21
votes
2answers
6k views

What's an organic way to discourage crabgrass from a large “lawn”?

I have a large area that's infested with crabgrass. I'd like to use organic methods to encourage the grass mix over the crabgrass. The fact that it's a large area means I can't afford to apply (nor ...
13
votes
4answers
775 views

What are some sustainable alternatives to peat for potting compost?

I've just finished writing the tag wiki for organic and was thinking about wider issues of sustainability. Perhaps the best area where I could improve things personally, would be to use an alternative ...
12
votes
5answers
3k views

How can I get rid of gophers in a non-lethal way?

Gophers or ground squirrels are common pests in North America, that can destroy the fruits of your hard labour. They create extensive underground tunnels and are mostly active at night. A typical ...
17
votes
1answer
7k views

Can my lawn be saved or is it time to dig it up and re-sod?

The majority of the grass in my backyard has turned brown and/or died after what we believe was a chinch bug onslaught that went untreated for way too long. It is St. Augustine grass in South ...
9
votes
2answers
701 views

How and when to plant young grafted fruit tree?

Our backyard is in a Mediterranean climate (Adelaide plains, South Australia) and we've been gifted a young grafted apple tree which has its root ball still wrapped in plastic. It's about 1.3m (4ft) ...
47
votes
7answers
4k views

What are the best conditions for basil?

What are the best conditions for basil to grow? I live in the UK and it never seems to last that long. Recently I've been putting the plants in the shade and drenching them in water, which seems to be ...
21
votes
3answers
9k views

How to prevent avocado from drying out indoors?

I have an avocado plant that has grown indoors since it was a pit. It grew first in a badly insulated, north-facing, wet and cool house, where it grew splendidly. After i moved to a well insulated ...
12
votes
2answers
2k views

How is manure tea made without E. coli?

As the title would suggest, I may or may not have given my kids e. coli by steeping a bag of what I thought was mushroom compost in a 35 gallon drum and watering my garden with it. (I know it was ...
5
votes
1answer
594 views

How can I keep mockingbirds off potted plants (ornamental peppers)?

I have a rectangular pot on the deck full of ornamental peppers ('Poinsettia' and Chile Pequin "bird peppers"). As is typical of ornamental peppers, they're about a foot high and covered with small ...
43
votes
9answers
73k views

How do you identify a plant?

I'm pretty new to gardening and landscaping. Having recently bought a house, one of the things I'd like to be able to do is identify the trees and smaller plants that are on the property so I can ...
21
votes
3answers
1k views

How should I prune my vine tomatoes?

I've been growing my tomatoes up a 6ft trellis of nylon netting for the last couple of years, with good results. But they tend to grow out of control, eventually toppling over the trellis and ...
20
votes
7answers
3k views

What's the best mulch material for a vegetable garden?

I want to lay mulch down around my already established plants to help retain moisture and discourage weeds. Is there a recommended material for this? Or at least some materials I should know to ...
25
votes
8answers
2k views

What is an effective organic pesticide to use against aphids or cabbage loopers?

I have a vegetable garden that bugs just love. Since my family is going to eat these vegetables (and I'd prefer that the bugs do not), what organic pesticide is most effective? The main culprits are ...
13
votes
2answers
14k views

How to fill low spots over existing grass in my yard?

I read this question and it made me think of what I need to do this weekend. But I have these questions: If I've got a few holes - maybe a place where a bush was dug out and the ground eventually ...
12
votes
1answer
3k views

Can I save my damaged Aloe vera plant?

I had an Aloe plant that had grown to about 10" tall, in the shape of a miniature Christmas tree. It was potted in a small 8" pot with two other succulents. Last night our cats broke the plant from ...
11
votes
1answer
3k views

When do I need to protect a fruit tree from cold, and how do I do it?

The last couple of weeks we had unusually warm weather in the Northeast -- several days had record warm temperatures. My pair of (two-year-old, 8' high) peach trees have buds earlier than usual. If it ...
11
votes
3answers
797 views

What else besides calcium deficiency could be causing tomato blossom end rot?

