2011-05-12 / Editorial Page

Consumers get answers from Georgia Dept. of Agriculture

Department of Agriculture, Gary W. Black, Commissioner, 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SW, Atlanta, GA 30334. www.agr.georgia.gov. Find us on Facebook.

Q: Should fresh blueberries be washed prior to freezing? What containers are best for freezing them?

A: Some claim that washing the blueberries before freezing causes the skins to toughen, while others claim the opposite. Whether you wash them or don’t wash them before freezing, they should be dry when put into the freezer so they don’t stick together and freeze into a solid mass. When they are dried off prior to freezing you can scoop or pour as many frozen blueberries as you need, instead of having to thaw the entire bag or container. Georgia’s blueberry season begins in May and runs into August. Freezing is a good way to preserve Georgia blueberries for use throughout the entire year. Blueberries can be frozen in zip-lock bags or freezer containers.

Q: You once described a yellowflowered shrub called kerria that some people call “Easter rose.” I know another plant called “Easter rose,” but it has white flowers and looks more like a rose than kerria does. My Easter rose has prickles and is like a climbing rose. Its flowers are double and resemble a carnation or some of the old-fashioned roses. Do you know what it might be and where I could find it?

A: It sounds like your Easter rose is Rubus coronarius (also sometimes listed as Rubus rosifolius ‘Coronarius’). It is sometimes called “carnation rose” and “blackberry rose.” Your Easter rose is not as common in the nursery trade as kerria, but is worth searching out, and we should have mentioned it in our earlier answer about the term “Easter rose.” You may find it through an ad in the Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin. The only commercial source we could find was Woodlanders, Inc., a mail-order nursery in Aiken, SC. Elizabeth Lawrence wrote a good description of this plant in Gardening for Love. She wrote that in New Orleans it is sometimes called “nun’s rose.”

Q: Can I treat bedbugs with regular household insecticides?

A: If you suspect a problem with bedbugs, contact a licensed professional. The professionals are trained to properly apply pesticides and use pest management practices to effectively eliminate infestations. Multiple treatments and other measures may be necessary to eradicate an infestation. Georgians may contact our Structural Pest Control Division with any questions or concerns they may have.

If you have questions about services or products regulated by the Georgia Department of Agriculture, visit our website at www.agr .georgia.gov or write us at 19 Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, Room 227, Atlanta, GA 30334 or e-mail us at info@agr.georgia.gov. To learn more about agricultural issues, get garden tips and find sources for flowers, livestock and other agricultural products, consider a subscription to The Farmers and Consumers Market Bulletin. Subscriptions for Georgia residents are $10 per year. To start or renew a subscription, send a check or money order payable to Market Bulletin at the address above.

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