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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.
Quiz Winner: Don Revell
1. How much mulch should you have over your soil?
Answer: B. According to the Horticultural Leaflet on mulches, you should apply much about 3-4 inches over clean, weed-free soil.
2. What is the best sun/shade combination for roses?
Answer: C. The ideal site for roses is one which offers full sun early in the morning, and late afternoon shade. This will allow foliage and buds to dry early in the day, which will discourage diseases. Shade in the afternoon will encourage the development of good flower color.
Quiz Winner: Teresa Capen
1. What should you do in your new strawberry plants are light green and not growing well?
Answer: D. Nitrogen can be added by applying either 1 1/2 pound ammonium nitrate per 100 feet of row, or about 5 pounds 10-10-10 per 100 feet of row.
2. According to the Fact Sheet on fertilizing trees, what are the best methods for determining fertilizer application rates for deciduous trees?
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.
Quiz Winner: Betty Thompson
1. What kind of problem is your dogwood susceptible to if you hit it with the lawnmower?
Answer: A. The dogwood borer larvae is mainly a problem to trees which have been physically injured (lawnmowers or weedeaters too close to trunk) as the larvae need an injured area in order to penetrate the bark. The larvae can eventually kill the tree, whereas the other fungi, while they damage the leaves, do not cause any permanent damage to the tree.
2. What is absolutely essential before determining the type or amount of fertilizer you will need for any plant?
Answer: C. Fertilizer adds nutrients to the soil. Therefore, before you plant, study the nutrient requirements of the plant. Then, take a soil test, offered free through the NC Cooperative Extension, to determine the nutrient composition and pH of the soil. After you know what is in your soil, you can purchase fertilizer to add the nutrients it lacks or change the pH to the plant's needs.
Quiz Winner: Rhodeena Gonzales
1. What is the one medium that you CANNOT use for amaryllis?
Answer: B. Amaryllis do not grow well in pine bark, so be sure not to use it in the soil mixture.
2. What problem do potato plants have if the soil pH is too high?
Answer: C. Common scab results when the soil pH is too high. Verticillium wilt and Rhizoctonia canker are caused by fungi, while soft rot is caused by bacteria.
Quiz Winner: Arnold Sharpe
1. According to the Guide for Successful Mum Production , when should you pinch your rooted cuttings of chrysanthemums?
Answer: A. Rooted cuttings should be pinched 7 to 14 days after potting, after the plants have become established and are actively growing, or 1 to 1 ½ inches of new top growth has developed and the roots are visible at the side of the tray pack.
2. What are the two classifications of perennial weeds?
Answer: A. Perennial weeds are classified by their method of reproduction, or creeping and simple.
QuizWinner: Debbie Edwards
1. What is the best temperature range for cyclamen?
Answer: B. Cyclamen grow best if the temperature does not go above 65 degrees during the day and below 50 degrees at night.
2. What is the name of the production method to obtain a seedless fruit?
Answer: B. Seedless cultivars are produced by crossing a tetraploid (4X=44) inbred line as the female parent with a diploid (2X=22) inbred line as the male parent of the hybrid. See the Cucurbin Breeding site to find out more.
Quiz Winner: Ruth Rodriguez
1. According to the horticultural leaflet on Pruning Trees and Shrubs in the Urban Horticulture site, what is the best technique to use when pruning a tree?
Answer: C. For ages the flush-cut-paint technique was recommended, but this actually harms the tree more. The leaflet on Pruning Trees and Shrubs recommends the 3-part cut. Read the “pruning techniques” section in the pamphlet to learn more.
2. According to the Efficient Irrigation leaflet at NC State Consumer Horticulture site, what is the “application rate” of a sprinkler system?
Answer: A. Application rate is the rate at which a sprinkler system applies water to the soil surface, measured in inches per hour. If application rates exceed the infiltration capacity (answer B) of the soil, then runoff occurs.
Quiz Winner: Heddy Paguio
1. Mulch around shrubs and trees is one of the best ways to control weeds. According to the fact sheet on mulching trees and shrubs, about how much mulch do you need to prevent weeds seeds from germinating?
Answer: B. The fact sheet on mulching trees and shrubs recommends applying a 2 to 4-inch layer to prevent weed seeds from germinating. Mulch should be applied after all weeds have been cleared from the area. Applying mulch over existing weeds will not stop them from growing through the mulch.
2. Where should you place your rain barrel after it is completed?
Answer: D. A rain barrel is connected to the downspout of your gutters, so it is important that a) you have gutters on your house, and b) that you keep them clean.
Quiz Winner: Sujittra Martin
1. The scientific name of poison sumac is:
Answer: C. The first is the scientific name for poison ivy, the second for poison oak and the last one is not a plant at all. If you're not sure what any of these plants look like, click here for a good Web site to review.
2. According to the consumer leaflet on bunch grapes at the Consumer Horticulture site, what kills many popular bunch grapes in the coastal plain areas?
Answer: A. In coastal plain areas, Pierce's disease kills or shortens the life expectancy of many popular bunch grapes.
Quiz Winner: Laura Stowe
1. According to the commercial hort leaflet for sweet corn in the Consumer Horticulture Web site, what was the first variety of sweet corn?
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 this feature, in what year did North Carolina lead the country in winemaking? (hint—if you're not sure, you may want to watch the repeat of this episode on Thursday at 1:30 PM)
Answer: C. According to this feature, North Carolina led the country in making wine in 1835.
