| by Kenneth Chase | No comments

The Family Plot — August 20, 2015

– Hi, thanks for joining
us for The Family Plot Gardening in the Mid-South. I’m Chris Cooper. Not only do bees give us honey, but also pollinate crops. Today, we are going
to talk about some of the issues bees are facing. Also, we’re going out
in the garden to look at problems with tomatoes
and how to fix them. That’s just ahead
on The Family Plot Gardening in the Mid-South. – [voiceover] Production
funding for The Family Plot Gardening in the
Mid-South is provided by: Good Winds landscape
and garden center. In Germantown since
1943, and continuing to offer its plants for
successful gardening, with seven greenhouses
and three acres of plants. Plus comprehensive
landscape services. International Paper Foundation, the WKNO Production Fund, the WKNO Endowment Fund and by viewers like
you, thank you. (cheery music) – Welcome to The Family
Plot, I’m Chris Cooper. Joining me today
is David Glover, Mr. David is the
Bartlett Bee Whisperer. And Mr. D is with us today.
Thanks for joining us. – Howdy howdy. – Hey – Alright Mr. David,
let’s talk about the bees, you know, specifically this whole colony
collapse disorder. – Well, one of the
problems we have is, when we give a disease
or a symptom a name, people look for the smoking gun. Colony collapse disorder is
actually a conglomeration of things going on with
bees where they die. The hive has brood,
honey, pollen in it but there are no bees,
they just disappear. And so, several years ago
they came up with that name. There have been a
lot of studies done to try to figure
out what’s going on. And we’ve got several different
diseases that crop up. Several different
mites that pop in. And yet, not all of them are at the same time that
the bees disappear. – So can we talk about
some of those diseases and some of those
mites for the folks? – Well, the big one that
I want to talk about is the Varroa mite, and
Varroa is like a bee tick. It latches onto the
bee and starts sucking the lymphatic system
and eating on it. That’s not all the
damage it does, it gets into the hive
and lays its’ eggs in on the larvae
as they’re growing. They have four or
five baby mites in the cell with the
larva as it grows. And it sucks the life
out of the larva. And it just continues
to propagate. That’s bad, what
we’ve found over the last couple of years is that the Varroa also vectors
about 20 different diseases. – [Chris] Wow. – So as we look at the colony
collapse disorder, we start realizing some of the diseases
are carried by Varroa. Bees are social
creatures, as they bump up against
each other, as they share food, these mites
jump from bee to bee. And so when we truck half
of our colonies of bees to, say, California for
the almond fields, if there’s one colony
there that has Varroa, as they’re pollinating
the almonds, they can spread to all
the other colonies. And then when they go back
home, they carry them back home. So that’s, my gut feeling says that one mite could be the
carrier of all the problems that we’re having
with colony collapse. There are other things
that go along with it, but, well think about it this
way, the mite is a parasite. – [Chris] Okay. – Imagine being pregnant.
I’ve never done that. My wife’s done it twice,
but imagine being pregnant. There’s a creature sucking
the life out of you. While you’re pregnant
you get the flu, or you get gestational diabetes, gestational diabetes
associated with the pregnancy. So you get a disease that’s
associated with the Varroa mite. And you now have to go two
miles to gather your groceries. The bees are going out
gathering their pollen gathering nectar and
as they come back home, they may go through a field
that’s got pesticide on it. May make ’em drunk,
hard to get back home. The pregnant woman
syndrome, she’s pregnant, she’s got the flu, she’s
gathering groceries at Wal-Mart, she’s
walking back home and she decides to
stop at the local bar. And get a six pack.
