Almanac Gardner Quiz: 2005

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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.


2005 Quizzes

Episode 2201
Quiz Winner: Richard Gunther

1. What are the two classifications of perennial weeds?

  1.     Creeping and simple
  2.     Flowering and non-flowering
  3.     Rhizomes and dicots
  4.     Summer and winter


Answer: A. Perennial weeds are classified by their method of reproduction, or creeping and simple.

2. What problem do potato plants have if the soil pH is too high?

  1.     Verticilliumwilt
  2.     Soft rot
  3.     Scab
  4.     Rhizoctonia canker


Answer: C. Common scab results when the soil pH is too high. Verticilliumwilt and Rhizoctonia canker are caused by fungi, while soft rot is caused by bacteria.

Episode 2202
Quiz Winner: Tanya Holt

1. What are the requirements for an effective butterfly garden?

  1.     Light, shelter, space and food
  2.     Color, shelter, water, food and place to raise young
  3.     Water, food, sweet aromas and different heights
  4.     Food, sunlight, open space and water


Answer: B. Butterflies need to be able to eat and drink as well as be protected and have a place to raise their larvae. Bright colors are important to attract them.

2. If you do not have the time to care for a house plant, which would be a good plant for you?

  1.     Ficus
  2.     Peace lily
  3.     Dracaena
  4.     Pothos


Answer: D. Pothos. Linda Blue says that the pothos is a good indoor plant for someone who has a "brown thumb" or does not have the time to care for a house plant. However, the pothos leaves contain oxalate crystals, which are poisonous to pets, so beware if you have a cat or dog who likes to eat your plants.

Episode 2203
Quiz Winner: Joy Widdman

1. The tuberous begonia does best in what kind of light?

  1.     Full sun
  2.     Shade
  3.     Mostly sun
  4.     Partial shade


Answer: B. Shade. According to the Plant Fact Sheet for tuberous begonias, these flowers do best in shade.

2. How much should you water a house plant?

  1.     Only when the soil is mostly dry
  2.     Every day
  3.     Once every 2 weeks
  4.     Every two days


Answer: A. House plants should be watered only when the soil is dry, and they should be in a container with drainage holes, set in a drip plate. Water enough so that the water appears in the drip plate and don’t water again until the soil is nearly dry.

Episode 2204
Quiz Winner: Matthew Johnson

1. According to the Fact Sheet on fertilizing trees, what are the best methods for determining fertilizer application rates for deciduous trees?

  1.     Surface area and length of branches
  2.     Diameter of trunk and crown spread area
  3.     Crown spread area and branch length
  4.     Diameter of root spread and distance between longest branches


Answer: B. Application rates for fertilizer for deciduous trees are best determined by two methods: measuring the diameter of the trunk and the crown spread area. The fact sheet on fertilizing trees has the formulas for determining how to measure both.

2. What kinds of plants are best to put on a green roof?

  1.     Annuals
  2.     Bulbs
  3.     Herbs
  4.     Succulents


Answer: D. Succulents are the best type of plant to tolerate the hot, dry conditions of a roof.

Episode 2205
Quiz Winner: Sandra Biggerstaff

1. What is the best method to start a new crop of rosemary?

  1.     Seed
  2.     Cuttings
  3.     Division
  4.     Layering


Answer: B. According to Emily Revels, horticultural agent for Cumberland County, the best way to propagate rosemary is to start with a 6-inch cutting and use a rooting hormone.

2. If you buy an indeterminate type of tomato, what does Karen suggest to use to support its growth?

  1.     Trellis
  2.     Cage
  3.     Stake
  4.     Wire line on poles


Answer: C. A stake. You could probably also support the tomato plants using a trellis, depending on your space, but Karen doesn't mention that possibility in this episode. Indeterminate plants grow to be about 5-6 feet, so they would outgrow a cage or a wire line on poles (used to support bramble plants).

Episode 2206
Quiz Winner: Kate Crumley

1. Which substance is necessary for a worm composting bin, according to Linda Blue?

  1.     Limestone
  2.     Newspaper
  3.     Whole leaves
  4.     Grass clippings


Answer: B. While the others may be useful in a worm-composting bin, Linda recommends keeping newspaper on top because it holds the right amount of moisture needed for the worms to survive.

2. Besides adding curb appeal, landscaping is also good for:

  1.     Air quality
  2.     Wildlife
  3.     Water quality
  4.     All of the above


Answer: D. Good landscaping can benefit air quality, wildlife and water quality by providing more oxygen and good root systems that absorb extra nutrients.

