14
votes
1answer
17k 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
722 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
4k views

What is my citrus deficiency, based on leaf appearance? And how to treat?

In the images of my citrus below, you can see the leaves are paling towards the edges. What is the deficiency and how can I fix it? The soil is clay-dominated with some sand and coloured red, ...
14
votes
2answers
687 views

How do I go about planning the layout of a sprinkler network for my lawn?

There are several great questions and helpful guides on lawns and lawn-repair on this site. Since it's the lawn laying season now, I've started thinking about laying a sprinkler network prior to ...
14
votes
1answer
351 views

Should I knock over the tops of onions when they get to a certain height?

I was told two years ago that it is a good idea to knock over the top of an onion plant to encourage it to grow bigger in the middle. That worked good two years ago, but it didn't work at all last ...
13
votes
6answers
5k views

What can you do with oak leaves within a garden? Are they compostable?

We have a lot of oak trees on our property. Is there anything we can do with the oak leaves? They never really seem to break down, and because of that, I am afraid to try and add them to a compost. ...
13
votes
3answers
1k 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?
13
votes
9answers
1k views

Is there an easier way to aerate my compost besides turning it?

I want to be a good composter, but turning my pile is backbreaking work. I was looking through a gardening magazine today and I saw a contraption that was basically a three foot long pole that had ...
13
votes
4answers
7k 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

How do I grow bamboo plants indoors?

Doesn't this plant have root rotting property? I tried to grow this in my home which had the tubelight burning only for 6 hours at night. And at the rest of the time it is a shady place. We used to ...
13
votes
4answers
676 views

How can I effectively grow strawberries in my borders without weeds suffocating them?

Even if I remove all weeds around my strawberries a month's growth has them smothered in grasses, clover and other weeds. Is there anything I can put down that will help, or do I just need to manually ...
13
votes
5answers
245 views

What are some fast-growing, voluminous vines that are suitable to be grown in containers?

I have a large terrace in New York City, and am looking to fill it with some greenery without spending a fortune. In the past I have had good luck with morning glories in containers - they grow ...
13
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 ...
13
votes
3answers
3k views

Should peanut shells be composted?

I have read that one shouldn't compost nuts or peanut butter because of their high oil and fat content. I am wondering if the same thing goes for peanut shells? I have a lot of peanut shells and I ...
13
votes
3answers
13k views

Can salt be used to control weeds permanently?

I was reading over here that salt can be used to control weeds in paved areas? Is salt an effective way to kill all (or most) plant types? Is it a permanent solution? Will using salt affect ground ...
13
votes
4answers
10k views

How do I get rid of the large cracks in my lawn due to the lack of rain?

I live in Dallas, Texas and we've been having some pretty crazy heat this year. I try to water my lawn 3 to 4 times a week so my grass doesn't all die. My lawn is doing pretty well considering how ...
13
votes
3answers
1k 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? ...
13
votes
2answers
2k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

What vegetables will grow well in limited sunlight?

Our backyard receives limited sunlight due to three massive trees in a small area. There is only about 2 hours of direct sunlight per day to my vegetable patch. Could I get some suggestions for ...
13
votes
4answers
7k views

How should a lemon tree with yellowing leaves, peeling bark, and small fruit be saved?

Our lovely lemon tree is in trouble... We live in Northern California. Starting mid-last summer our tree began yellowing. We've called an arborist out to the house but the advice has been pretty ...
13
votes
2answers
687 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
2k views

Can jalapeños be grown from pickled jalapeño seeds?

I bought a bottle of pickled jalapeno today, and I see there are seeds inside them. It is hard for my local area to acquire jalapeno seeds, so I am wondering if it is possible to grow jalapenos from ...
13
votes
2answers
242 views

What are the features that you should look for when buying a hydroponic system?

I'm interested in growing strawberries using hydroponics. I have read up and understand that there are several types of hydroponic systems, like deep water cultivation, ebb and flow, aeroponic, and ...
13
votes
5answers
15k views

How to get rid of insects on basil while leaving the leaves safe to eat?

With reference to this question: Insect infestation on my pepper plant, what do I do? I have these insects in my indoor "kitchen window sill" basil and they do seem to be chewing it fast enough to ...
13
votes
4answers
1k 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
780 views

Does anyone know of a somewhat comprehensive plant database available online?

As a gardener I've found that doing some paperwork while gardening really assists in keeping things organized and on schedule. It occured to me the other day as I stopped to check my beeping phone ...
13
votes
3answers
4k views

Do I need to put landscape fabric under ground cover plant to prevent weeds growing?

