17
votes
2answers
1k views

How should I prune lemon trees?

I have a lemon tree that is 8 years old. I didn't water it enough during its first years, and as a result it's only 2 meters (6 feet) high. How and when should I prune my lemon tree to stimulate its ...
17
votes
3answers
8k views

Why won't my venus fly trap eat?

Today I finally caught my Venus Fly Trap in the act, or rather caught this snap of the bug relaxing on the trap. The plant just won't eat. It may have been on a local store shelf for a while ...
17
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
17
votes
2answers
43k views

Should I remove the dead flower heads from my hydrangea?

Earlier this year, I bought a hydrangea (from Ikea of all places!) and planted it out in the garden. It flowered nicely for a while, but the flowers have pretty much finished now and nearly all of the ...
17
votes
2answers
28k views

What is the right way to pick peppers so the plant keeps producing?

Does it matter where on the stalk you cut or remove the fruit off the plant so that you don't suck away its future earning potential? Let's take the photo here, of a Cayenne pepper (Capsicum annuum), ...
17
votes
2answers
1k views

How much should blackberries grow in their first year?

I planted 15 small (6" tall) blackberry plants from pots (9 Triple Crown Thornless and 6 Prime-Jim) in late April in southwestern Pennsylvania (USDA zone 5). All of the plants look very healthy in ...
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 ...
17
votes
1answer
10k 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 ...
16
votes
10answers
30k views

Should I burn out my tree stumps?

I'm looking for the best way to get rid of tree stumps. I have so many on my property that digging them out by hand is almost unreasonable, and I can't get a truck into the back to pull them out. ...
16
votes
7answers
9k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
12k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
271 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
216 views

What is the right watering schedule for the different areas of my front lawn?

I recently bought a house, and would like to keep my lawn looking as nice as everyone else's in my neighborhood. Right now I water every zone 5-8 minutes, every other day. This is just something I ...
16
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 ...
16
votes
4answers
46k views

What's the best way to remove 2-6 inches of dirt from my yard?

I am landscaping my yard and need to remove from 2-6 inches of dirt from the entire yard (about 2,000 square feet) to get it level with the rest of the property. The dirt in the yard currently sits ...
16
votes
4answers
4k views

Should I stop adding fruit and vegetable seeds to my compost

I put all my fruit and vegatable scraps in my compost including seeds. This spring is my first time adding my own compost to my garden. Now all those seeds are germinating. I got a good chuckle but ...
16
votes
6answers
5k 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 ...
16
votes
5answers
7k views

Are there benefits to changing the direction you mow a lawn?

This is one of those ancient bits of "wisdom" I vaguely recall from my childhood; and now that I have a lawn which seems quite happily established, I'm looking into keeping it that way. So, I want to ...
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 ...
16
votes
3answers
870 views

What is this fast growing plant with blue/black berries?

In my garden a strange plant is growing at an incredible speed and I can't identify what kind it is. It broke through end of June and within two months it grew about 1.8-2.0m high. It now carries ...
16
votes
3answers
4k views

How often should I fertilize my lawn?

How often should I fertilize my lawn? Should I follow a certain schedule? I have heard of people fertilizing on around holidays [US: Easter (sometime in April), Memorial day (last week of May), fourth ...
16
votes
2answers
32k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
561 views

Garden Hoses: how safe are they?

After noticing that some garden hoses carry a warning, "Not to be used for drinking water", I recently switched to one labelled "non-toxic". Does this only mean that the hose is lead-free, or also ...
16
votes
2answers
724 views

Why don't my radishes swell up?

When I grow radishes, I find that some of them don't swell up to form the globe I expect; instead the root stays thin. These are planted in the same bed and at the same time as radishes that do ...
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 ...
16
votes
2answers
22k views

How can we grow grass in our heavy clay yard?

My wife and I have been living in a new subdivision for the past two years and have been struggling with getting grass to fully take in our backyard. Our front yard is sod and has been doing fine, but ...
16
votes
1answer
1k views

Which tomatoes grow the best in high temperatures?

Which tomato varieties have the most heat tolerance? I live in a dry area (technically considered desert, but you might not think that) where the daytime highs are usually 89° F. or above in summer ...
16
votes
2answers
14k views

What is the functional difference between cow manure and sheep manure?

I know that they come from different sources, but is there a reason to prefer one over the other? Are they appropriate for different tasks?
16
votes
1answer
993 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
1k views

What kind of plant/mushroom is this?

Two days ago I noticed this thing growing semi-covered in my garden near a grapevine: As you can see, it was light purpalish - light pinkish kind of colour. On touch it was a bit soft, and the ...
16
votes
1answer
24k 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 ...
16
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I correct a nutrient excess in soil?

The soil sample I took last fall from my vegetable garden came back from the lab with this result: Optimum Range Calcium, Mehlich 3 (Ca) 2063 ...
16
votes
2answers
865 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 ...
16
votes
2answers
5k views

Why are my apples rotting on the tree?

I recently bought a home that has an apple tree in the backyard. I don't know much about apples (or gardening in general for that matter) and I need help with a couple of things. I'd like some help ...
15
votes
5answers
867 views

What happens if you plant lettuce in hot weather?

For whatever reason my lettuce (except for the mustard) in my mesclun mix didn't take this year. I'm about ready to rotate in something else, but I'd really like a decent crop of lettuce. I don't ...
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? ...
15
votes
3answers
5k 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.
15
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
17k views

Do peppers change color when left on the plant?

My mother and I purchased some pepper plants from Costco. The info card they came with (which identifies them as Capsicum annuum bell peppers†) depicts vibrant red bell peppers. However, they've ...
15
votes
3answers
11k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
14k views

How do I know when to harvest my potatoes?

I'm sure I've heard before that the time to harvest potatoes is when the flowers fall off. Is that right or is it more complicated than that? For example, does it differ based on climate or variety, ...
15
votes
4answers
143 views

How healthy are seedlings sent by mail?

I've never bought seedlings out of seed catalogs, but am sometimes tempted to (especially by the flashy free $20, no obligation seed catalogs). I'm just wondering what the considerations are when ...
15
votes
4answers
14k views

Should I be concerned about mushrooms in my lawn?

I have an array of several different types of mushrooms popping up in my fescue. There are not enormous areas covered, the largest collection is about an 8-10 inch circle. The rest are small groups ...
15
votes
3answers
27k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
667 views

Are these tiny tomato seedlings going to be too crowded?

My first effort at growing tomatoes was last year when I was given plants ~20cm tall and it went well. This year I'm having another go, but starting from seed. On the grounds that I have no seed ...
15
votes
2answers
62k 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 ...
15
votes
3answers
5k 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!) ...
15
votes
4answers
282 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
5answers
20k views

Can plants have too much light, or do they need night/rest?

Because we live in southern Canada, in the late fall, my mother likes to take as much of her garden indoors as she can fit, for the winter. She usually brings in her potted palms, a few flowers, at ...
15
votes
2answers
3k views

Is there anything special I can do to promote fruiting in a tomato cutting?

Due to an unfortunate incident with a batting tee and a softball, I now have a cutting of a tomato plant growing in pot on my porch. As a pure experiment I started it in a 4" pot and it quickly became ...

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