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All that blooming broccoli
Q. We overdid our broccoli planting and now some of the heads have opened up and are blooming before we can use them. Is it best to let them bloom or should we cut off the overripe heads and toss them in the compost pile?
A. If there is someone that can use the blooming heads they are perfectly okay to eat. The advantage to cutting them off is that the plant will produce new side shoots later in the season.
Q. In one of your earlier columns you said acorns were valuable wildlife food. I know squirrels eat them, but what else would?
A. There is a very long list. The ones that come to mind are deer, blue jays, turkeys, woodpeckers, grackles and doves. Even small species of birds will eat the acorn meat that results after acorns are run over on roads or cracked on walkways.
Q. What is the best tasting tomato variety? I think the Tycoons rate up there with the best!
A. Everyone has a different favorite. If often depends on the growing conditions. Warm days and cool nights produce a good-flavored tomato. Variety differences affect taste ... some gardeners like acidic fruit while others like sweet fruit. Tycoon is one that lots of Central Texas gardeners like.
Q. Can I put our oak and pecan leaves in the compost pile? I have heard that they were too full of chemicals?
A. Leaves make great compost. Pecan and oak leaves have tannins and other natural chemicals in their structure, but that doesn’t reduce their value as a compost pile ingredient.
Q. When does lawn grass go dormant? I am tired of mowing.
A. Each lawn grass is a little different. Cool weather causes the dormant-like state in the winter. Bermuda is usually first and St. Augustine is last. Some years, St. Augustine stays green all winter. This time of the year, however, your grass should not be growing much. It is a good idea to keep the weeds mowed to prevent reseeding and an untidy appearance.
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