I've been using "Tomato Maker" (4-2-6) fertilizer, which supposedly has enough calcium to prevent blossom end rot, but I'm still getting blossom end rot on my super marzano tomatoes (no BER problems ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Insect infestation on my pepper plant, what do I do?

I have spotted that one - and only one - of my peppers plants has a number of small black flies of some type hanging around the soil. And while writing this I've just spotted that one (and only one!) ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How should I use corrugated cardboard for mulch?

I tend to have a lot of corrugated cardboard boxes laying around, due to getting various things shipped to my house. I have heard of using cardboard for a mulching material, but I'm not sure exactly ...
33
votes
9answers
45k views

How do I apply spent coffee grounds as a fertilizer?

I've read that spent coffee grounds work well as a fertilizer. But the methods of application are all over the map. Some indicate using it in compost, others suggest spreading it and broken ...
12
votes
2answers
20k views

How is a lumpy lawn flattened out?

My lawn has both peaks and troughs. I guess that I can just fill the troughs with lawn soil or compost, right? But how do I flatten the peaks? I’ve read that a water filled roller does nothing. Has ...
19
votes
10answers
1k views

What is the best organic way to defeat slugs?

Most of the seedlings I have planted out this year have been eaten by slugs within a day. I have my final two runner bean plants that need to go out. How can I prevent these from being the next ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

What are some herbs and spices that are easy to grow indoors?

I currently grow Rosemary on my windowsill. What are some other herbs and spices that are easy to grow (and useful)? I live in South Carolina, USA. Plants are indoors = 65-75F all year.
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Is there any way to prevent vole lawn-destruction during snow-cover?

The open area behind our back fence is home to hundreds of voles. The hills look like this: During the summer, I can successfully restrict their intrusion into my yard by putting poison into the ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

How do I deal with millipedes eating my vegetable seedlings?

After cursing all the slugs in my yard and removing the few that I could catch, I was quite shocked yesterday to discover 100+ young plants all chewed to the ground. I was going out at 9 - 10pm to ...
12
votes
3answers
512 views

How are weeds controlled in a butterfly garden?

I have a large packet of a large assortment of seeds growing in a prepared bed. Probably 20 different varieties of flower for a "Butterfly Garden" which I have scattered in the plot. I don't mind ...
11
votes
5answers
12k views

How can I get rid of rabbits in my yard?

I have rabbits that routinely build nests in my yard. How can I get rid of the rabbits legally? I don't want some officer from the DNR knocking on my door because I improperly hunted or poisoned them. ...
7
votes
2answers
804 views

How can I remove the moss growing on my lawn?

I have a lot of fairly thick, short moss growing on my lawn. The grass seems to be growing through it and looks healthy, but I still have a carpet of moss. I try raking it, but it's relentless and ...
7
votes
1answer
1k views

What is a recipe for a long-lasting, fast draining container soil mix with good aeration?

I'm interested in making my own container soil for some potted citrus and figs as well as something that'll work for other house plants. I've heard of Al's Gritty Mix. Does anyone have a mix that's ...
6
votes
1answer
1k views

Raised bed around tree. Do I need to protect the trunk?

I wanted to put in some raised beds that are about 1' deep above ground, and that wrap circularly around a Northern Arizona cedar tree. Do I need to plastic or a rock/cage around the tree trunk to ...
6
votes
1answer
2k views

Why are these white dots appearing on my citrus and avocado trees and the leaves getting pale?

My Orange and small avocado trees are becomming yellowish and have many dots on them, is this a deficiency of something or something else? I checked the bottom of the leaves for any sort of plague ...
15
votes
7answers
5k views

How can I prevent squirrels (or other small mammals) from eating my tomatoes?

Something has been eating my tomatoes just as they begin to ripen. Each day I've been finding one or more tomatoes half-eaten but still attached to the vine. On a couple of days I've also found bits ...
11
votes
2answers
3k views

Why have my tomato leaves started yellowing at the base?

