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36
votes
9answers
69k views

Is rain water better than tap water for plants?

Is it better to water your plants with rain water collected in water butts? I mean is that better than water straight from the tap? And is it just a matter of temperature (presumably plants don't ...
8
votes
1answer
146 views

Should I be concerned that my pepper plants all “face” the window?

I have peppers plants growing on my sunniest window sills, they're not massively sunny at the moment as the weathers been a bit weak recently. But the plants' leaves are quite heavily twisted towards ...
11
votes
2answers
763 views

What's a good water system for my cactus plant during holidays?

I have a very resilient cactus that can be left alone for a month without consequences. Now, I want to leave it alone during two months and leave it some water system. I have seen little earthen ...
9
votes
1answer
199 views

How can I maintain a permanent shade lawn?

My Fescue Grass does fine here in my shady South Carolina yard. However, it needs to be re-seeded every year or it gets bare patches. Are there any alternatives that do not involve buying more seed ...
15
votes
2answers
4k views

How should I repot these overgrown and delicate plants?

I've got several plants that are probably overdue to be repotted. One of them is a cactus with lots of new growth and sharp spines. And the other is a jade where many more of the cuttings survived ...
9
votes
1answer
502 views

How far does a gallon of fish fertilizer go?

I'm using an organic liquid fish fertilizer (3-3-0). The instructions say to dilute 1 Tablespoon in a gallon of water, every two weeks for vegetables. But it isn't clear how many plants this will feed....
13
votes
3answers
2k views

Is there a way to prune or train my tree to grow more horizontally?

I lost a beloved diseased dogwood tree that had made a wonderful space in my yard by growing long stretching horizontal branches that made a canopy of sorts. About a year or two I replaced it with ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Are “minerals” and “nutrients” the same thing?

Some good answers on this question: Is it worth spreading ash on the vegetable plot?. But one answer says: I can't think of any minerals that would be present and the other upvoted answer says: ...
18
votes
5answers
269 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 ...
14
votes
1answer
13k views

What does it mean if my tomato leaves are curling?

The leaves on my tomato plants are curling up and I'm wondering if they are getting enough water. The leaves are still green and there are tomatoes on the plant, but I didn't know if that was a sign ...
11
votes
2answers
913 views

Should I pinch off flowers that form on chives?

I've got chives that are growing like crazy. Recently, I noticed they are flowering, which I and my wife appreciate for the beauty. But we also appreciate chives for their taste and answers to other ...
23
votes
3answers
734 views

What is a proper container to preserve seeds?

I received seeds from various produces as a gift. They are in sealed paper bags, but they occupy a lot of space and I was thinking about opening the bags and putting the seeds into small transparent ...
12
votes
3answers
6k views

Why did my tulips die?

I planted three bulbs in a small vase, around 20 cm diameter, without a drainage hole. I planted them in November, outside under a roof, facing East, and watered them when the soil was dry. I'm in ...
12
votes
3answers
1k views

Is this plant some kind of Poppy?

I'll start by saying I'm by no means a gardener and I usually kill anything that's green and lives in a pot, however I'd like to say this one is doing well, judging by its height. It no doubt needs to ...
16
votes
3answers
3k views

Is it possible to indefinitely limit the growth of trees, hedges, and shrubs?

Now that I've lived in my very nicely landscaped first home for over 10 years, I have several "overgrown" trees, hedges, and shrubs (mostly, but not all evergreens) in my landscaping, and at this ...
21
votes
4answers
37k 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?
15
votes
2answers
263 views

Can I harvest beetroot early as “micro beetroots”?

I bought a pack of beetroot seeds today, but there are a lot more than I thought (250). Seems like farm sort of quantities far more than my window sill can hold. Anyway, I had the idea to grow them ...
18
votes
10answers
31k 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. ...
14
votes
3answers
3k views

8 ft tall Poison Ivy?

I haven't rubbed it all over me yet, but can this 8 foot tree be poison ivy? It's growing through my fence. If so, any suggestions for dealing with it? I have a dog and small kids! Thanks.
28
votes
10answers
26k views

What is the best way to prevent animals from eating my garden without a fence?

We have a raised bed garden that does well for the most part. For aesthetic purposes, my wife will not let me put a fence around the garden. Most of the veggies and herbs do well and do not get ...
12
votes
1answer
2k views

How do I set up a roof top garden in a tropical climate?

I live in India. I have quite some space in the terrace. The roofing is of concrete slab with some weather-proofing done and red oxide tiles laid above. The climate is tropical ( Chennai ). I would ...
12
votes
1answer
729 views

How do I compost lots of grass clippings?

I find that grass clippings tend not to compost well on their own, however we have lots of grass clippings to compost – so what do we do?
11
votes
2answers
166 views

Can I save an old, weak peony?

I inherited an established garden in which a very sad-looking peony was struggling to grow right next to (practically from under) a rose. In the two growing seasons I've been at this house, the peony'...
11
votes
2answers
192 views

What are some paving options that will not get damaged by de-icing salt?

My wife is disabled with Cerebral Palsy and therefore can’t walk on ice or snow, so we must be able to use lots of de-icing salt on our front path. We would like to replace the paving with something ...
9
votes
1answer
1k views

Can I grow fava beans as a fall crop in New Jersey (USDA Zone 7A)?

