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Sunday, September 21, 2014, 5:11 p.m.
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Janet Carson

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Recent Stories by Janet Carson

In the garden

posted: 09/20/2014 1:56 a.m. Discuss

Q I was hoping, now that we have received some rain with prospects good for more, that we would have wonderful color in a little over a month. But my wife and I noticed that the Northern and Southern red oaks and the white oaks, especially, on our four acres don't seem to have much of an acorn mast. A few sylvan oaks seem to be in better shape. I know the oaks don't always produce a mast every year. However, a large white oak next to the house has already begun dropping a few dark green acorns that are over an inch long. If there's a small mast, and the Farmers' Almanac is right and we have a hard winter, the deer and squirrels are in for it. What's the situation?

In the garden

posted: 09/13/2014 2:02 a.m. Discuss

Q When is a good time to plant blueberry bushes? We thought we might plant a few on the side of the house. There isn't room for more than three. Are miniature ones available?

In the garden

posted: 09/06/2014 2:04 a.m. Discuss

Q I have been a woodland owner for many years and pride myself on tree identity and each species' contribution to wildlife needs and sustainability. A plant sprouted near my back porch steps about two years ago, in almost total shade, and is now over 10 feet tall. My wife wants it cut, but my curiosity to see "what it does" resists her pleas. It sort of resembles a raspberry. I would appreciate it if you could tell me what it is [the reader sent in a photograph]. The same kind of plant sprouted this spring in my camp yard in Louisiana, 130 miles from our home off U.S. 82 in Union County. The pictured leaf is a mature one. The new sprouts generally have five lobes.


posted: 08/30/2014 2:11 a.m. Discuss

Q I have three miniature gardenia bushes that are blooming for the second time. I have been around gardenias all my life and have never known gardenias to bloom twice. We have had these shrubs for about five years, and they have never done this before. Do you suppose the weird weather we have been having has caused this? Or is it that there are some varieties of miniature gardenias that bloom twice?


posted: 08/23/2014 2:21 a.m. Discuss

Q I live in Pine Bluff and have a beautiful, taller than 60-foot white oak (beautiful shape) in my front yard that provides substantial shade on the south side of the house. It has mushrooms growing in the soil against the base of the tree, and one or two actually on the base. I would appreciate your opinion as to whether it is too late to save this tree; do you think that the disease, if it is Armillaria fungi, has it already caused root rot and rot on the inside of the tree?


posted: 08/16/2014 2:01 a.m. Discuss

Q I planted a jalapeno pepper plant next to a tomato plant this year. The resulting fruit looks like an upside-down tomato. Did the two plants cross? I was not aware this was an issue, but I am new to gardening.


posted: 08/09/2014 1:51 a.m. Discuss

DEAR READERS: Several have written in about ants and hummingbird feeders. Here are a few suggestions they had:


posted: 08/02/2014 1:59 a.m. Discuss

Q I grew canta-loupes for the first time in my garden, and have been getting quite a few ripe fruits, but they aren't very sweet. Is there something I can do to the soil to make them sweeter, or did I pick the wrong variety?


posted: 07/26/2014 1:59 a.m. Discuss

Q What's your opinion on ostrich fern as a garden plant in central Arkansas? Some people tell me that it is too warm and humid in the summer for it to be easily grown here.


posted: 07/19/2014 1:59 a.m. Comment 1

Q I have a crape myrtle that is about 15 feet tall and very healthy looking. It has not bloomed in the past two years and does not show any buds as if it was going to bloom this year. Is there something I can do to hurry it along? It only bloomed two years from date of planting.


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