A: The leaf curling is likely caused by an interrupted water supply. I’m guessing that sometime recently the soil in the pot dried out. Either you didn’t water it for a couple of days or the roots in the pot got too hot to absorb water correctly. Tree root growth slows down when soil temperatures exceed 86 degrees. Roots die when soil temperatures rise above 96 degrees. When summer temperatures are regularly in the 90s, it’s easy for the soil in pots to exceed these temperatures. You can try to save this tree by checking the soil each day with your fingers. If it’s dry, be sure to soak it thoroughly. Another option is to move the tree to a larger container where the soil can hold more moisture and it is less likely to heat up.
Q: Is there a variety of okra that is fusarium wilt resistant? My Clemson spineless okra comes up, then the leaves turn yellow and fall off. About 80% die, and the rest grows a little and produces very little. I’m assuming it’s fusarium wilt and there’s no cure? Doug Elmore, email
A: It is always a good idea to get a diagnosis from the University of Georgia plant pathology lab before assuming it is fusarium wilt. (You can get contact details from your county Extension office.) But if it is, here are tips I’ve collected: The fungal spores can survive in the soil for up to seven years. Use certified clean seeds. Buy seeds treated with fungicide. Raise soil pH by applying lime where soils are acidic. I am not saying you have fusarium wilt because many things can cause these symptoms. The suggestions I listed are useful for most garden seeds.
Email Walter at firstname.lastname@example.org. Listen to his occasional garden comments on “Green and Growing with Ashley Frasca” Saturday mornings on 95.5 WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, or join his Facebook page at bit.ly/georgiagardener for his latest tips.