is now growing.

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Do you sell dwarf lemon trees or lemon trees

Our East Greenbush store is showing 1 lemon tree left but I’d call to confirm (518-283-2159)  We will have both lemon and lime trees again next spring in mid May

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Is Hewitts offering discount coupons to the HVCC Flower and Garden show this year? Also, what fertilizer do you recommend for Lemon Tree plant. It is not beginning to flower. Thank you.

The discount coupons for the flower show will be available at the stores after this Thursday (3-7).

 

Your lemon tree would like a soluble plant food that is higher in nitrogen that phosphorus and potassium so something like Mir-Acid (30-10-10) would be appropriate.  I’d dulute it to half strength for the first feeding or two.

 

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I have a dwarf peach tree. First 2 years did not have fruit. Last year I had maybe a dozen nice size peaches. This year the tree has exploded with fruit. Should I remove some of them now so the others grow to a good size.?

Probably not a bad idea.  it will also remove some weight from branches that are unaccustomed to so much weight.  HERE’S A LINK you might find handy:  https://ag.umass.edu/sites/ag.umass.edu/files/fact-sheets/pdf/peaches.pdf

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Can I use Holly Tone 4 3 4 on my peach tree?

Espoma Flower-Tone 3-4-5 would be a better formula…more phosphorus and potassium (the second two numbers).  Also Holly tone has 5% Sulfur (a soil acidifier) which evergreens might appreciate but peaches won’t.

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Tomatos, Mine always “split” at the top just before they are ready to be picked. Most large varieties. How do I stop it? Should I just pick when green and wait for the red?Fritz

This is usually due to inconsistent soil moisture. If the tomatoes are ripening when the soil is dry and then the soil becomes very wet, the tomatoes basically “over-inflate” with moisture and burst.  Keeping the soil consistently moist, especially while the tomatoes are ripening should prevent this.

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I have grapevines growing up around my hot tub and the one side is perfectly fine and healthy and the other side the leaves are turning brown and curling. Could this be from chemicals from the hot tub or do they possibly have Pierce disease? or what? I know they are getting enough water etc.

It is possible that it is Pierce disease.  https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/fruits/grapes/preventing-pierces-disease.htm

If you know that the area of the vines is being exposed regularly to the vapors from the hot tub and the unaffected vine is not then I’d suggest that that is the more likely problem.  If the hot tub water is soaking into the soil, then that will definitely cause problems for the grapes.  Also make sure that you aren’t overwatering them…this also can cause problems.  Never spray water them…wet the soil, never the leaves.

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I am looking for a peach tree preferably a dwarf. Do you have any?Scherycarol@hotmail.com

We do carry dwarf peach trees but, this late in the season, it would be best to call the store you’re planning on visiting the check if and what variety they might have left in stock.  You will find the store locations and phone #s here:  http://hewitts.com/find-a-store/

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I’ve built a “neighborhood” garden in the South End of Albany and in addition to veggies and flowers I currently have, I want to plant one or two fruit trees for neighbors to be able to “pick from the trees” when passing the garden.I have large open space that gets sun for most of the day.I realize planting now (June) will not bear fruit this year but what would you recommend to plant now for edible fruit next year possibly? Thanks!

Fruit tree will require a few years to mature enough to produce enough fruit to be meaningful. In addition, fruit trees are prone to a variety of pests and diseases so a regular schedule of spraying with insecticides and fungicides will be necessary.  For these reasons I’d suggest NOT planting fruit in a neighborhood setting.  Instead I’d suggest planting blueberries bushes.  Blueberries aren’t fussy about soil or sun and aren’t prone to insect problems or diseases so spraying isn’t often necessary.  Blueberry bushes can get quite large so they will need the space you appear to have.  They will bear fruit next year and mature much more rapidly than fruit trees.  The main problem blueberries have is that birds love them so you’ll need to get to the berries before the birds do but, in a neighborhood garden, that shouldn’t be a problem.  Blueberry bushes come in early, mid, and late season bearing varieties. You’ll want to different varieties for cross pollination so make sure the pick a pair that match so they will flower at the same time.  If you have room you could pick two early season varieties and two late season varieties to extend the harvest period.  The tags on the plants at Hewitt’s will specify whether they are early, mid or late season bearing.

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Got blueberry plant 2 years before from Hewitt glenmont with life time warranty but no leaves or fruits its all dried up.

It doesn’t sound good.  Look for damage to the bark.  Also, mulch piled up against the bark will kill the plant. 

 

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I sprayed my grape vines with an ALL-IN-ONE herbicide-fungicide-insecticide and my leaves turned brown, and died. What did I do wrong?

I have never heard of such a product.  Since an herbicide is a substance that kills plants, then spraying it on your grapes would kill it since that is what it is supposed to do.  I think you are confused and should go and take a closer look at the packaging….always read and follow the directions on the packaging.

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