Growing Together: Test your yard and garden IQ with today’s quiz
Today, gardening columnist Don Kinzler offers up a wide-ranging gardening quiz to test your knowledge.
Close your books and take out a sheet of paper. Do your own work and keep your eyes on your own paper. Remember those days?
School quizzes were hardly a fun surprise. Sheer panic was a more common response.
Garden quizzes are hopefully more fun, and we’re long overdue because it’s been a year since our last quiz. The following questions require only brief answers and don’t worry, it’s being graded on a curve.
- To produce fruit, an apple tree needs pollen from a different apple cultivar. Can ornamental flowering crabs provide the necessary pollen?
- If a freshly cut homegrown apple shows brown steaking, what is the most likely cause?
- When growing hot and sweet peppers directly next to each other, will cross pollination affect the flavor of the pepper fruits?
- Is it best to water lawns and flowers at night when it’s cool?
- Are ants needed on peony buds for them to open?
- Is crabgrass a perennial?
- Will mowing lawns shorter help control weeds?
- Is it okay to disturb a tree’s roots when removing it from the pot at planting time?
- Will all apples of the cultivar Honeycrisp taste the same, regardless of where they’re grown?
- Are hybrid flowers or vegetables a human-made phenomenon?
- Is it true apples should be stored separately from garden vegetables?
- Does frost penetrate deeper into wet ground or dry ground?
- If you were to fertilize a lawn only once a year, which season is recommended?
- For how many years should young trees be staked?
- Should trees be planted slightly deeper than their depth in the pot?
- Does the flavor of Buttercup and similar winter squash improve a month or so after harvest?
- Does washing garden carrots increase their storage life?
- Yes, ornamental crab trees in the vicinity are successful sources of pollen for apples.
- Internal apple streaks are most likely caused by apple maggots, the region’s most common apple insect problem.
- No. Planting peppers side-by-side has no effect on flavor, only on the genetic makeup of the seeds formed inside the peppers, if they were to cross pollinate.
- Watering is best done in early morning, if possible, or early enough in evening so foliage dries quickly. Night watering causes leaves to remain wet longer, increasing likelihood of disease.
- No. Ants are attracted to the sticky sap, but they neither help nor hinder bud opening.
- No. Crabgrass is an annual, growing each year from seed deposited in previous growing seasons.
- No. Shorter mowing creates more weed problems by giving weeds more sunlight while depressing grass growth, which prefers a three-inch mowing height.
- Yes, tree roots should be disturbed if they are circling inside the pot by pulling the roots outward or cutting them, as circling roots can kill a tree if left intact.
- No. The sweetness and flavor of Honeycrisp, and most apple cultivars, is weather-dependent, and the cooler autumns in Northern regions favor increased sugar, versus West coast production.
- No. Instead of being strictly human-made, hybrids occur in nature when bees travel between two plants. Plant breeders copy bees, while purposely selecting plants whose traits they wish to combine into a hybrid.
- Yes. Apples exude ethylene gas, which can hasten spoilage of vegetables. Store separately.
- Frost penetrates much deeper into dry ground than wet ground, which potentially causes greater winter injury on perennial flowers, trees and shrubs following a dry autumn.
- Turf researchers agree that fall fertilizing around Labor Day is the single most beneficial time to apply lawn fertilizer. Spring, around Memorial Day, is secondary.
- Trees should be staked for only the first growing season. Many trees don’t require staking, only if they have the tendency to lean.
- No. Too-deep planting can cause death. Find the uppermost horizontal root coming from the trunk, and plant with that root just below soil surface.
- Yes. With proper curing and storage, many squash become sweeter and more flavorful after a month.
- No. Carrots store best unwashed, by simply rubbing off excess soil. Washing removes a natural wax that enhances storage.