When my tulip leaves have turned yellow in June, can I take the bulbs up and keep them in the house? Could I put them in sand or sawdust and then replant them in the fall and add some sand under the bulb?
Oh, I have to tell you how I saved my bulbs from being dug up by squirrels.
I planted a garlic clove above. Not a single bulb was dug up this year.
Heidi, via email
Yes, tulips can be taken up when the leaves have died back and stored
inside absolutely dry. I'd choose sand for storage, because it would repel moisture better than sawdust. Inside storage is the method old-time gardeners always used for tulips.
Some sand under the bulb should help drainage in normal soil. But this may not suceed if you have heavy clay because the holes can fill up with water in long, days of hard rain.
Your idea for protecting tulip bulbs by planting garlic is so worth trying.
I have immense problems with squirrels. Besides munching on tulips and crocuses, they sometimes eat my Christmas cactus during long dry summers.
We have several blueberry bushes - all doing well except one. The white flowers look fine early on. Then half turn red and never develop.
Some berries do develop.
Gerda, via email
It sounds as if berries started to form but didn't fill out properly. At least one looks as if it has turned black.
I believe your blueberry may have mummy-berry.
This is a very common fungal disease in B.C. due to our rainy weather. Mummy-berry spores are spread by wind and rain.
Have you noticed that the centre of the flowers produces a little hard lump which falls off? These may be grey or black.
The best way to deal with this is to gather up all these tiny 'berries' from under the bush after you harvest your good berries.
Garbage these mummy-berries.
Then mulch around this blueberry bush with about an inch and a half (four centimetres) of composted bark mulch. This should seal in any spores which are dormant in the top layer of soil. These could be released next spring during windy, wet weather to infest your bush again.
You might want to check your other bushes in case they are getting started with mummy-berry as well. Your problem bush could have begun infecting them - and they, in turn, could reinfect your vulnerable bush.
The leaves on our tomato plant are dark green and curling up. What is our problem?
Gord Edgar, email
Curling leaves on tomatoes are a sign of irregular watering. It's not a dire problem, but could affect the size and quantity of your tomato harvest. Sometimes the curling leaf problem happens at the same time as split fruit.
The dark green colour may show you've been using high-nitrogen fertilizer. High nitrogen encourages, large, healthy leaves but reduces the fruit harvest.
If you've not been using high-nitrogen fertilizer, the cause could be soil which is already rich in nitrogen. For instance, people often use high-nitrogen fertilizer to produce big harvests of leafy crops such as lettuce or cabbage - and the effect can linger for a while.
Anne Marrison is happy to answer garden questions. Send them to email@example.com
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