17
votes
3answers
5k views

What is the name of this weed with red/green leaves and little white flowers?

I haven't been able to identify this weed which is prolific on the gravel (and garden beds) on the rooftop of my 10-storey condo building in downtown Vancouver, BC. Can anyone identify it and let me ...
19
votes
2answers
4k views

What actually occurs for manure to become considered “well-rotted”?

I know that you shouldn't use raw manure on plants because it's bad for them, but I don't understand why. I know you should stack manure before using it (i.e. literally stack it into a big cone), and ...
12
votes
5answers
23k 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. ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I identify and eradicate poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac from my yard?

Every summer despite my best attempts to be careful, I end up developing a nasty rash due to an unfortunate encounter with poison ivy while doing routine yard work. How can I best identify poison ...
14
votes
1answer
630 views

How do I grow sweet potatoes in a pot?

I planted some attractive sweet potato vines in a 6 inch deep pot -- about 1.5 ft in diameter. I didn't expect them to grow extensively. However, with watering regularly, they certainly are growing ...
11
votes
1answer
803 views

My orchid has one yellowing leaf. What's gone wrong?

I have an orchid that I bought about a month ago. I'm following the watering directions that came with it (which means it's only been watered once so far) and I believe that it has the appropriate ...
21
votes
5answers
814 views

What vegetables can be grown effectively in a small, urban garden?

I currently live in a condo with a limited sized balcony. Which vegetables work out best for a small garden?
35
votes
11answers
35k views

How do you safely and effectively stop a cat from pooping in your yard?

Our neighbor's cat keeps pooping in our mulch and around our yard. Is there a safe and effective way to stop neighborhood pets from doing so? Has anyone used a method that works well?
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Will it kill my potted tree if I use tree fertilizer spikes?

I recently bought some tree fertilizer spikes to feed my potted dwarf kumquat and lime trees. After I got them home, I read the following warning on the side of the box: NOTE: Never apply within 30" ...
15
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are we instructed not to use manure before planting carrots?

It's said that we shouldn't use manure when preparing ground intended for carrots. Is it that carrots don't thrive on manure, or is it that they fork and splinter too much? What about other roots? ...
21
votes
9answers
6k views

What are inexpensive materials for homemade tomato cages?

After starting our tomato plants from seed this year, we have many more small plants in the ground than in the past years. We are looking to make our own inexpensive and durable cages that we could ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

Rats have transferred poison into my compost. Is the compost usable on vegetables?

Delighted to observe that the rat poison we put down was disappearing. Less delighted to find some weeks later that they had moved it all to a larder in the compost. The poison is Slaymore (as far ...
12
votes
3answers
771 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Best help for a tree with stunted growth?

I have a few trees on my property which are at least five years old (sorry I don't know the kinds yet). Compared to other trees in neighboring lots, planted at the same age at the same time, they are ...
15
votes
3answers
266 views

Steps to renovating a lawn completely?

I bought a new home with a moderate size (90x40 ft) back yard. Unlike the front lawn, the back has never been planted and is pretty much home to weeds, aside from a small maple tree. Last year I paid ...
30
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I know when and how much to aerate my lawn?

I have a section of my lawn which seems prone to standing water, grass that doesn't grow very quickly, and seems very hard-packed. I think it's probably in desperate need of aeration. What is the ...
14
votes
4answers
2k views

How do I keep red wiggler worms alive overwinter in the Northeastern USA?

I'm going to be moving into my first house soon in Westchester County, NY. I've done a lot of container and patio/balcony gardening and am looking forward to having a real backyard garden. I want to ...
10
votes
1answer
247 views

Will a galvanized container leach Zinc and “Trim” the roots? Are there other effects?

I have heard that a galvanized container such as this one for a raised bed will leach zinc and "trim" the roots. What do they mean by this? Would the increased zinc be bad for raising food plants? I ...
13
votes
2answers
4k views

How long does chemically fertilized grass remain poisonous?

Here's my situation: I have a lawn that I've refused to use chemicals on because I have a dog who likes to graze. The lawn is now a mess of weeds and very thin grass. I've tried organic fertilizers ...
31
votes
5answers
7k 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?
12
votes
5answers
2k views

Should I paint old garden tools?

I've got some old tools (shovels and pitchforks) that were my grandparents. The metal parts look like they were painted (a lot has worn off), I want to sharpen them and fix them up following the ...
23
votes
2answers
426 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.
9
votes
3answers
191 views

How effective are row covers in preventing insects?

Has anyone ever used row covers (floating or built on a "structure", such as a PVC cage) to help prevent/discourage insects? How effective are they?
13
votes
1answer
785 views

How do I grow better Tabasco-type (C.frutescens) peppers?

Virtually all cultivated peppers are C.annuum, and I've had a lot of success growing these from seed. (I also usually buy 3-4 plants locally each year but selection is usually very limited) I soak ...
29
votes
3answers
25k 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 it to a well insulated ...
55
votes
7answers
8k 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 ...
29
votes
8answers
3k 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
1answer
641 views

What are these red cocoons in my trees leaves?

