NEWS for North Dakotans
Agriculture Communication, North Dakota State University
7 Morrill Hall, Fargo, ND 58105-5665
April 30, 1998
Q. Have a 4-year-old poinsettia. Will put it outside this summer. Should I cut it back some? It bloomed for me without doing anything special. Thanks. (Bonesteel, S.D.)
A. Nice going! The plant obviously likes the environment you keep it in. Yes, plant it outside in late May on the east or north side. You can cut it back if you wish. It will grow beautifully outside this summer.
Q. Your column is very helpful.
Will Manchurian apricot pollinate a Moongold apricot? Is Manchurian apricot sort of like a wild plum? I mean real common.
Will a wild plum pollinate Underwood plum? I had Pipestone plum and fruit from it and did not have a pollinator. I suppose it lived 15 years. Some wild plum around.
Can you tell me anything about summer cypress or standing cypress? A friend gave seed and in her yard it looks easy to grow but I have trouble starting it. I have found it listed in a 1962 House and Garden bulletin from the Department of Agonly identified, but I was glad for that identification.
Do you need to thin daffodils? If so, how often? Mine have lots of shoots for which I am happy, but I sure want to keep them doing well. Thanks. (Pierre, S.D.)
A. Thank you for the nice comments about the column.
The answers are "yes" to your first two questions.
The summer cypress is Kochia scoparia, and also has the common name of burning bush because of its blazing fall color. Seeds need to be soaked for 24 hours, then germinated at 70 F. It is one of the toughest, most heat-tolerant annuals on earth. Makes a nice temporary hedge.
Yes, daffodils can be thinned every three to five years.
Q. I recently read your article on growing herbs for medicinal use and possible profit. I would like more information on possible commercial herb production and marketing methods. I really liked your article, so please keep writing. (Montpelier, N.D.)
A. Thank you! "Growing Herbs and Spices as a Source of Extra Income" is enclosed. Others may obtain this by writing to me at P.O. Box 5051, Department of Plant Sciences, NDSU, Fargo, ND 58105.
Q. We have always had many angleworms in our garden and soil, but it has never been a problem. However, now we have found night crawlers and they are destroying an area of about 25 feet by 40 feet. Last fall I tried drowning them out by laying the garden hose on them and caught about 100 in an hour. There were also many tiny ones, indicating they had reproduced.
I pulled a lawn roller across this area to squash down the bumps. I started watering the lawn yesterday and today there must be 200 new hills again. Is there any type of chemical that will work. The mixture, the amount, how is it applied and is it to be wateredI need your advice soon.
The first thing I read every Saturday is your column. I would not ever miss reading your informative information. (Napoleon, N.D.)
A. Thank you for being such a faithful reader of the column.
The earthworm or the flat-tailed night crawler (Lumbricus terrestris) play a very important ecological role: they aerate the soil and recycle organic matter. They thrive in most soil and are most active in spring and fall.
While nothing is labeled for night crawlers, you can apply Sevin 10G at a rate of 1.9 pounds of granules per 1,000 square feet to control the white grubs your lawn has and you will eliminate about one-third to one-half of the population.
Make the application in late April or early May, and the turf should be watered thoroughly to get the chemical into the soil. Be sure to read the complete label of this and any other pesticide before using.
Follow up with a rolling to flatten out the mounds their excavations have created. Repeat application in the fall if their presence is reasserted to intolerable levels. Good luck!
Source: Ron Smith (701) 231-8161
Editor: Barry Brissman (701) 231-7866