Episode 2207
Quiz Winner: Kent Holmes

1. Although crinum lilies originated in several countries, where do the majority of them come from?

  1.     South America
  2.     England
  3.     South Africa
  4.     Japan


Answer: C. The majority of crinum lilies come from South Africa.

2. What is the ideal angle for apple tree branches?

  1.     45 degrees
  2.     90 degrees
  3.     30 degrees
  4.     60 degrees


Answer: B. So that the roots can benefit from the maximum amount of light, always train apple tree branches to grow at 90 degree angles. You can use a spreader to do this.

Episode 2208
Quiz Winner: Kris Toliver

1. What quality do the new petunia varieties at the Raulston Arboretum have that is different from most petunia varieties?

  1.     They don't need water
  2.     They don't need fertilizer
  3.     They don't need sun
  4.     They don't need deadheading


Answer: D. The new varieties keep replacing the old flowers with new buds, so you don't have to deadhead them, but you do need to give them water, full sun and fertilizer in moderate amounts!

2. Amanita virosa is a highly toxic:

  1.     Mushroom
  2.     Flower
  3.     Vine
  4.     Shrub


Answer: A. Amanita virosa is the scientific name for the Death Angel, a deadly mushroom found in North Carolina. For more information, see the page on poisonous mushrooms at the Consumer Horticulture Web site.

Episode 2209
Quiz Winner: James Lutz

1. Which is a common cultivar of lantana?

  1.     'Mother Lode'
  2.     'Miss Huff'
  3.     'Edward Goucher'
  4.     'Red Fountain'


Answer: B. 'Miss Huff' is a cultivar of lantana that can survive the winters in the piedmont. 'Mother Lode' is a cultivar of golden creeping juniper, 'Edward Goucher' is a cultivar of abelia, and 'Red Fountain' is a rose. 'Miss Huff' was featured as a plant of the week on episode 10 of In the Garden with Bryce Lane in 2003.

2. What is it important to do AFTER you have sprayed a carpenter bee tunnel?

  1.     Pull out the bee bodies
  2.     Remove the infected board and replace
  3.     Caulk the holes to seal them
  4.     Run like mad


Answer: C. While running might not be a bad idea after spraying a bee tunnel with insecticide, you definitely want to seal up the hole with caulk or a ball of aluminum foil. Do not use netting, as new bees will just chew through it. And don't simply trap the bees in the hole without spraying; they will dig a new tunnel.

Episode 2210
Quiz Winner: Dale Payne

1. According to the commercial hort leaflet for sweet corn in the Consumer Horticulture Web site, what was the first variety of sweet corn?

  1.     Silverado
  2.     Papoon
  3.     Alpine
  4.     Silverqueen


Answer: B. According to the hort leaflet, the first variety of sweet corn, Papoon, was acquired from the Iroquois Indians in 1779. However, today it is not listed with varieties currently available.

2. According to Karen, what is the BEST way to control Canadian geese?

  1.     Getting a border collie
  2.     Growing shrubs
  3.     Poisoning them
  4.     Shooting them


Answer: A. Canadian geese are protected under the Migratory Bird Act, so it is against the law to kill them with poison or guns. Growing trees and shrubs can help alter the open habitat they love; however, Canadian geese can adapt to these as well, as they have been spotted in heavily wooded areas as long as there is a water source. The BEST way to keep geese away is to have a border collie who will scare them away and keep them from coming back.

Episode 2211
Quiz Winner: Kevin Pittman

1. Even though you can apply mulch at any time, when is the best time to apply mulch?

  1.     At the end of winter
  2.     Mid-spring
  3.     Summer
  4.     Fall


Answer: B. According to the Horticultural Leaflet on mulches (#608), the best time to apply mulch is in mid-spring, when the soil temperature has warmed up for sufficient root growth.

2. During what year did the wildflower program begin?

  1.     1975
  2.     1980
  3.     1985
  4.     1990


Answer: C. The highway wildflower program began in 1985.

Episode 2212
Quiz Winner: Ethel Ahrendt

1. If you want to plant a conifer in a wet area, which one would you choose?

  1.     Norfolk pine
  2.     Shore juniper
  3.     Bald cypress
  4.     White cedar


Answer: C. Linda Blue says that the bald cypress and Atlantic cedar (not the white cedar) do well in wet areas.