Will she make it home? Will the bees make it home? And that’s part of the
problems that we have is that it’s a multiple
and interacting causality for the colony
collapse to happen. – [Chris] Wow. – Crazy? – That’s pretty crazy. – Yeah. Things that
we look at when we go out online, and
a lot of your viewers are online, and they
see things that say “30, 40% colony
loss in the world.” And as we look at the numbers, eventually 30% by 30% by 30%, we’re gonna lose
all our bees right? – [Chris] Right. – Beekeepers realize that as we lose our bees over
winter, we have to do something in the Spring
to build them back up. And so we’ll take a
colony that’s strong and we’ll split it in half
and we’ll have two colonies. We can buy bees, we have
beekeepers that do nothing but raise colonies
of bees for sale. We have beekeepers
who are queen breeders and all they do is raise queens. So when we look at a 30% loss, this last year for the
state of Tennessee, our winter loss was 20%. Our whole year loss was like, 36, 47, 47.7% is what we lost. And when we look at that,
if we get to a 50% margin of loss, when we split those
bees, all we’re doing is coming back to our status
quo of last year. So, we are losing
our bees, some states are losing as much as 62%
of their bees each year. – [Chris] Woah, that’s
a big percentage. – It’s not all of
’em, some states are losing none, but those
states that are losing none don’t have bees to begin with. – [Chris] Okayll . – In the back of our
minds, we also need to remember that the
honey bee is not indigenous to the United States. – [Chris] Right. – We brought it in,
and the major reason we have them isn’t the
honey, it’s because the United States is a huge
agricultural community. We generate a lot of food
and we need those bees to pollinate, we’re talking
about 15 billion dollars of agriculture business
that would be lost if we didn’t have the honey bee. 20 different crops
that are specifically pollinated by honey bees. – Wow, so we don’t
have those honey bees, you have higher food prices. – Higher food prices,
and we’re actually getting higher
food prices already because, with the loss of bees, that loss is being
transferred back to the growers because of rental
contracts for the bees. And so it’s going back out, so it really is happening already. – If people wanted to
get more information about bees, who do you follow? Who do you go to for
your information? Because there’s a lot of
stuff out there on the web. And a lot of that
stuff is not true. – A lot of it’s not
true, there’s a lot of, and I don’t mean
it in a bad way, too green and tree-hugging. I’ve hugged trees, I love
trees, I like to climb ’em. USDA, the Department
of Agriculture is almost dead on with
all of their statistics. They’ve now incorporated
the information from Bee Informed Partnership, which is an extension, actually one of the guys working
with it is at UT, in Knoxville, I met
with him this last weekend and we
discussed all this. Next year’s report
is gonna incorporate the Bee Informed
Partnership’s numbers. Because they’re able to
tap into the beekeepers. Beekeepers are kinda secretive
about where their bees are. Because we don’t
want ’em stolen. Now, stealing bee,
rustling bees, is becoming a big business also. – Wow, how ’bout that? – It’s kinda crazy, but with
the Bee Informed Partnership, and with the USDA,
we’ve got real numbers. Just because you see
that we’ve lost 40% of our bees, doesn’t mean
it’s true in Tennessee, or in Mississippi,
Mississippi loss was 36.7 for the whole total year,
but winter loss was 20%. Our normal winter
loss is around 30%. With the advent of
colony collapse disorder, we’ve been at the
30% margin, before colony collapse,
national average was 14%. – Wow. Mr. David, we
definitely appreciate that insightful information,
that was pretty good. I see Mr. D’s nodding
his head over there. – Yeah that’s one of the
best descriptions I’ve heard. I’m impressed. – I appreciate y’all. – Hey, we thank you
much for being here. There are a number
of gardening events going on in the next
couple of weeks, here are just a few
that might interest you: Hi Mr. D, let’s take a
look at our tomato plants and see if we have
any problems here. – Yeah, we got a few
problems, but I tell ya, we’ve got a heavy
crop of tomatoes. So I’m gonna, you
know you’ve done a real good job growing
these “Tommy Toes” or cherry tomatoes, they’ve
got a lot of different names. there’s a lot of different
varieties of ’em. But we’ve got a
heavy crop on here. We see two or three
problems, this is a classic example of
an excellent plant to grow in a raised bed,
