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Are those flowers real or plastic?

My wife has a question for the all-seeing and all-knowing staff of Since You Asked. Are the hanging baskets of petunias in downtown Medford real or plastic? I love them but the white moths lay eggs that turn into green worms that eat them. If the petunias are real, are they able to kill the worms?

They must be plastic.

— Bob B., Medford

We should have had you and your wife make a bet with us here at Since You Asked headquarters because we desperately need the money.

We’ve got to admit that we’ve admired those hanging baskets in Vogel Plaza, wondering how they could look so amazing throughout our sweltering summers.

To get to the bottom of your question, we called the good folks at Medford Parks and Recreation, who have particularly green thumbs. Have you ever noticed the bounty of flowers growing in the downtown and in our parks?

Anyway, we checked in with Tim Stevens, who is park maintenance supervisor. He said the city purchases the flower baskets from Four Seasons Nursery every year.

Stevens said that to keep the flowers healthy, they are fertilized once a week with Miracle Grow and a fish fertilizer, according to the directions on the labels.

To control the budworm, the parks workers apply Spinosad, a bacterial insecticide, once a week, also according to the directions.

“The combination of these produces beautiful flowers through the summer,” Stevens said.

Many downtown merchants are contemplating adding more hanging flower baskets in the downtown because they are such a hit with Medford residents.

Bob, we’re now in the middle of winter, so those gorgeous flower baskets do provide a nice memory of summer.

We hope that you had a bet with your wife over the flowers. If she said “plastic” and you said “real,” then you’re smart one.

At least you both know the secret to growing great looking hanging flower baskets.

Send questions to “Since You Asked,” Mail Tribune Newsroom, P.O. Box 1108, Medford, OR 97501; by fax to 541-776-4376; or by email to youasked@mailtribune.com. We’re sorry, but the volume of questions received prevents us from answering all of them.