One of my tomato plants (Better Boys if that matters) has a few leaves that have started yellowing on the lower branches. Not sure if they aren't getting enough water, or if they are diseased or what. ...
10
votes
3answers
914 views

What are the best lawn dethatching tools?

My lawn is full of so much thatch that I can bend down and pull up handfuls. I used a steel rake to pull up some today but it is still full of thatch. I feel like I could continue raking for days and ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

What is this plant with long sharp leaves? Is it a weed?

In my garden I have several of the plants shown below. At first I thought it is a weed, but then it was quite robust against cold weather and continued to grow slowly: The leaves are long and sharp, ...
9
votes
1answer
508 views

How do I prevent my berry leaves from getting scorched in the sun?

Raspberries are plants that require good exposure to sun. However, my black-raspberry plant has been getting scorched of late. Typical signs of sun-scorching are when the older leaves start drying out ...
7
votes
3answers
278 views

Non mechanical plant watering systems?

I travel too much, and, honestly I don't really have a green thumb plants. Still, I like them and would be happy to keep some resilient plants if could get geeky about it :) I was trying to figure ...
1
vote
2answers
246 views

Help identifying this plant?

I honestly have no idea what this plant is. It seems to be some type of vine. I took a few pictures i will put below. As you can see there is some other plant growing in the same pot with the long ...
21
votes
18answers
3k views

What are the (essential) Tools that every gardener should own?

Credit where credit is due, this idea is pinched from over here: Tools that every Do-it-Yourselfer must own What tools should every gardener own, have at their disposal (preferably essential tools)? ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

How do I keep an indoor plant hydrated while I'm away?

I'm trying to grow chili plants in my dorm room. So far I'm just starting, so I have just four small pots (until they grow larger and I have to give them a bigger home). I'm usually away for only a ...
13
votes
1answer
16k views

What conditions are necessary to make a potted aloe vera bloom?

I have a potted aloe vera that I keep indoors during the winter and outside the rest of the year. It has leaves one foot long and two inches wide at the base. I fertilize it with tea from my ...
12
votes
1answer
4k views

What is the proper way to prune a Fig Tree?

I have a fig tree that is 5-10 years old. Currently I just remove the dead branches. What is the proper technique for fig pruning?
30
votes
5answers
4k views

How often do you need to turn the compost heap?

If you have a compost heap, how often should you turn it? Does it make a difference if it's a simple heap (a mound on the ground) or in a tumbler? Alternately, is it even necessary to turn the heap?
23
votes
5answers
1k views

How do I work with soil that has a high clay content?

The clay content in my garden soil is rather high. Tilling it is a royal pain, especially if there is even the slightest hint of moisture in the soil. It just turns into big sticky clumps instead of ...
21
votes
2answers
362 views

How do you discourage cilantro/coriander from bolting too quickly?

What techniques can be used to discourage cilantro from bolting too quickly? I plant them and it seems that they almost immediately go to seed after they've reached maturity.
17
votes
2answers
751 views

Nothing will grow where tree was

Back in the spring we cut down a fruitless mulberry and hired someone to come grind the stump. When they were leaving they informed me that they poured a chemical into the hole where the remaining ...
13
votes
2answers
536 views

What are these cracks on the bottom sides of my tomatoes?

Recently I noticed the following cracks and small holes on the bottom side of my better boy tomoato plants. I am in Maryland and we have not had a lot of rain the past month however I regularly try ...
12
votes
2answers
1k views

My garden soil is devoid of nutrients, how should I improve it this winter?

The garden area in my yard has soil that even the weeds don't particularly love to grow in during the summer. They will make a half hearted attempt in the winter, but it definitely isn't as lush as ...
16
votes
3answers
9k views

How can I tell if my lawn needs to be dethatched?

I understand that a lawn may need to be dethatched periodically so the roots of the grass can reach into the soil (instead of into the thatch layer). How do I tell if my thatch layer is getting too ...
16
votes
6answers
2k views

What kind of plants will survive the heat from an air conditioner?

I live on the 18th floor of a building in Hong Kong. In summer, all of my neighbors turn on their air conditioners, which generate a huge amount of heat. I have a little balcony like gardening area ...

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