or in a flower garden. They’re ornamental,
they’re pretty. Talk about edible landscaping, this is something that
you could readily do. But the apparent
damage, there are two things that jump out at
me when I walk up here. The first thing is that we
have a little bit of blight. I guess it’s early blight
that’s moving up into the plant. And you can’t cure that,
you can’t make these brown leaves green,
but you could start spraying this plant with either Chlorothalonil, Bravo, or Maneb or Mancozeb,
something like that. And start spraying it about
every seven to ten days. And keep that protective
coat of fungicide and you would stop it from spreading
up to the other leaves. So that’s something
that you could do, if you did that, you
would continue to be able to pick these
nice fruit until frost, – Let me ask you
about this though, would you pinch these off then, you know, the ones
that have the blight? Could you do that? – You could, you
could, and if you did, don’t just throw them
down, take them out of the garden,
take them away and put them in the
bag, double bag them and get rid of them, don’t
put ’em in your mulch pile. Because it can
continue to spread. And picking them off
is not going to stop it from spreading
because even though you don’t see the damage
on these green leaves, the spores are already there and the disease is already spreading up into some of
these other leaves. But you can stop it and
prevent it from getting worse if you will start using
fungicide on a regular basis. Another thing I see, and I think this problem’s
already been solved but there is some very clear– – [Chris] Very clear. – evidence that we’ve
had tomato hornworms or tobacco hornworms out here. They will eat the
entire leaf off and I understand that
they, about a week or so ago, they picked six
hornworms off the plant. Now I don’t see
any fresh damage, I don’t see any
fresh leaf chewing or fresh worm poo poo out here. (Chris laughing) So I assume they got them all. If you do see more
hornworm damage, then you can pick
them off, that’s been successful in doing that. Or could spray it
with Bt, DiPel, the Bacillus thuringiensis
product does a good job controlling the tomato hornworms when they’re small,
especially when they’re small. And it’ll even get
the big boys too. – Any difference? Because
we were talking earlier. I’ve never seen one
of the little ones, I always see one
of the big boys. – The little ones are,
well all hornworms, are masters of camouflage. – [Chris] Yes they are. – I think the US
Army has learned something from tomato hornworms. (Chris laughing) They’re masters
of camouflage and the smallest one I’ve seen
is about an inch long. And I know they’ve gotta be
smaller than an inch long. You know, to get
to be an inch long. – [Chris] That’s right. – They blend in and
they hide and they’re really really hard to
find on tomato plants. So whoever picked
these, my hat’s off to ’em, they did a good job. Another thing I see here,
you know a few weeks ago, this tomato plant, there
was a program to put in an irrigation system
so this plant has been gettin plenty of
water, adequate water. And I understand
about a few weeks ago a light application of nitrogen
was applied to the plant. And we see some
splitting fruit here, classic examples of tomato fruit that have gotten that have been dry and mostly it’s the water issue, but the combination of
water and fertilizer will cause it to split
like this, splitting fruit. And there’s absolutely
nothing wrong with that. – [Chris] Yeah I was
about to say, it doesn’t mean that the fruit
is bad, right? – It’s not bad at all,
as a matter of fact, I’m gonna eat this one, but that split, it’s sealed, that
suture is kinda sealed, the plant does a good job
of trying to heal but… – There he goes. What
does it taste like? – Absolutely nothin
wrong with that tomato. That is a really really
good tastin tomato. But, so don’t worry about that, You’ll see the smaller ones, are not splitting,
they have adequate water and adequate fertilizer, however I’m about to give
’em another shot of nitrogen. – [Chris] Ok,
let’s witness that. – And that’s a good
thing that you can do if you wanna encourage
your tomato plants to continue to
produce until frost, it’s a good idea
about every 30 days about once a month,
you can give ’em about a tablespoon,
per plant, of 34-0-0. That’s strictly nitrogen. So nitrogen will last
about four to six weeks. During rainy conditions,
it’ll last only four weeks, it readily leaches
from the soil. During dry conditions it’ll
last six weeks, usually. But if you have adequate
