18
votes
4answers
9k views

How large a cultivation area to feed one person?

Consider a project like the Earthship. Supposing one would like to grow food (organic polyculture) indoors in such a habitat (i.e. in a green house). How many m² would be required to feed one person ...
9
votes
1answer
937 views

How can I remove a bush whose roots are breaking concrete?

In our backyard there is a bush growing up the side of a wall, using a drain pipe to crawl up. Its trunk has grown to be relatively thick (~ 10 cm) and it is now causing the concrete to split on the ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

What should I do with my Cherry trees?

I have a pair of large (roughly 30' tall I guess) cherry trees. They're mossy. They don't produce well (at least not for the 2 seasons we've had them for). What they do produce is so high that I can't ...
6
votes
2answers
310 views

What is this plant and how can I remove it from the ground?

There is a patch of dirt on a hill covered with this plant (shown below). I'd like to pull them all out and make room for flowers and such. The second photo shows that the roots of this sucker go way ...
6
votes
1answer
727 views

Soybean oil as insect repellent?

Some of the "natural" insect repellents I use (the kind you put on your skin) have soybean oil listed as one of the active ingredients. I've also seen ~6% soybean oil listed as an active ingredient ...
11
votes
4answers
4k views

What is the best way to support a stake in a potted tomato plant?

I currently have a tomato plant planted in a pot on my porch. It is doing quite nicely and is tied to a 6' bamboo cane. Unfortunately my cane has started to lean a bit and I am afraid that as the ...
6
votes
1answer
659 views

Holes on bottom side of tomato [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Cracks on Bottom Side of Tomato This may be related to my prior question about cracks on the bottom side of tomatoes. A few plants I'm growing have appeared with holes on ...
11
votes
3answers
5k views

How to stop my courgettes (zucchini) rotting?

I've tried growing courgettes (zucchini) for the first time this year and the plants have been delightfully easy to grow. (For reference, I'm in NE England, UK, btw.) However, many of the fruits ...
12
votes
1answer
909 views

What are some good plants to hold the edge of a cliff?

What sorts of plants are good at holding the edge of a cliff? I'd prefer to avoid planting tall things in order to still be able to see off of the cliff. The site is in hardiness zone 5 and is high ...
13
votes
5answers
11k views

What type of potting soil is most suitable for indoor herbs?

I've tried a few times to grow potted herbs in my apartment with varying success, and I suspect it is related to the potting soil. I have basil and rosemary that are thriving in pots filled with ...
15
votes
4answers
9k views

Can I move a self-seeded oak tree into a pot to keep it small?

An oak has self seeded in our garden. Has got to about a metre tall and seems happy. We don't have anywhere near enough space for an oak but seems a shame to kill it. Can we move it to a pot to keep ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

What is a good ground cover for street frontage instead of lawn?

Where I live (Adelaide plains, South Australia) it's very hot and dry in summertime and so I think a lawn is a waste of water if you don't get to enjoy it, such as where the yard is exposed to the ...
29
votes
2answers
14k 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 ...
11
votes
3answers
7k views

Why does my cilantro have thin leaves? Why is my parsley not growing? When will they be ready for harvest?

My cilantro (planted outside, full sun from about 11am to 6pm) doesn't have the broad leaves that I see when I buy it in the store. I planted it in May. When should I expect it ready for harvesting? ...
13
votes
5answers
18k views

How do I quickly remove crabgrass without too much manual labour?

My backyard is being overtaken with crabgrass again. It started later this year than last. In the early spring, I rented a de-thatcher/powerrake and cleaned up the year of a lot of dead material (to ...
11
votes
1answer
15k views

How can I encourage a jade tree to grow a strong trunk?

I have spindly jade plants. They don't much look like the tightly packed, overgrown one in this related question, but they are delicate, spreading out almost like vines. This is a problem any time I ...
9
votes
5answers
22k views

What is the best type of soil for growing an indoor avocado plant?