I have a large hillside area, where usually weeds are out of control. For the next year, I am thinking about using some kind of ground-cover plants such as English Ivy to cover the area. I am not sure ...
13
votes
3answers
5k views

Should I add water to my compost heap?

I have a 1m x 1m x 0.6m compost heap. I was turning the heap yesterday and was surprised to find that most of the heap hadn't really decomposed, and was in fact quite dry. Should I be regularly ...
13
votes
2answers
361 views

Why would healthy potatoes come out tasting dry and crumbly?

I plant maincrop potatoes every year. Last year, I planted 50 Desiree in mid-April, in the usual way (15" apart, in rows 2' apart, in light, sandy soil that had been conditioned and fertilised several ...
13
votes
2answers
6k views

How do I get rid of insects on fruit trees?

I have an infestation of aphids on my citrus and pomegranate trees. The bugs are being "farmed" by ants. I read they might actually be bringing the aphids to the trees. Is this at all a problem? Can ...
13
votes
2answers
694 views

What are good shade-loving consumable plants for a high-rise windowsill?

At our office, we have a wonderful recreation area that gets a few hours of morning sun. The rest of the day the space is engulfed in generic flourescent light. I'm curious which herbs, vegetables ...
13
votes
2answers
16k 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 ...
13
votes
2answers
667 views

Suggestion for houseplants that can clean the air?

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 ...
13
votes
2answers
642 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 ...
13
votes
4answers
10k views

Why does my grass have bright green patches?

My yard is about 6 years old (new house). When we put the yard in, the seed was equal parts Fescue, Rye, and Kentucky Bluegrass. We live in NE Ohio. About 2-3 years ago, we started getting these ...
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Will a cedar tree grow new limbs?

I've got a cedar tree that divided into two smaller trees, and the previous owners tried to keep the twin trunks together by tying a rope around them. The rope eventually strangled one of the trunks, ...
13
votes
1answer
2k views

How often should I harvest herbs?

I have a few herbs growing hydroponically (basil, chives, cilantro) that are about 4 weeks old. Right now they are about 4-5" tall and have a health glow and smell to them. The herbs are being held ...
13
votes
1answer
214 views

Is triple digging worth the backache in temperate biomes?

I read in Tips for the Lazy Gardener that gardens in drier parts of Africa can be triple dug (as opposed to double dug, or as I prefer, barely dug) which will somehow absorb more water during the ...
13
votes
2answers
474 views

What is this large flat leafed plant with yellow flowers (central Missouri)

I live in an apartment building, and my landlord has neglected to mow the back yard for quite a while now. In this time period this unknown plant that I've never seen before has grown to a height of ...
13
votes
1answer
5k 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?
13
votes
1answer
453 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?
13
votes
1answer
707 views

How should I store my chili seeds for planting next year?

Should I let the chili mature on the plant, cut it open and take the seeds, dry them and store in a cold, dark and dry place? Or is there more to it than that.
13
votes
1answer
4k 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 ...
13
votes
1answer
542 views

tomato plant rotting from the inside — what's going on?

I have a hydroponic garden in a greenhouse in my yard. Everything was going just great until today when I noticed that one of the 7 or so tomato plants (the biggest one in fact) was looking rather ...
13
votes
1answer
387 views

How much mulch should I put in my vegetable gardens?

I have heard some conflicting info on this, but mostly "about 3 inches deep" is what I remember. Are there some veggies that need more than others?
13
votes
2answers
454 views

What is in seed starting soil that justifies wearing gloves while handling?

I was adding miracle-gro seed starting soil to paper pots with my daughter a few months ago and was a little leery about letting her touch the stuff (let alone breathe it in). What's in it that is ...
13
votes
1answer
298 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?
13
votes
2answers
954 views

How do I prevent the seeds on my Japanese Maple from falling off?

I have a 6 ft tall 'Bloodgood' Japanese Maple in my yard. It gets a lot of afternoon Californian sun, but the leaves are a nice color and are healthy. I wanted to collect some seeds this fall (to try ...
13
votes
1answer
344 views

Wormery failure in mass worm die-off … any advice?

Last fall our household of two people invested in a small, 3-tiered, commercially-available wormery that came with all components (bedding, lime, worms). All seemed to be going well until we brought ...
13
votes
1answer
3k views

How do I care for potted apple seedlings over the winter?

On a whim, this spring, I planted several apple seeds in a large pot just to see if they would grow. Two seedlings have come up and are very healthy looking, despite being munched by deer, and the ...

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