irrigation like we have here It will only last
about four weeks. And it’s been about four weeks since these tomatoes
had a shot of nitrogen so I’m about to give
’em another shot. – [Chris] Give ’em a shot. – Again, one tablespoon
of nitrogen per plant, no more than that
’cause this 34-0-0 is one third nitrogen so 34%, a little over one third. So I’ve got me some 34-0-0 here and I don’t have a
tablespoon but I’ve got, I know about how
big a tablespoon is this is off of a milk jug land
that’s pretty doggone close. And in government work,
plus or minus ten percent. And I’m gonna kinda shake
that and make it level off, that looks like about
a tablespoon to me. So I’m just gonna kinda
sprinkle this around the plant but I don’t have to
get right under it. I’m gonna try to put
about a half of it out. And then go back and
put the other half out. – Because like you mention
about the corn, the root systems are gonna be out
there a little bit, right? – Right even on a tree,
the root system is out one and a half times
the height of that tree. On the average. So, that’s probably a pretty
good rule of thumb for plants. And this tomato plant is four, four and a half feet tall. So it’s probably six
feet out. Six feet out. – Alright Mr. D., we
appreciate that demonstration and I’m sure the plant
will appreciate it as well. – Very good. – Remember, we love
to hear from you. Send us a letter or an email
with your gardening questions. Send your email to
[email protected] The mailing address
is Family Plot 7151 Cherry Farms Road,
Cordova, Tennessee 38016 Alright, this is
our Q & A session. Mr. David, you jump
in there with us, okay? – Okay. – Alright here’s our
first viewer email. “Do my thornless blackberry
plants have a virus? “They discolor around the
base, then the plant dies. “I have lost 85 to 90% of the
plants in this bed so far. “The healthy shoots dug
up and replanted also die, “but the plants 50
feet away thrive. “What is happening, How
do I treat my plants? “What precautions should I take “to prevent it from spreading? Any help would be appreciated.”
And this is from Mr. James. Mr. D, I see you thinkin about
this one pretty good there. – Yeah I was kinda
very perplexed first, I wonder what varieties, but we do know it’s thornless. – [Chris] Yeah it’s thornless. – And I assume it’s erect or it’s a trailing type. But the fact that the plant dies and the newly
propagated plants die, and adjacently there
are healthy plants, now I assume that the
soil type is the same and that it’s just as well
drained in both locations. And if that’s the
case, I’m thinkin that we may have a fungal wilt, a verticillium wilt. And that can be deadly. And if that’s the
case, you do not wanna try to propagate a
plant from a plant that’s affected
with verticillium. It’s just like with
tomatoes, if you have a verticillium wilt on tomatoes, you don’t even want
to handle a sick plant and then go handle another one because you could
spread the disease. So my recommendation
is to dig that plant up and get rid of it, pull
it up by the roots, get as many of the
roots as you can because verticillium, the
wilt fungi live in the soil. – [Chris] Yeah,
it’s in the soil. – Do not plant another
plant in that spot, just try to get as far away
from that spot as you can. And then destroy, burn if
you will, burn that plant. But that’s what it
sounds like to me. I dunno, what do you think? – I pretty much
think the same thing. The ones 50 feet away
are doing just fine. So I’m thinking it has to
be something in that soil. – And blackberries are
tough, it takes a lot to kill a blackberry, you can’t even
easily kill it with herbicides. – Yeah that’s right. – And for one to do that,
and what you described is classic symptoms
of verticillium wilt
in blackberries. That could’ve come in with
the plant, from the nursery, – [Chris] It could have,
I didn’t think about that. – There are several ways
it could’ve gotten there but the organism does
thrive in wet soils. But that’s what I bet it is. – Yeah because it’s this plant, in this area and the ones
away are doing just fine. So I’m definitely thinking
it’s something in the soil. And that’s the first thing
that came to my mind. Alright Mr. James, I
hope that helps you out. Here’s our next viewer email, “How do you grow ginger root? “Is it even possible to grow
it here in a Memphis garden?” Ginger likes zones nine
through twelve, tropical. We are 7b here. Not nine through
12, not tropical. So your ginger will struggle
here, through our winters. If you want to try, Mr.
David, which you have. – I have – [Chris] You have success?