Do you know what is the best soil for an avocado plant? Would it vary depending on the breed? What would be a good recipe for this soil (for growing indoors)?
16
votes
5answers
13k views

Why is an indoor pepper plant flowering but not producing fruit?

One of my pepper plants has started to flower, and the petals are falling off to reveal a pepper growing from that stem - well, at least the first two have, and the other flowers seem to be bulging ...
10
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I grow maple trees from seeds?

I have a mature maple tree in my yard. Every year it drops seeds which start growing in the most inconvenient of places, like my gutters. Next season I would like to actively cultivate these seeds and ...
7
votes
1answer
153 views

Damaged Bay Laurel: are the leaves safe to use?

Three months ago, my bay roof was re-felted. While the roofers were sealing the felt, they spilled hot pitch onto the leaves of my Bay Laurel which is in a tub, on the ground below (see photos). I’ve ...
19
votes
3answers
3k views

Do legumes provide nitrogen to their companions?

It's common knowledge that legumes (clover, beans, etc) can (with the help of Rhizobium bacteria) fix nitrogen from the air and hold it in the soil. Much is made of this fact -- advice that we should ...
10
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
3k views

Should you trim off half yellowed leaves on an indoor plant?

My mum has a plant (Aglaonema modestum) which she doesn't quite take care of, and it is messy with dead leaves and half yellow, half green leaves. I find them very ugly and want to trim them off. The ...
12
votes
2answers
4k views

How should I prune an overgrown peach tree?

I have just moved into a home with a peach tree that appears healthy, but overgrown; it has clearly not been pruned in many years (although I have cut out some of the branches that made it impossible ...
13
votes
4answers
611 views

Composting Bins - DIY vs Bought

I want to start composting. I live in a house of 2, and a fairly large garden, in Australia, and I am renting (therefore do not want to spend a lot of money on something that I can't take with me). ...
9
votes
1answer
121 views

Late-sown Carrots: any particular problems?

I usually sow carrots in early June for lifting in September. This year, I am planning to sow a short-rooted variety in August, for harvesting in November-December, and will use a fleece grow tunnel ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Is my lemon tree dying?

I'm on my 2nd lemon tree. I live in Melbourne, Australia and lemon trees are the norm around here. I suspect my first one died as it outgrew its pot, which was half the size of this one. I'm ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

Why is my pepper plant dying?

I planted a capsicum/pepper plant about 5 months back and it's been growing well and producing a few fruits. I live in Melbourne, Australia and it's now Winter, and the plant now has lots of fruit, ...
17
votes
4answers
3k views

Does water temperature affect vegetable plant growth?

Generally speaking, when watering a vegetable garden, are there any benefits to using cold water vs warm or vice versa? I'm in Wisconsin, so 90+°F is about as hot as it gets around here. Typically ...
13
votes
4answers
6k views

Japanese box hedge failing to thrive. What to do?

I have a Japanese box hedge which is not exactly dying, but is definitely failing to thrive. When I moved in (5 years ago) it was looking much better. So it's not about the location, but that the ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

How can I get rid of the pennywort that is taking over my dwarf mondo grass?

I have a strip of dwarf mondo grass down the middle of my driveway. Pennywort has started to grow in amongst it, and is gradually spreading and taking over. I have tried manually weeding it out (was ...
6
votes
2answers
617 views

Natural herbicide to kill weeds in a hard landscape environment?

I've got some weeds growing up between the flagstones in our backyard -- is there something natural and okay environmentally that I can use to kill the weeds? Obviously, I don't want anything growing ...
8
votes
1answer
112 views

What is a good frugal method for providing shade to fruit-bearing vines?

What is a good and, hopefully, frugal solution for providing shade to long vines? In my case, I'm dealing with pumpkin vines on the ground. I imagine a combination of sheets and chicken wire might ...
8
votes
1answer
515 views

Why does the water in my rain barrel evaporate quickly?

