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Green pecans are not usually edible

Q: My house has two giant pecan trees with lots of green pecans that have fallen off. I dried a tray of them but the nutmeats were soft or rotten. What am I doing wrong? Georgiana Truluck, Cherokee County

A: Our unfortunate Georgia pecan farmers are faced with a similar problem after the recent hurricane. Usually pecan nuts fall from their outer shuck to the ground when they are fully mature and ready to eat. If the nuts are almost mature and somehow fall from the tree with the green shuck still attached, the shuck can be manually removed and the nuts will dry to an edible state. It’s a messy and tiresome process. But if the nuts are not close to mature when they fall, nothing can be done to make them edible. It’s easy to use a handheld pruner to slice a few of your nuts in half. If the nuts inside are squishy or moldy, it isn’t likely you have anything to harvest this year.

Q: In 2013 we planted UC157 asparagus. We have harvested nice eating-size asparagus since. Now the plants are four feet tall and very bushy. My late husband tended our plot and I’m not sure what he did at this point. Jan Newbill, Shiloh

A: Good news! You don’t have to do anything until the bushy asparagus ferns turn yellow. You can cut them down to the ground any time in winter. New spears will appear next spring for you to enjoy. Be sure to fertilize regularly; asparagus is a heavy feeder. A typical rate is two pounds of 10-10-10 per 100 square feet in February and a cup of 34-0-0 over the same area after harvest ends. You selected a good variety: older ones like ‘Mary Washington’ and ‘Martha Washington’ don’t produce nearly as well.

Q: Will a hurricane downpour after I apply pre-emergent wash the chemical away? Mike Childers, McDonough

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A: Pre-emergent chemicals dissolve pretty quickly. This means that even if you have a big downpour after applying, the first half-inch of rain dissolves the chemical and spreads it rapidly into the soil. Once the chemical is bound to the soil particles, it doesn’t move with additional rainfall. The only time it might move is if it’s applied on a steep slope and the soil and pre-emergent wash away together.

Q: I had a bag of Milorganite that I stored in a plastic bucket. Somehow the lid was shifted and now I have a smelly, sticky mess. Any ideas how to dispose of it? We live near a lake. Kathy Fredrickson, Roswell

A: My first inclination would be to grab some rubber gloves and a tuna fish can and carry the bucket to a spot as far away from your home and from the water as you can. Use the can to dip and scatter the Milorganite in all directions. It will fertilize your landscape nicely without continuing to express its noxiousness.

Listen to Walter Reeves Saturday mornings on News 95.5 FM and AM750 WSB. Visit his website, www.walterreeves.com, follow him on Twitter @walterreeves, on Pinterest, or join his Facebook Fan Page at bit.ly/georgiagardener for more garden tips.

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