HOM Control apple maggots with bags


Q: My apples are (again) infected with apple maggots. I refuse to spray chemicals on them. What are my alternatives?

A: One method is to hang red balls covered with a sticky substance called tree tanglefoot in your trees. This traps the adult fly before she can lay eggs on your fruit. The more of these you hang in a tree, the more flies you trap. Ten to 15 per average-size tree is not too many, but it's too late now. Another method is to cover each apple with a plastic sandwich bag before July 1. This bag prevents the adult fly from coming in contact with the apple. The bag should be left on the apple through mid-September. This method, although requiring some tedious labor on your part, is about 99 percent effective.

Q: We have a beautiful blue lilac that has produced lots of seeds this year. If we planted some of them in our garden, would we get some new blue lilacs?

A: French Hybrid Lilacs are true hybrids, some having been crossed many times with the other colors, other sizes, etc. Planting these seeds will result in plants showing characteristics of all the plants used in breeding the hybrid that you have.


Q: Last winter, I planted eight amaryllis bulbs in one large pot for some winter bloom. They did all bloom, got their leaves, and promptly the leaves all dried off. Did sticking them all in one pot instead of potting them individually as I usually do influence their die off?

A: Planting several amaryllis bulbs in one container is usually disappointing, not because their leaves die off prematurely, but because they seldom flower all at one time. I hope you planted them outdoors for the summer, as they should be just fine.

Q: I have a honeysuckle hedge that is really looking ratty the last couple of years. How far can I cut it back this fall without killing it?

A: You could cut honeysuckle back to the soil line and it will recover nicely next spring and look better than it has in years.

Keith Stangler has 35 years experience in horticulture. To ask a question or comment, call 288-7739, 1-800-562-1758 or send an e-mail to

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