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Weekly Lawn & Garden Tips

10/24/20 This world would be a better place, if there were more lovers and less haters. mw

Question:
My African Violets have some brown spots on the leaves. They are in filtered light and I lightly water and fertilize them. What could be the problem? Julie, Templeton, MA
Mort's Answer:
African violets should be given water from the bottom. You can spray with a mist for the water but not the liquid fertilizer. If you do not have fertilizer burn from excess fertilizer or contact with the leaves, water crystals can act as a magnifying glass on the very sensitive leaves and be the cause. Remove the affected leaves and forgive yourself for the violation.

Question:
My potted miniature rose has yellow leaves. I watered regularly this winter. What is wrong? Betty, West Point, NY
Mort's Answer:
Your plant could have root rot from excessive watering. Remove the pot from the soil and check for brown mushy roots. Cut them out and repot in a clay pot with a soil mix of 1/3 coarse sand. Your rose needs a rest every winter. Water only when soil is dry.

Question:
I have a black snake on my property that likes to follow Cardinals around the garden. Why do hummingbirds chase away the females when they are eating? Diane, Camden, AR
Mort's Answer:
That story of the snake is worthy of print but I have no answer. It borders on a biblical lesson.It is definitely a cardinal sin. Humming birds are territorial and this might explain their propensity for survival rather than mating. Sexual equality has not reached the lower animals.

Question:
I have a long needled plant with dime size yellow flowers along the stem in bloom now. What is it? How do I get rid of ants around my cement foundation? Julie, Templeton, MA
Mort's Answer:
What you describe is probably Scotch Broom. Unfortunately, you cannot use it to get rid of ants. You could call a pesticide company. They could use a bait insecticide to get at the nest. They use pyrethrum compounds to kill marauding ants. It is an organic compound that can be synthesized. It is a neurotoxin that can affect cats but not other mammals.

Question:
How can I get the book? "A Face Made for Radio"
Mort's Answer:
You can purchase my book, "A Face Made for Radio".
This autobiography is 11.95 per copy including S&H. It chronicles my first 25 years and the history of radio. Just mail check or money order to:

Mort White
50 Birch St.1201
Cranston, RI 02920.

Allow two weeks for delivery.

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