The tree In my garden as lots of red cocoons on its leaves, I assume these are insects, do I need to be concerned or are they harmless?
23
votes
2answers
214 views

What are the criteria for picking out vegetables to grow together in “Three Sisters” garden?

A "Three Sisters" garden is a garden grown consisting of three different crops which help each other grow in some fashion. Such as Corn, Squash and Beans. I read about it in Roots Shoots Buckets and ...
12
votes
2answers
348 views

How are dahlia tubers overwintered?

I grow several types of dahlias every year, and dig up the tubers in late Fall to keep them for next year. I cover them in potting compost and put them in the back corner of my basement which is ...
21
votes
5answers
4k views

How should I properly prepare a raised bed vegetable garden?

When building a raised bed for a vegetable garden, what do I need to do to properly prepare the soil? It is going to be mixed with different types of vegetables and herbs that I will rotate out all ...
14
votes
1answer
1k views

What are the ideal soil conditions for planting giant sequoia saplings?

I've already germinated giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) seeds for 6 weeks. What's the ideal soil conditions for planting the saplings?
15
votes
2answers
581 views

What kind of a grow lamp can I use in my apartment?

Can anyone recommend a style of small-sized grow lamp that I can use inside my apartment to give my plants some extra light in the evening that won't cost a lot of money to run.
14
votes
1answer
342 views

What are the primary nutrients utilized by plants beyond NPK?

When talking about soil and fertilizers, what are the primary nutrients in addition to NPK (Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Potassium) that play a major role in plant development?
8
votes
1answer
274 views

Will african violet fertilizer diffuse through clay pots?

I have several african violets in special clay pots. The pots kind of resemble a double boiler, and the lower pot is filled with water, then the upper section, containing the plant, is unglazed on its ...
14
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it possible to grow a mango plant in the Phoenix climate?

I've been wanting to plant a mango seed; though I live in Phoenix, Arizona. Firstly, would a mango seed actually grow in my area? Secondly, I'm pretty new to any kind of plant life. So, does anyone ...
12
votes
1answer
674 views

How do I prevent critters from chewing my sprinkler system?

I have a lot of trees in my yard...and squirrels. I'm not 100% sure the squirrels are the critters doing the damage, but it seems the most likely. My neighbor says he's seen a possum in his yard ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

Some of my ferns have brown spots on the tips of their leaves. What causes that?

I have a few ferns with long pointed leaves, and their tips have turned brown. The plant is otherwise healthy, and is actively growing. What is causing that? Should I worry about it?
38
votes
2answers
1k views

What factors affect the spiciness of jalapeños?

Researching growing jalapeños, I've seen people mention how water-starving your jalapeño plants can lead to spicier peppers. How true is this? If there's any truth to it, what tips can you provide ...
13
votes
4answers
1k views

Is condensation on my seed tray an issue?

I'm growing some seedlings in a tray that has a plastic lid. The sun causes moisture to condense on the lid. I was wondering: is this counter-productive, as the condensation then blocks the sun?
24
votes
1answer
1k views

How do you prune a rose bush?

I tried to prune a rose bush and it stopped growing from all the branches I pruned, and instead shot one big green stem up from the root again. What is the proper technique?
15
votes
1answer
621 views

Can I fix a garden tilled too early?

I've never been totally successful in waiting till the exact opportune moment to till my garden and I don't suppose that I ever will be. I usually till my garden once or twice and when I'm ready to ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the point of a greenhouse?

How does putting my plants in a greenhouse help them grow? Is it purely to shield them from cold weather, or are there other benefits?
16
votes
2answers
2k views

How can I discourage ragweed from growing?

After three years of pulling, hoeing, and tilling, one corner of my garden is still infested with this vile weed. I live in Southeast Colorado, and the brutally-hot summer days seem to keep it under ...
11
votes
1answer
260 views

What is a good method for rapidly cloning White Pumpkin plants?

I have six particular 40-day-old white pumpkin plants. I need to multiply these particular plants as rapidly as possible -- It's at least another month or two before I can extract viable seeds. Am I ...
11
votes
1answer
497 views

Why do two kalanchoes on one windowsill exhibit different growth habits?

I have two Kalanchoes on my south-facing kitchen windowsill (about 3' / 1m wide), both cuttings from the same parent plant (which succumbed to mealy bugs). Both are in the same size pot (no more than ...
14
votes
1answer
202 views

How do I encourage my Florence fennel to produce fat bulbs?

I have some Florence fennel in my garden that tends to grow very fast in height and to make flowers, but the base stays relatively thin. What should I do to encourage the growth of a "fat" bulb in ...
15
votes
4answers
285 views

How do I grow chilis in limited light?

I have been growing a few varieties of chili pepper (incl. Scotch Bonnets) in my garden since April (Spring). Due to trees, other houses, etc., they only get about 6 hours of direct sunlight a day. ...
15
votes
3answers
12k views

How to plant a new lawn on a hillside?

I have a hill beside my house with an approximate 25% grade. What steps can I take to get a new lawn planted on this hillside, without it being washed away with erosion? Would I need to put some ...
19
votes
6answers
3k 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 ...

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