Quiz Winner: Brad Davis
1. According to the horticultural leaflet on weed management for wildflowers in the Consumer Horticulture site, what are the two difficult-to-control perennial weeds that may make you rethink your wildflower site?
Answer: A. According to the horticultural leaflet, if your area is infested with nutsedge and white clover, you may want to choose another site for wildflower plantings, because these two weeds are very difficult to eradicate. However, if you have any of the other weeds listed above, you will still have a challenge—especially if you have Japanese stiltgrass!
2. In the Quick Reference link on the Consumer Horticulture site, there is a planting guide for spring vegetables. According to this, what is the minimum soil temperature for carrots?
Answer: B. Carrots are a cool weather vegetable, so they can tolerate a lower soil temperature up to 45 degrees F.
Quiz Winner: Albert Brown
1. In the online extension bulletin on Growing Peaches in North Carolina, there is a section on fruit thinning. According to this section, what is the best time to thin the fruit for ALL peach trees?
Answer: D. Although mid- to late-season varieties can be thinned later than early-season varieties, ALL peach trees must be thinned no later than pit hardening, or within 40 days of bloom, according to the extension bulletin .
2. What is the best way to dispose of pet waste, according to Emily?
Answer: C. Putting waste in the trash can is the best way to dispose of it. However, before you do so, check with your trash collection service to find out what you need to do to be sure it is collected (i.e., putting it in a bag, double-bagging, etc.). Pet waste adds bacteria to the soil and groundwater, which is why it is not a good idea to put it in your garden or compost pile. You can also bury it in an uncultivated spot, however.
Quiz Winner: Donna Lander
2. What do you NOT need when trying to start a new plant from a cutting?
Answer: D. Rooting hormone, water and sunlight are essential to propagating a new plant from a cutting. Fertilizer, on the other hand, will only damage it.
2. How is the 4-H program in Ashe County different from many of the other 4-H programs in the state?
Answer: C. The 4-H program in Ashe County helps students learn the skills to keep a job and compete in the job market.
Quiz Winner: Lori McKay
1. If you want a mulch that will amend your soil, which mulch should you use?
Answer: D. Only a mulch that breaks down into the soil can amend the soil. Pea gravel breaks down at a much slower rate than the bark mulches.
2. According to the online extension bulletin on efficient irrigation, how far apart should you space your sprinklers?
Answer: C. According to the extension bulletin, the spacing between sprinklers should be about 50 to 60 percent of the wetted diameter. For example, sprinklers with a wetted diameter of 80 feet should be spaced 40 to 50 feet apart.
Quiz Winner: Jeff Gunnell
1. According to Karen, when is the best time to apply pesticides?
Answer: B. Since ozone is lowest early and late in the day, it's best to use pesticides then, so they don't hang in the air. Applying them before a heavy rain will wash them off of your plants and into the sediment, so that is not a good time to use pesticides. For more information on pest control, see the NC Cooperative Extension section on pest control .
2. According to the fact sheet on strawberries , if you live in western Carolina, when should you apply mulch?
Answer: A. If you live in w estern Carolina, foothills and upper piedmont, in December, broadcast sufficient pine needles or grain straw in the middles and around the plants to protect crown. If you life in eastern Carolina or the central piedmont, apply pine needles or grain straw in February.
Quiz Winner: Betsy Ferney
1. Go to the Consumer Horticulture Web site and click on Pest News – the lower half of the page on the left. In the 2006 subject index, click on Residences, Structures and Communities. What pest(s) appear(s) in the list when you click on it?
Answer: B. Red mites. Fungicide and Nematicide Tests appear in the fruit and vegetable category, but under Residences, the list includes only red mites.
2. The following is a good example of water reuse:
Answer: C. A rain barrel reuses the water collected from your gutter when it rains, so you don’t have to use the groundwater, as you do with sprinklers or hoses. Grey water is another example of water reuse.
Quiz Winner: Jeff Gunnell
1. In the Extension Master Gardener Web site, there is a page called “You Know You’re A Master Gardener When…” Which of the following statements appears on that page?
Answer: D. While the first 3 might qualify for characteristics of Master Gardeners, only (d) is actually in that list on the Web site.
2. According to Bill, how should you pick your ripe eggplant?
Answer: B. Because of the thorns on top, the safest and least painful way to pick eggplant is by cutting them off with a pair of shears.
Quiz Winner: John Underwood
1. What building is next to the NC State Solar House? Hint: The answer is in the NCSU Solar Center Web site.
Answer: D. The McKimmon Center. Go to The NCSU Solar Center Web site to find out more about the Solar House.
2. What is the horticultural facility adjacent to the Ability Garden?
Answer: B. The New Hanover Arboretum.
Quiz Winner: Jake Martin
1. If you can’t plant your grass immediately, according to the Carolina Lawns publication, which method of planting a lawn would be easiest and most effective?
Answer: A. Sod really needs to be planted within the first 48 hours after it has been harvested; otherwise, you must unroll and unstack it, keep it moist but not wet, and keep it in the shade. You can broadcast seed at any time, so it would be easiest if you have to wait for more than 2 days between purchase and planting.
2. According to Linda, where is the best place to place your poinsettia?
Answer: D. Poinsettias are very picky about light and temperature, so being near a draft and in direct sunlight will cause it to age quickly.
Quiz Winner: Sheila Pendleton
1. According to AG-598-04W: Christmas Trees (Mountains), what is the optimal soil p.H range for Cristmas Trees?
Answer: C Soil pH is often below the optimum range of 5.5 to 5.8.
2. When is a good time to apply compost to the vegetable garden?
Answer: B In the fall