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
23k 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
612 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, ...
18
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
7k 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
518 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
232 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?
12
votes
2answers
766 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
210 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
911 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
69k 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
860 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
508 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 ...
12
votes
7answers
6k views

Is spent cat litter an appropriate source of nitrogen for compost?

Is spent cat litter an appropriate source of nitrogen for compost? The cat litter used is made of recycled paper pellets so is rich in carbon. It doesn't contain the cat faeces because that is ...
9
votes
2answers
206 views

What are the proper conditions and watering habits for rosemary?

I have tried twice now to start Rosemary from seed and failed both times. Last year I planted them in a self watering window box with a number of other herbs. It never really came up well and never ...
8
votes
2answers
2k views

A few leaves on my peppers are showing multiple small holes, should I be worried?

I've noticed that a small number of the leaves on my pepper plants are showing several tiny holes through their surface. These are focused towards the stem of the leaf, and not so much towards the ...
7
votes
1answer
984 views

What could be causing rot to appear on the skin of my bell peppers?

I have a set of four bell pepper plants that I am growing in 12" containers in my backyard. They've been growing alright until the fruits on the plants have started to develop what appears to be a rot ...
25
votes
5answers
5k views

Any benefit to watering whole plant (leaves and all) instead of just the soil/roots?

A question I often wonder about when watering outdoor pots in the dead heat of summer. Should I just make sure the soil in the bed/pot is watered sufficiently, or is it necessary/advisable to also ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

How can I organically prevent green caterpillars from eating up my kale plants? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: What is an effective organic pesticide to use against aphids or cabbage loopers? So these little green caterpillars have been eating most of my kale plants. What can I do ...
10
votes
1answer
281 views

How does vacuuming beetles work?

I've seen advice in books and online that I can deal with my striped cucumber beetle infestation by vacuuming. Unfortunately they don't get into details. I'm ready to drag the shop vac into the garden,...
11
votes
1answer
227 views

How to prolong Cauliflower growing season, harvest?

I love fresh cauliflower, but it's so terribly temperature / light sensitive that I might as well just pick it all and freeze it if I actually want to eat it. Is there anything I can do to ensure ...
11
votes
3answers
2k views

What are some good herbs to grow (pair) with tomatoes?

I have 3 tomato plants in pots right now. One of them is in a large pot and I recently planted some basil in the pot, partly for some extra basil, and partly because I have heard that basil and ...
22
votes
5answers
11k views

Ant colony in my compost bin: are they beneficial?

I've got a smallish black plastic compost bin in my garden and I recently noticed that an ant colony has taken up residence. This has happened a couple of times in the past, but they tend to move on ...
21
votes
10answers
5k views

What are some low maintenance plant choices for apartment (indoor) living?

I'm not an expert on plants, but would like to add some plant life to my apartment. I'm looking for good choices that: don't require direct sunlight require minimal watering survive for at least a ...

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