Gardening Q&A

Plant Q & A

Q. I have what I think are cabbage loopers on my broccoli. They are tiny and have not done much damage yet. I have used Thuricide to try and control them, but it does not seem to be working. What is another option?

A. I see the egg masses and tiny caterpillars on the broccoli leaves you submitted. It is also clear that the loopers have not done much damage. I think the Thuricide is working. Bt products kill the loopers when they consume the foliage on which the spray has been applied. To make it even more effective add a teaspoon of Dawn or another detergent to the solution and thoroughly apply the mix to the underside of the leaves. The Thuricide or other Bt product works best when the container is less than two years old. Apply it every time you see any loopers or damage. My recommendation is you stick with the Thuricide treatment.

Q. What is the best winter annual flower to use for small containers to decorate a patio in full sun?

A. It depends on how small the containers are but violas, the small flowered cousins of the pansies, work well and so do the small versions of snapdragons.

Q. Are we at the end of the season with our okra? The plants have quit producing pods!

A. Okra production relates to day length and, “yes” we are getting close to the time when they quit producing.

Q. We have a patch of grass in our backyard that needs to be repaired. We don’t care what kind of grass we use, St. Augustine or Bermuda grass. It is sunny in our backyard, could we use Bermuda grass seed?

A. You will have to wait until about May 1, to use Bermuda seed. The soil and air temperatures need to be warmer for seed to germinate. You can use sod from a reliable supplier even in the winter. One of the most important actions is to flatten the sod with a roller to press the roots into close contact with the soil. Water the new grass every day for two weeks if the drought restrictions allow it. For more information on laying sod, visit

Q. What can we plant in the vegetable garden now?

A. There is still time to plant all the greens and cole crops such as kale, cabbage and broccoli. Spinach transplants can be planted now. Plant onion transplants in December. By seed plant, English peas, radish, turnips, beets and lettuce.

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