I have some rain barrels in my yard. After a certain amount of tinkering, they collect rain water well. However, I notice that a day or two after the rain, most of the water is gone. I've checked for ...
8
votes
1answer
231 views

How regularly should I fertilise my bonsai plants?

Is there a need to fertilise my bonsai or should I just stick with replacing the soil once every 18 months to 2 years?
10
votes
2answers
546 views

Good soil mix for bonsai?

What is a good generic bonsai soil mix? What ratio of organic / inorganic material should be included?
11
votes
2answers
763 views

What's the ideal shape for a cucumber trellis/cage?

Is there an ideal or preferred shape for a trellis or cage for cucumbers? My plant is taking over my garden and I would like to get things a bit more organized. I've seen a cone type trellis where ...
11
votes
3answers
1k views

Is charcoal good for use as a soil amendment?

I came across an article the other day on wikipedia about Terra preta. Has anyone used charcoal like this to enhance sandy soil, like we have in Florida? Does this really work, and what is the best ...
12
votes
2answers
3k views

Will my lime tree recover from cold shock?

This is my first attempt to grow something and it hasn't started off well. During the last winter, my Persian lime tree wasn't protected well enough from a cold front. All the leaves fell off, and the ...
4
votes
2answers
209 views

Using clothesline in the garden - what needs the most support?

So, a yet another windstorm came through this week and dropped a branch tree on my clothesline, ripped it right off the house! I was planning repurposing the line on using to support my peas next ...
10
votes
2answers
9k views

Why are my pumpkins dying? Is it the heat?

I'm getting plenty of flowers, and about half of them produce a tiny little pumpkin. However, after only a couple of days, the pumpkins begin to turn black and shrivel up. It is 104-degrees during ...
10
votes
2answers
390 views

What kind of pepper is this and when will it be “ripe”?

What kind of pepper is this and when will it be "ripe"? The peppers are a bit larger than a cherry tomato (maybe apricot size). UPDATE: The peppers turn red after they ripen.
9
votes
7answers
5k views

How can I best get an alert if overnight frost is predicted?

What's the best way to get warned if there's going to be a frost? Is there website or online service which will email me? My priority would be a service which emails only in the event of frost ...
7
votes
1answer
897 views

How can I stop cane borers in my rose bush?

I've been having problems where whenever I prune one of my rose bushes, often one of the branches is burrowed into by a nasty cane borer, meaning I have to cut back the rose even further. I'm trying ...
17
votes
2answers
68k views

Can I cut off exposed tree roots without harming the tree?

Large trees often have roots protruding out of the ground around the base of the trunk (such as the ones that can push up sidewalks next to the tree). When is it safe to cut those roots (that might be ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any bad effects in using nematodes in pest control?

I have a pest situation on my apricot tree caused by the beetle Capnodis tenebrionis (see this question). I am averse to using chemical pesticides, and I read that nematodes can be used to control C. ...
5
votes
2answers
853 views

Are slugs beneficial or detrimental?

I've noticed quite a few slugs around my garden recently, and I realized that I don't know if that's a good thing or not. I know some bugs are bad and some are good, and I don't know what category ...
8
votes
1answer
12k views

What to do with the spent flower spike of foxgloves (digitalis)?

I've had a glorious display of foxgloves in my garden this year, but now pretty much all of the flowers have wilted and fallen. I don't particularly want to collect seed from the plants, but what ...
21
votes
2answers
833 views

What are some houseplants that can clean the air, especially chemicals from cigarettes?

I know of the research done by NASA on indoor plants which can clean/reduce certain pollutants in the air. I am very interested in planting such houseplants in my house, as it is sometimes filled with ...
8
votes
2answers
507 views

Duration of harvest season from Bush Bean plants?

Was wondering what a typical duration of production for a conventional bush bean is. I know a lot of factors such as how well the plants are cared for and heat can play into it. Here in the ...

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