1. Q: This summer I am growing nicotiana for the first time. Up till now, it has put on a show. Now the numbers of flowers are dwindling. What should I do to prolong or restart the show?

A: Nicotiana should be handled as a flowering annual very similar to petunias. As you know, after petunias have "done their thing" in the spring they should be removed. The same is true for flowering tobacco. If you want to squeeze the last ounce of beauty out of nicotiana, cut all of the bloom spikes back and fertilize with a high nitrogen (the first number) fertilizer such as ammonium sulfate or ammonium nitrate at the rate of one pound per 100 square feet of planting bed. You might water with a water-soluble fertilizer (Miracle-Grow, Rapid Grow, Peters 20-20-20) which contains the minor elements.

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