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Ask Rob Proctor your gardening questions

9:03 AM, Jan 9, 2014   |    comments
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KUSA - It's time to take a trip to Rob Proctor's garden. This week, Rob is answering 9NEWS viewers' questions about plant care.

Question: What types of plants can I plant to attract bees? - Theresa Scheer

Answer: Try oregano, thyme, basil, zinnia, crocus, hyacinth, pansy, sunflower, salvia, single dahlia, aster, hollyhock, trumpet vine, chives, alliums and mint.

Question: Can you please help apartment dwellers, like myself, to put together a simple indoor kitchen (or other) window herb garden? (That will not die.) I have one window that's mostly sunny and one with very little sun/indirect light. Are there herbs that are better for each particular window? No rush to reply but I would surely LOVE your input!! Happy New Year! -Bridget Voeck

Answer: Almost all popular culinary herbs are of Mediterranean origin and need sun. So you can skip the one with indirect light. Use Roots Organic or Happy Frog potting soil. Do not overwater; let them dry out between waterings. That's pretty much it.

Question: Rob, I need this question answered and hope you can help. I love Brussels sprouts but every dang year, the plants are invaded by creepy aphids. I look at the plants every other day and see no aphids, until, all of a sudden, they appear in large quantities, even inside the outside leaves. I can't just spray them off at that point. Is there some way to keep the creepy critters from getting under my leaves and on my nerves? -Patricia Rice

Answer: Aphids are especially fond of plants in the cabbage family such as kale, broccoli and Brussels sprouts. Outbreaks are common. Use a soapy spray made from a few squirts of a pure liquid soap such as Dr. Bronner's in a spray bottle of water. Soap dissolves insects quickly. Rinse the plants thoroughly before consumption to avoid a soapy taste.

Question: Do you have any tips for protecting tomato plants from wind? -Robin Van Ausdall

Answer: Build wooden cages with the poles anchored well in the ground; wrap the cage in clear plastic except on top and staple well.

Question: I have 2 huge beautiful poinsettias from Tagawa and they are beginning to drop leaves. I know we can somehow take care of them and use them again next year. So, how do I do this? -Sandy Dickie

Answer: You've done well to get them this far. Leaf drop is normal. Transplant them to bigger pots in spring and let them vacation outside after it warms up. In fall, transfer them to a sunny window in a room that stays absolutely dark after sunset. Their flowering is triggered by the decrease in day length in fall. So much as a night light will ruin their setting flowers.

Question: Rob, we flooded in September. My veggie garden was under a couple of feet of water for half a day. I pitched all the produce and plants, concerned about contamination. What should I do to prep for this coming season? Soil test? Any other suggestions? Thanks, as always for the tips! -Barb Tarnawski-Inman

Answer: The risk of contamination is relatively low unless you live near an area where there is a high concentration of heavy metals from mining, significant oil or gas production and storage, or near a feed lot or animal processing plant. You can get a soil test through CSU Extension. Talk to your county CSU Extension office; find the nearest at or read more at

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