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Gardening Q&A

March/April 2019 California Bountiful magazine

As a California Bountiful reader, you have the opportunity to get your seasonal gardening questions answered by gardening expert Pat Rubin. Here are a few questions from our readers.



I want to plant a bed of colorful annuals in my garden, but want something unusual. Any ideas?

Yes. I love planting old-fashioned types of annuals with their unusual, evocative names: love lies bleeding (pictured above), kiss-me-over-the-garden-gate, love-in-a-mist, bells of Ireland, morning glory and more. Take a look through the seed racks at your local nursery and let your imagination take over. One year, I chose a half dozen or so seed packets based on the names of the flowers. What a surprise I had that year!

A couple years ago, many of my tomato plants wilted and died. I thought they had a disease, so I planted them in a different spot in the garden. I was also careful to throw away the dead plants. It keeps happening. What am I doing wrong?

A friend had the same thing happen, and he thought it was a mosaic disease that some tomatoes can get. Turns out he wasn't giving them enough water. They were certainly wilting and dying, but from thirst, not from disease. Tomatoes like thorough, deep watering. Let them dry out a bit, and water them again. The best way to water is also to do it slowly. Don't take a hose and flood them, but let the hose trickle until the ground is well saturated. I think this should take care of your tomato troubles.


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