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More answers to your gardening questions

Cool crops

Cooperative Extension Lettuces grow in a raised bed. It's not too early to start cool season crops.

Cooperative Extension Lettuces grow in a raised bed. It’s not too early to start cool season crops.

By Danelle Cutting

Rowan Cooperative Extension

I have been receiving lots of phone calls from all over the county concerning plants and pests in the gardens. Here are a few questions that have been asked repeatedly throughout the past two weeks. As always, if you have a burning horticulture question, please give me a call at our office for more assistance.

Question: Something is killing my Leyland Cypress. I have them all over my home, and I don’t want to lose any. What can I do?

Answer: It is very important to be as descriptive as possible when asking a question concerning a plant, such as insects you see, signs of disease (half of the tree dead, limbs dying back, etc.), and why you think something is killing your tree. Sometimes, things are not as serious as the client thinks, so it is always best to show the situation through photos. Leyland’s are very popular among homeowners; they grow tall very quickly, fill in very nicely to provide a privacy screen, and can be very cost effective. The problem is that they have numerous pest and disease issues. One of the worst pests is bagworms. They can quickly multiply before someone even realizes what has taken place because they use natural camouflage to hide; they create bags from the Leyland’s foliage that looks like pine cones. Then, they begin to girdle the tree, which causes the death of the limbs. Right now, they are the most evident to homeowners, but they are also in the protective camouflage. Remove and destroy the ones you can reach. Come May, you can use BT products to kill the crawlers.

Question: Is it too early to plant my fall crops?

Answer: No. Now is the perfect time, and many people have already started. Fall can be a great time to plant your broccoli, collards, kales, lettuces and turnips. Many of the cool season crops do not require pollination, so you can use row covers to protect your precious crops from pests. Fall is also one of the best times to plant trees and shrubs, since the heat of the summer dissipates. They have time to concentrate on growing their roots, instead of flowers and fruit. For more information on fall gardening, check out this link: http://content.ces.ncsu.edu/growing-a-fall-vegetable-garden/

Question: When will you have another Extension Master Gardener course, and how can I get in?

Answer: After much waiting, the new manual is practically complete. I have joined with Davidson County to have a multi-county Extension Master Gardener course. This is a volunteer program; volunteering your time is required. Space is limited, so call early to get your name on the mailing list for applications. The application will be online, as well. If you would like more information on the program, I will be having an informational session on Nov. 18 at 10 a.m. at the Cooperative Extension office (2727 Old Concord Road, Salisbury).

If you are having issues with your plants, would like information on fall gardening, or would like to become an Extension Master Gardener, call your local agent, Danelle Cutting, at 704-216-8970.

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