On this D&B Garden Show, Master Gardener Debbie Cook takes listener questions. She goes into detail on tips to harvest and cure garlic. She also talks about when to cut flowers and reasons why they may not be blooming properly.

Harvesting and Curing Garlic - Garlic cloves on a table

What causes a branch or a side of a tree’s leaves to turn red?

It can be a combination of a lot of factors. One reason could be drought stress. The tree may not be getting enough water. Salt stress may be another reason. If a tree is near a road that is treated with salt. It could affect your tree. Another possibility is nutrient deficiency or toxicity. It could be lacking nutrients or over fertilization. Cold temperatures can also affect your leaves. If it is in an area where the top soil has been removed, or the soil has been made compact by large vehicles such as construction vehicles, or over watering it can also affect leaf color.  Damage caused by hitting it too much with the weed eater can also cause discoloration as well as some herbicides can cause it.

Do you have any tips for harvesting garlic?

Typically you plant in the fall and by July they are ready to be harvested. As soon as the top of garlic or even onions or potatoes leaves start to die back a bit that’s an indicator that they are about ready to harvest. When harvesting your garlic make sure the soil is not sopping wet but also not bone dry. Have it watered a day or two in advance. Using something like a spade or a fork loosen the soil without cutting into the bulb before pulling them out. If you don’t loosen the soil the chances of damaging the garlic is high.

Do you have any tips for curing garlic?

After harvesting you will want to cure them for about a week to let them dry before you store them or braid the leaves. Before letting them dry, try to clean off as much dirt as you can as it will get much harder to remove once it dries onto the the garlic bulb. You can either cut off the root before or after the garlic has been cured. You will want to cut off most of the neck but not all.

Do you have tips for rose cuttings?

You’ll need to get your potting medium ready. You can use regular potting soil and make sure to moisten it up. Use something like a pencil to make holes with. In each 6 inch pot you can put three or four cuttings in there. You should put some rooting hormones to be ready to be dipped into. After this you are ready to prepare your cuttings. What you are looking for a rose that is just beginning to fade and the rose petals are just beginning to drop. You’ll want to take a cutting that is about 6 inches long. You’ll want to leave two sets of leaves.  Cut the stem at an angle and dip the cut in the rooting hormone but don’t use too much. Gently dip into the hormone and gently tap it off. Then you can put that rose cutting into your pre-made hole. Then you will need to create a greenhouse type environment because the cuttings do not have roots to absorb water. One way to do this is to attach a plastic bag over the pot and place a rubber band around it. It may take up to six weeks before the plant will be ready to be taken out of the bag. Once you see new leaves, you will know there are new roots then you are ready to take off the plastic bag. You can then divide the rose cuttings up into different pots or you can plant them directly into the ground.

Why will some of my vegetables be blooming but the blossoms will drop off?

More than anything else this is strictly weather related when it gets really hot (above 90 degrees Fahrenheit) or when it cools off (below 70 degrees Fahrenheit). Particularly this will happen with tomatoes and peppers.

What time of day should I cut my flowers?

Best to do it really early in the morning or after the sun goes down. Best not to cut or prune your flowers when they are in full sun.

Why aren’t day lilies not blooming when they have bloomed in the past? 

Day lilies are very particular that they need 6 hours of sun and aren’t getting overcrowded. You can divide these plants any time of year. Spring is best but all times will work. When you replant them, don’t plant them too deep.

Check out the podcast below for even more information