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Garden Q & A

November 10, 1985|PAUL B. ENGLER

Q: I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw that a friend was growing sugar peas in small pots. They were delicious. Is it easy?--K.N., Malibu

A: Varieties of dwarf snap peas--such as Sugar Ann--have very short growth habits, which enables them to grow in pots about 10 inches in diameter. Four pea plants per pot will yield an amazingly good crop. Container gardening on balconies and patios is often the only way some gardeners can enjoy growing vegetables.

Q: Why do seeding rates for planting a lawn vary so much?--R.R., Culver City A: Lawn-seeding rates are determined by seed size. Kentucky bluegrass, for instance, has a recommended seeding rate of two pounds per 1,000 square feet. Fine-leaved fescues have a recommended rate of four pounds for the same area. Generally, the larger the seed, the more seed (by weight) you need.

Q: Is it possible for termites to enter and kill living plants in the garden? I've always thought of them as pests of lumber; yet I've seen them in roots.--P.D., Pico Rivera A: Termites occasionally work their way into the roots of living plants and have been observed burrowing up into stems, causing plants to wither and die. That happens very rarely, however. Termites observed in gardens are usually living in and feeding on dead and decaying wood or on dead vegetable matter. When you find dead roots, pieces of old lumber or similar material, always remove them. If termites have been abundant in the soil and such dead material becomes scarce, they may be attracted to the living roots of trees and shrubs. Substances labeled as drench treatment for ant control are generally effective against termite colonies.

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