Almanac Gardener Quiz: 2003

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The Almanac Gardener "Quiz of the Week" has been discontinued.
However, the past quizzes and answers will still be made available as an information resource.

2003 Quizzes


Episode 1: The Right Way to Test Your Soil
Quiz Winner: Patricia C. Devlin

1. What is Mehlich-3?

  1.     A buffer method developed to measure the content of soil acidity
  2.     An extractant developed to measure amounts of major nutrients and micronutrients in soil
  3.     An extractant developed to measure nutrient content of acidic soils
  4.     A method that uses a set volume for measuring and calculating the nutrient content of soils


Answer: B. According to the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Mehlich-3 is effective on soils with a wide range of physical and chemical properties. See the Soil Test Methodologies page on the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Agronomic Division, Soil Testing Section Web site.

2. When you get your soil testing results back, in what measurement terms will your lime heading be?

  1.     mi/in2
  2.     cm/in
  3.     lbs/1000 ft2
  4.     kg/ha


Answer: C. Lime measurements are typically expressed in lbs per 1000 square feet.

Episode 2: Lawn Mower Safety
Quiz Winner: Debbie Harrill

1. What can you risk doing if you mow the lawn when it is wet?

  1.     Starting a lawn disease
  2.     Pulling the grass up by the roots
  3.     Spreading disease
  4.     None of the above


Answer: C. The Mowing Lawns page in the Consumer Horticulture site says that you can spread disease if you mow when the foliage is wet.

2. At the most, how much of the leaf surface should be cut with each mowing?

  1.     1/4 of the leaf surface
  2.     1/3 of the leaf surface
  3.     1/2 of the leaf surface
  4.     2/3 of the leaf surface


Answer: B. The Mowing Lawns page says that no more than 1/3 of the leaf surface should be removed with each mowing.

Episode 3: Growing Tomatoes
Quiz Winner: Leroy Norton

1. According to the leaflet on pruning and supporting home garden tomatoes, which in the list below are all examples of determinate types of plants?

  1.     Colonial, Mountain Delight, Sunrise, Sunny
  2.     Mountain Delight, Better Boy, Fantastic, Mountain Pride
  3.     Better Boy, Big Boy, Fantastic, Cherokee
  4.     Mountain Pride, Cherokee, Big Boy, Sunrise


Answer: A. All of the other choices have at least one indeterminate type. Tomatoes have one of two types of growth patterns: determinate and indeterminate. Determinates are typically shorter plants (1-5 feet tall), whereas indeterminate types can grow as tall as 8 feet. See Pruning and Supporting Home Garden Tomatoes in the Consumer Horticulture site for more information.

2. Tomatoes are susceptible to blossom-end rot when:

  1.     The plants are watered too much
  2.     They are exposed to too much sun
  3.     The soil pH is too low
  4.     The roots are eaten by moles


Answer: C. Tomatoes with blossom-end rot have too little calcium, caused by a soil pH that is too low. Dry weather can exacerbate the problem. See the Blossom End-Rot page.

Episode 4: Mail Order Plants
Quiz Winner: Felix Talbert

1. If your plant arrives with a bare root, what should you do with it?

  1.  Plant it in the ground.
  2.  Put it in some water.
  3.  Plant it in a pot with some soil.
  4.  Let it rest in the box for a few days.


Answer: B. After you remove a bare-root plant from its wrapping, you want to put the root in some water before placing it in soil.

2. When your mail-order plant arrives, what is the first thing you should do?

  1.  Prepare your soil for planting.
  2.  Start filtering a bucket of water.
  3. Test the planting space to be sure it has the right pH and drainage qualities.
  4.  Open the box and take out the plant.


Answer: D. Always remove the plant from the box before you prepare soil or water. An unboxed plant can die in a couple of days.

Episode 5: Growing Tender Broccoli
Quiz Winner: Elnora Dabbs

1. Which recent U.S. President said that he does not like broccoli?

  1.     Bill Clinton
  2.     Ronald Reagan
  3.     George H. W. Bush
  4.     Jimmy Carter


Answer: C. During George Bush's presidency, he said during a press conference that he did not like broccoli; however, he added that his judgment was his own personal preference and not a recommendation for farming considerations.

2. When is the best time to harvest broccoli?

  1.     When there are flowers blooming on the green broccoli florets.
  2.     When the broccoli flower heads are well-defined and the stem is fairly thick.
  3.     As soon as you can see the broccoli flower heads forming.
  4.     After the leaves turn dark green.


Answer: B. Choice A is too late and C is too early to harvest broccoli.

Episode 6: Propagating Plants in the Spring
Quiz Winner: John Mazurowski

1. When is the best time to transplant young seedlings?

  1.     After the first real leaves appear
  2.     After the plant is about 1" tall
  3.     After the outside temperature is at least 70 degrees on a consistent basis
  4.     After the ground begins to feel soft again


Answer: A. According to the Consumer Hort Leaflet on Starting Plants from Seeds, the best time to transplant young seedlings is after the first real leaves appear, usually 2 to 3 weeks after seeding.

2. The process of preparing a plant for outdoor growth is called:

  1.     Conditioning
  2.     Propagation
  3.     Weathering
  4.     Hardening


Answer: D. According to the Consumer Hort Leaflet on Starting Plants from Seeds, hardening is the process of conditioning a plant for growth outdoors.