You grew it outside. – It was good, it
was tasty, it worked. But you do not want it
outside during the winter. – Yeah, outside in the
garden is what Ms. Janice wants to do, I wouldn’t put
it outside in the garden, I would try in a
greenhouse or plant it in a container and bring
it in the house. Do it that way. – And keep it away
from two year old sons. – And keep it away
from two year old sons. (both laughing) But again, it’s
a tropical plant, it does like filtered sun, It likes good, rich, soil. But not here. Alright Ms. Janice, I
hope that helps you out. Here’s our next question, “Every year my peaches are
covered with little black spots. What should I have
done to prevent this?” Mr. D? Little black spots on peaches. – Cover spray. You know,
little black spots. The biggest problem with
peaches, nectarines and plums is a disease called brown rot. And brown rot is not
a little black spot, brown rot is large
brown rots on the fruit. Little black spots could
be a bacterial spot. – [Chris] Or, I thought,
scab. Peach scab. – Peach scab, and
if that’s the case, the regular spray schedule
will take care of it. – I betcha it’s peach scab. – Regular spray schedule,
and according to the UT home orchard guide, (all laughing) they recommend Captan or sulfur or Chlorothalonil
as again starting at bloom with only
the fungicide. The Captan or the
Chlorothalonil. And at petal fall, when
most of the petals, and this will protect
your honey bees, and when most of the
petals have fallen off, again, only the fungicide,
because the fungicide is not gonna hurt
your honey bees. That would be Captan or
sulphur or Chlorothalonil. Later on, after all
the blooms are off, then if you have, well with
peaches, plums or nectarines, you are going to
have plum curculio. And at that time,
you need to add Malathion with a
mixture or Immunox or something like that to
control the plum curculio, but do not add it, never, ever use an insecticide
on a blooming plant. Because that will
kill honey bees. It’s not maybe, it
will kill honey bees. – The EPA has done
a really good job putting the warning
on the ones for anything that’s bee specific
to spray not during bloom. – Right, and I’ve seen
that on the label. that’s exactly right. – The label is a legal document. That we’re bound
by law to follow. – [Chris] Yes it is. Alright, appreciate that Mr. D. Our next viewer email “How can you tell
when your spaghetti “squash is ready to be picked? “Once it’s ready how long
would it be in its’ prime? “If I don’t get it
at the right time, will it become tough or rot?” And this is Ms. Nancy
in Powell,l Tennessee. – New to me. – Alright, here we go. I
have a little experience with this one with
the spaghetti squash. you can, look, it
has to be a uniform dark yellow or
dark golden color. If you have any green tint,
let it stay on the vine. ‘Cause it’s not ready. Ok?
Deep yellow golden color. Or the second thing that
Grandma used to do is this, the old scratch
test, you scratch it. If it’s soft, or if it leaves
a mark, leaves a scratch, leave it on the vine,
it’s not ready yet. Because you want it to be tough. You want it to be tough. So if you do that
scratch test again, and it’s tough, you
don’t see a scratch mark, it’s hard, it’s
ready to be picked. And if you pick it, if
you actually store it in a cool dry place,
don’t let ’em touch, ok? They’ll actually keep
for a couple of weeks. And what she would always do is, she would mix up
like a ten percent bleach solution, 90%
water, just kinda rub those rinds a little bit. No mildew. No mold. No rot. And it would keep for
about a couple of weeks. – How long will it
keep on that plant? How long of a window do
you have when it’s right? – The window’s not
gonna be too big, once it gets ripe, you need to
go ahead and get it of there. And if you do, if you
mess around and you’re picking it off and you
separate it from that stem, then just kinda leave it on the
ground, something like that. It will start to rot, quick. If you bruise that stem
or anything like that, or nick it, or cut
it or something, that thing’ll rot pretty quick. Real sensitive, so yeah,
a real small window. But that’s what Grandma did, and it seemed to
work pretty good. – Don’t argue with Grandma. (all laughing) – Alright Mr. David,
Mr. D. we’re outta time. – Thank you – That’s all we
have time for today, thanks for watching,
I’m Chris Cooper. Be sure to join us next
time for The Family Plot: Gardening in the
Mid-South, be safe. (folksy music) – [voiceover] Production
funding for The Family Plot: Gardening in the
Mid-South is provided by: Good Winds Landscape
and Garden Center, in Germantown since
1943, and continuing to offer its’ plants for
successful gardening. With seven greenhouses
and three acres of plants, plus comprehensive
landscape services. International Paper Foundation, The WKNO Production Fund, The WKNO Endowment Fund, and by viewers like
you, thank you.

Leave a Reply