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Avant Gardener – 031113

This entire session is hosted by Derek from Sanibel, Florida while Carolyn is indisposed at their Bucks County, Pennsylvania property. Derek uses his time to explode a few gardening myths published in recent gardening books, such as improving fruit set on tomatoes by cross pollination (a tedious, unnecessary chore since tomatoes are SELF POLLINATING), pointing out that other factors are more important for a heavy fruit set, such as choosing a heavily bearing variety). Derek’s ‘expert’ interview is with Dr. Phil Marks, a horticulture specialist with the University of Florida. In addition to good and bad plants for a frost-free garden (Brazilian pepper and Australian pine being among the worst) he discusses how to control two of Florida’s worst pest problems – scale on cycad palms and spiraling white fly on Florida native trees such as the gumbo limbo and strangler fig. Answering e-mails, Derek discusses planting by the phases of the moon, companion planting (such as whether garlic planted near carrots will deter the carrot fly), and how to fruit a pineapple plant indoors.