Episode 7: Growing Cabbage
Quiz Winner: John Underwood

1. If you live in the western part of the state, when typically are the best seeding dates for a fall crop?

  1.     Sept. 20 - Oct. 20
  2.     May 1 - June 15
  3.     July 15 - Sept. 15


Answer: B. Since the western part of the state typically gets cooler sooner than the piedmont or eastern parts of the state, May 1 to June 15 is recommended for seeding for a fall crop. See the Consumer Hort Leaflet on cabbage.

2. What chemical should you add to the fertilizer for a successful cabbage crop?

  1.     Boron
  2.     Potassium
  3.     Phosphorus


Answer: A. The Consumer Hort Leaflet on cabbage recommends adding boron to the fertilizer.

Episode 8: Saving Water with Micro Sprinklers
Quiz Winner: Cindi Poole

1. What size pipe do you need to connect to the water source for microirrigation?

  1.     1 inch
  2.     1/2 inch
  3.     1/4 inch
  4.     1/3 inch


Answer: B. Nancy Anderson in this episode suggests using a 1/2 inch pipe to connect to the water source.

2. According to an efficient irrigation report by NC State, how many water emitters would you have to set up for a 4-6 foot plant to give it adequate water?

  1.     1
  2.     2
  3.     3
  4.     4


Answer: B. According to the Efficient Irrigation report by the NC Cooperative Extension Services, you would need 2 emitters to deliver water at a rate of 1 gallon per hour each. See Table 1 on the link above.

Episode 9: A Visit to the All Organic John Volmer Farm, Franklin County
Quiz Winner: Hilary Daugherty

1. To prevent plants in an organic garden from contracting diseases, what should you avoid doing?

  1.     Watering them in the morning
  2.     Planting vegetables in the same family group in the same area every year
  3.     Planting the vegetables too close together.


Answer: B. A family of plants can contract the same diseases, so you should avoid planting the same ones in the same area every year. See the Disease Prevention Page under Organic Gardening.

2. What crop was Volmer Farms one of the first in North Carolina to produce organically?

  1.     Strawberries
  2.     Lettuce
  3.     Broccoli


Answer: A. Volmer Farms was one of the first to grow strawberries organically.

Episode 10: Perennial Tour of Plant Delights Nursery
Quiz Winner: Sweetie Rains

1. According to a report about propagation by division by the University of Florida, what are the two categories of flowering perennials that benefit from propagation by division?

  1.     Bulbs and plants with long roots
  2.     Bulbs and plants that clump
  3.     Plants that clump and thorny plants
  4.     Just plants that clump


Answer: B. According to the University of Florida Plant Propagation Workbook, "the two basic types of plants propagated by division are those with a clumping growth habit and those with specialized storage organs, often termed bulbous plants."

2. Division is categorized as what type of plant propagation?

  1.     Sexual
  2.     Layering
  3.     Asexual
  4.     Grafting


Answer: C. Because division does not involve starting the plant from a seed, it does not involve sexual reproduction. Choices B and D are also types of asexual propagation. See the University of Florida’s Landscape Plant Propagation Workbook for more information.

Episode 11: Conserve Water by Using Recycled Water for Your Plants
Quiz Winner: Kathy Rains

1. In this episode, Karen Neill says that gray water includes every source of used water EXCEPT:

  1.     Laundry water
  2.     Shower water
  3.     Tub water
  4.     Toilet water


Answer: D. Karen says to avoid the use of used toilet water. Used toilet water is actually sewage and is known as black water.

2. If you are planning on using gray water, you should store it in:

  1.     A plastic container.
  2.     A metal container.
  3.     Neither A nor B.
  4.     Either A or B.


Answer: C. Gray water should be used immediately and NEVER stored, or it can collect bacteria. See the link from the Consumer Horticulture Web site on gray water.

Episode 12: Saving Seeds for Next Season
Quiz Winner: Bart McWilliams

1. Why should you not collect seeds from hybrid plants?

  1.     The resulting plants will be weaker
  2.     The result will look just like the parent
  3.     It is difficult to control the outcome


Answer: C. According to Seed Saving Tips from West Virginia University, you should not plant hybrid seeds if you want plants with characteristics like the parents. Additional cross-pollination may create some very strange hybrids, but not necessarily weaker.

2. Tomato seeds can be saved if you soak them in water for a few days. What other vegetable seeds do you need to soak in order to save?

  1.     Cucumber
  2.     Eggplant
  3.     Peppers


Answer: A. Cucumbers have a gelatinous coating around the seeds which you have to soak in water for 2 days to get clean. See the Seed Saving Tips from West Virginia University.

Episode 13: Growing Collards
Quiz Winner: Janet Hester

1. What composition of fertilizer do collards need in average soil to grow well?

  1.     10-10-10
  2.     10-20-10
  3.     15-10-10


Answer: A. According to the Consumer Hort Leaflet on collards, you need to apply 1-2 lb of 10-10-10 per 100 square feet before planting, and 3 oz various times after planting.

2. What two diseases are collard plants typically susceptible to?

  1.     Seed rot and Downey mildew
  2.     Black rot and Cercospora leaf spot
  3.     Black rot and Downey mildew


Answer: C. The other diseases are common to beets.