I am new at vegetable growing and would like to know what is meant by thinning lettuce plants? Do you thin individual plants or a clump of plants?

Thin lettuce to individual plants, leaving the space mentioned on the seed package. Lettuce sends out new growth from the center of the plant as it forms a clump. The “thinnings” are edible and can be added to a salad. We are happy to answer beginner questions. We forget the many questions that come up for the beginner gardener.

My freesia bulbs which I planted last fall seem to have rotted. Why did this happen?

Freesia is a tender plant that is grown in greenhouses or in the Deep South. Northwest Arkansas is not Deep South enough. Your freesia bulbs were frozen.

My daffodils need to be divided. Should I keep them in my refrigerator until fall?

It’s best to plant them immediately in their new location or dry them out and store them in a cool place. There are some good reasons for not storing them in the refrigerator. Daffodil bulbs are poisonous and a member of your family might take them for a new gourmet food.

Is it all right to use shredded newspaper as a mulch for my tomatoes?

Black and white newspaper is a very good and cheap mulch for anything. For tomatoes, just be sure the soil has thoroughly warmed before applying any mulch. Insulating the soil when it is still cold will delay the growth and flowering of tomatoes.

  • Attention all gardeners and tree huggers: Janet Carson will give a talk on trees, especially on the planting and caring for new trees and those that survived the ice storm. The time is 6:30 p.m. April 27 at the Washington County Extension Office, 2536 N. McConnell Ave., Fayetteville. Master Gardeners are admitted free, public admission is $5.

Send your questions and tips to Washington County Master Gardens, 2536 N. McConnell Ave., Fayetteville, or call 444-1755.

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