QUESTION: Is it too late in the year to plant a climbing rosebush? Should I wait until spring?D.D., North Richland Hills
ANSWER: Plant now if you can find good plants. Roses are easy to grow with my Organic Rose Program.
QUESTION: Paper wasps have built nests inside and outside of a shed in my yard, and I want to move at least one of the nests to reduce the risk of being stung. In The Organic Manual, you recommend spraying wasps with water before moving a nest.These little warriors did not fly very far after I sprayed them, and I did not have enough time (or maybe enough courage) to move the nest with them flying around. I don't mind wasps in the garden, but I am scared to leave nests of wasps hanging above the shed door. M.C., Weatherford
ANSWER: Paper wasps are beneficial to gardeners because they prey on caterpillars and other insects that damage plants. Wear protective clothing, spray the wasps with water and then scrape the nest off of the ceiling and roof overhang with a long-handled tool, like a hoe, broom or rake. After the wasps settle down, you can nail or pin the nest in a more appropriate place. The wasps will return to the nest.
QUESTION: Is the fruit from a Mexican plum tree safe to eat? J.S., Fort Worth
ANSWER: Yes, but most people use the small plums to make jellies and jams. Mexican plum is a native tree that is easy to grow and drought-tolerant. It requires little fertilizer and grows well in sun or shade. A few insects chew on the leaves occasionally, but the tree doesn't have major pest problems when it is planted in healthy soil that drains well.
QUESTION: I have two pineapple plants that are about 2 years old. They have no flowers. What should I do to produce fruit? A.A., San Antonio
ANSWER: Some people may recommend that you put an apple core into the pot and cover the plant with plastic to create a miniature greenhouse. I don't recommend that unless you are very careful not to let the plant get too hot. You should move the plant into shade to prevent that. I recommend that you drench the soil weekly with Garrett Juice and Thrive by Alpha BioSystems. (Follow label directions on both products.) Nothing brings plants into flower and fruit better than this combination. Pineapple plants are tropical, so growing them in pots gives you the flexibility to move them as needed. The plants need uniform temperature year-round and excellent soil drainage. Texas' climate and soil combinations are not appropriate for growing pineapples year-round in a garden.