I grew fava beans this year for the first time and really liked them. The issue I had is that about half my seeds didn't come up, so I have a fairly small crop. If I started more seeds in July would ...
8
votes
1answer
2k views

Why do my gardenias turn yellow before they bloom?

My gardenias seem to be happy all year around, but when they bloom, they turn half yellow. Is there a way to keep them green through the bloom phase?
23
votes
9answers
152k views

How can I control/remove unwanted grass in flower beds?

I have a flower bed with some ground cover, daffodils, tulips and a few shrubs. Lately grass has been growing pretty much everywhere, including through the ground cover. I tried an herbicide called "...
24
votes
3answers
2k views

What plants will keep ladybugs happy?

What plants/grasses can I plant to entice the ladybugs in my garden to stay? They are great for controlling aphids, but seem to move on pretty quickly.
12
votes
1answer
1k views

Does a pomegranate tree need propping up?

We planted a small pomegranate tree (about 1 foot tall) a couple of years ago. The tree has been growing nicely, now standing about 3-4 feet tall. Last year we had a bunch of flowers but no fruit. ...
15
votes
1answer
2k views

What's the best way to cut leaf lettuces?

The last few years I've had success growing romaine and other leaf lettuces. I usually try to harvest only as much as we need for a day (or couple days). That often means just a few leaves at a time ...
14
votes
2answers
7k views

How to prevent my Ficus plant from growing new branches low?

I have a Ficus plant that I bought some time ago. After a while, all of its leaves fell off (I think this might have been due to too much fertilizer). Now it seems to be recovering, however, instead ...
11
votes
1answer
2k views

How can I grow air plants in an arid climate?

I inherited several air plants (bromeliads probably in the genus Tillandsia) from a friend. I know they are tropical in origin and lived in a greenhouse previously, but I live in a very arid climate. ...
18
votes
3answers
6k 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.
13
votes
1answer
483 views

How do I split hostas?

I have some hosta plants that are getting quite large and are crowded where they are located right now. What do I need to worry about when moving/splitting hostas?
17
votes
4answers
2k views

Is it worth spreading ash on the vegetable plot?

My grandparents used to spread the ash from the fireplace on the vegetable plot. This was in reasonably large quantities (I mean, not just a thin trail of ash to deter slugs), and was done to "add" to ...
15
votes
3answers
6k views

How do I actually “pinch out” a pepper plant?

I've been given a few peppers plants a few weeks ago, which I'm now trying to grow inside, on my sunnier window ledges. While trying to find out how to care for them, most advice I've found seems to ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

How many squares should I use for small pumpkins and watermelon?

In my square foot garden, I have a trellis beside one edge. Am I being too ambitious to try to put a square for pumpkins, then an empty square, then a square for watermelon along the edge?
54
votes
7answers
32k views

Is it bad to water plants in the evening?

Is it bad to water plants after the sun has gone down or near dusk? If so, why?
30
votes
7answers
16k views

Ants in my garden: good or bad?

While weeding my garden I found a bunch of ant nests (red ants and small black ants). My first inclination was to destroy the nest and send them packing, but I didn't know if they might aerate the ...
10
votes
1answer
714 views

Are fire ants on okra plants a concern?

I've noticed fire ants crawling on my okra plants, particularly where new okra are starting to grow. However, the okra does not seem to be harmed. Is this something I should be concerned about?
14
votes
2answers
2k views

Do peat pots slow down the development of seedlings?

To prevent root disturbance when planting out, I usually sow my sweet corn in peat pots which I then put in the propagator. As soon as the seed germinates, I grow the seedlings on for two to three ...
26
votes
2answers
15k views

My second year garlic has flowers. Is it safe to eat?

Apparently I didn't find all my garlic bulbs last fall and they grew to 4 feet tall this spring. They have a large, white flower head. I want to try cooking with it, but don't want to risk my family'...
12
votes
1answer
861 views

My lawn is full of wild strawberries. What else can thrive in my soil?

My lawn seems to have more wild strawberries than grass (especially in the shady areas), which means it needs some work. But if it can support strawberries, there must be some great fruits/vegetables/...
8
votes
1answer
453 views

How are root vegetables grown in hot climates?

In previous answers, I've mentioned our general lack of success growing root vegetables in North Texas. Carrots and beetroots do not do well at all - roots are few and small. Onions and potatoes do ...
18
votes
1answer
7k 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?
11
votes
2answers
2k views

Keeping creeping thyme, or other ground cover, weed free (aka thyme vs. clover)

I have a path with flagstone, with the gap between the stones being around an inch or so. I've had creeping thyme growing between the stones, but it's been a huge battle keeping other plants, ...
15
votes
2answers
7k views

Can we take out the whole root of Aloe Vera and replant it during transplant?

I bought a Aloe Vera in a shop a year ago and I just use the pot that came with it, so obviously I don't know what is in the soil and their components. Yesterday I felt that I should transplant the ...
16
votes
1answer
865 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 ...
17
votes
5answers
1k 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 ...
12
votes
1answer
105 views

Is there an optimal time of day and/or weather conditions for weeding?

I'm talking here about a quickfire weeding session (probably with a hoe) where you haven't time to do anything much about carting away the weed debris. I'm assuming mid-morning in full sun is optimum,...

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