It is designed to be educational, challenging, and fun. Even though there might be an appearance of a trick question here or there, nothing of that sort is intentional. Some folks like multiple choice questions and others like true or false – and some like neither. But here are 25 garden questions to whet your appetite. Answers are at the end.
2. True or false — A nice loamy garden soil is made up of near equal parts of sand, silt, and clay.
3. If a soil test report indicates that more calcium is needed in the soil, which of the following should be added to supply this element? (a) lime, (b) peat moss, or (c) MiracleGro?
4. Blueberries, rhododendrons, and azaleas grow best at a pH of (a) 7.5, (b) 4.5, or (c) 6.5.
5. On occasions when there is far too much rain, some plants might "drown" because the roots of the plants are deprived of (a) oxygen, (b) carbon dioxide, or (c) helium.
6. T or F – An ample supply of phosphorus is needed for good root growth for newly transplanted plants such as tomato, pepper, and petunia.
7. MiracleGro is a common fertilizer used with garden plants. It has a nutrient analysis of 15-30-15. Those numbers refer the percentages of (a) potassium-nitrogen-phosphorus, (b) nitrogen-potassium-phosphorus, (c) nitrogen-phosphorus-potassium, or (d) phosphorus-nitrogen-potassium. (It can be confusing!)
8. T or F – The abbreviations for the above nutrients are: N = nitrogen; P = phosphorus; and K = potassium.
9. T or F – For tomato and pepper to produce a good crop, lots of bees are needed for pollination.
10. T or F – If you plan to save seeds of pumpkins for planting the next year, do not use hybrid varieties.
11. T or F – Holly plants and asparagus plants are either male or female. The plants with the red berries are female.
12. If you would like to have a beautiful flowering perennial along a stone wall, you might want to consider planting (a) tall marigolds, (b) delphiniums, or (c) hybrid impatiens.
13. The best time to prune flowering shrubs such as forsythia and rhododendrons is (a) in the fall following the first heavy frost, (b) right after the spring flowers have faded away, or (c) in the spring just before the flowers open.
14. Most northern lawn grasses thrive best when mowed at a height of (a) 1-1 ½ inches, (b) 3-3 ½ inches, or (c) 2-2 ½ inches.
15. T or F – When mole tunnels are seen in the lawn, they are a good indication that grubs (the larval stage of beetles) are in the soil.
16. When the bottom of a tomato fruit turns brown, it is called blossom-end rot. The best way to solve this problem is to (a) supply more water to the soil around the plants, (b) pick off the affected fruits, or (c) prune off all leaves that touch the ground.
17. An effective way to warm up garden soil in early spring is to (a) apply hay or straw mulch, (b) set up a portable heater, or (c) cover the soil with black plastic mulch.
18. Black plastic mulch controls weeds in the garden because (a) the increased heat in the soil kills the weeds as they germinate under the plastic, (b) the black plastic excludes light, or (c) the black plastic shuts off the oxygen supply to the weeds.
19. T or F – Most viruses that infect garden plants are spread by insects such as aphids. Therefore insect control is very important.
20. A container that measures 1 x 1 x 1 feet is a cubic foot. That container would hold how much water? (a) 1 gallon (b) 3 gallons, (c) 4 ½ gallons, or (d) 7 ½ gallons?
21. T or F — If you pruned some of your shrubs into the shape of an animal or into a geometric shape, you would be practicing the ancient art of topiary.
22. Which of these spring flowering plants is not planted in the spring? (a) petunia, (b) tulip, (c) sunflower, or (d) salvia?
23. T or F – The Latin name of a plant has two parts, for example Lycopersicon esculentum (tomato) or Quercus alba (white oak); the first part is the genus and the second part is the species.
24. To make the best use of available water, (a) lightly sprinkle the garden or lawn each day, (b) water only at night, or (c) utilize a drip irrigation system.
25. If you made a raised bed that was 6-feet wide, 14-feet long, and 6-inches deep, how many cubic yards of soil would you need to fill the bed? (a) 1 yard, (b) 1 ½ yards, or (c) 2 yards?
1c; 2 True; 3a; 4b; 5a; 6 True; 7c; 8 True; 9 False; 10 True; 11 True; 12b; 13b; 14c; 15 True; 16a; 17c; 18b; 19 True; 20d; 21 True; 22b; 23 True; 24c; 25b [6’ x 14’x 0.5’= 42 cubic feet, divided by 27 cubic feet/cubic yard = 1.56 cubic yards]