2. How many plots does the community garden in Guilford County have for people who want to plant a row for the hungry?

  1.     35
  2.     50
  3.     20
  4.     75


Answer: A. The community garden contains 35 4 x 50 foot plots, and 10 percent of what is produced goes to the program.

Episode 2213
Quiz Winner: Elizabeth Smith

1. Which plant listed below is NOT considered an invasive exotic?

  1.     Mimosa
  2.     Hydrilla
  3.     Swamp mallow
  4.     Princess tree


Answer: C. The swamp mallow is a native marsh flower, even though it seems out of place. Read more about it at NC Natural.com.

2. Which farmers’ market would you visit if you were in Dallas, NC?

  1.     North End Green Market
  2.     Cornerstone Farm
  3.     Downtown Farmers Market
  4.     Gastonia Farmers Market


Answer: D. The Gastonia Farmers Market, despite the name, is in Dallas, NC.

Episode 2214
Quiz Winner: Bet Andrews

1. A Rhapidophyllum hystrix is which type of palm ?

  1.     Windmill palm
  2.     Needle palm
  3.     Birmingham palm
  4.     Sable palm


Answer: B. The needle palm ( Rhapidophyllum hystrix ) occurs in the piedmont, more specifically in the Raleigh area.

2. What is unique about the Bogue Sound watermelons?

  1.     Pattern on shell
  2.     Aroma
  3.     Taste
  4.     Growing requirements


Answer: C. According to Chris Pearson, the Bogue Sound watermelons taste different from a common North Carolina watermelon.

Episode 2215
Quiz Winner: Scott Watson

1. How much mulch should you have over your soil?

  1.     1-2 inches
  2.     3-4 inches
  3.     5-6 inches
  4.     7-8 inches


Answer: B. According to the Horticultural Leaflet on mulches, you should apply much about 3-4 inches over clean, weed-free soil.

2. Lichens are excellent indicators of…

  1.     Sunlight availability
  2.     Tides
  3.     Soil nutrients
  4.     Air quality


Answer: D. Lichens have no roots, so all of their nutrients come from rainwater. Therefore, if there are impurities in the rainfall, they will affect the lichens. In fact, pollution has endangered at least one native lichen species in North Carolina, the rock gnome lichen (Gymnoderma lineare).

Episode 2216
Quiz Winner: Phyllis Efoagui

1. During which life cycle stage are pesticides most effective on mole crickets?

  1.     Egg
  2.     Nymph
  3.     Adult
  4.     Nothing gets rid of mole crickets


Answer: B. Karen recommends waiting until July and August, when the crickets are in the nymph stage. Nymphs usually hatch in June and July, and since the male dies after mating and the female dies after laying eggs, the adults don't post much of a danger in the summer. Nymphs will be molting during July and August, though, and therefore will be more vulnerable.

2. Under which state university is the NC Stream Restoration Institute housed?

  1.     NC State University
  2.     UNC-Chapel Hill
  3.     UNC-Asheville
  4.     East Carolina University


Answer: A. The Institute is part of NC State's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, in the Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering.

Episode 2217
Quiz Winner: Willis Briggs

1. What herbicide does Sarah recommend to spread on your lawn to clear it?

  1.     Sevin
  2.     Triclopyr
  3.     Glyphosate
  4.     Imazaquin


Answer: C. Glyphosate is a common herbicide to use on broadleaf grasses. You can learn more about herbicide control by reading the North Carolina Agricultural Chemicals Manual.

2. According to the Soil Testing section of the Consumer Horticulture Web site, if you want to take samples from an established area, how far into the soil should you dig for your sample?

  1.     2 inches
  2.     4 inches
  3.     6 inches
  4.     8 inches


Answer: B. For established areas, where amendments will be incorporated into the surface, dig four inches down. When beds are being established and have not had any amendments, dig eight inches down.

Episode 2218
Quiz Winner: JoAnn Uphold

1. How long after seeding should you fertilize a fescue lawn?

  1.     Immediately
  2.     1-2 weeks
  3.     2-3 weeks
  4.     4-5 weeks


Answer: C. According to Sarah Ivy, you should fertilize about 2-3 weeks after seeding your new lawn.

2. What is the last date that you can prune azaleas before the fall?

  1.     June 1
  2.     July 1
  3.     August 1
  4.     September 1


Answer: B. Emily Revels recommends not pruning azaleas after July 1.