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31
votes
3answers
366 views

What's the most effective way to harvest rhubarb?

I've got a big, lovely rhubarb plant in my yard which I'd hoped to be able to harvest a few different times over the course of a summer. How should I harvest my rhubarb to encourage it to regrow ...
30
votes
10answers
27k 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 ...
30
votes
13answers
105k views

What is a good alternative to pressure treated wood for raised beds?

I've had my pressure treated wood raised beds for my vegetable garden since 2005 and was recently made aware of the potential risks of using this kind of wood. I have seen conflicting articles saying ...
30
votes
11answers
122k views

Why do people paint some tree trunks white at the bottom?

I've seen trees with the lower trunks painted white in a number of places around the world but have never found a definite answer to why this is done. Some suggestions that I've heard are to make them ...
30
votes
7answers
1k views

Is it necessary to purchase seed potatoes?

I recently tried growing potatoes using a method I saw on TV. This is just cutting up potatoes into reasonable sized sections and placing them several inches down. The results have been fantastic. ...
30
votes
5answers
3k views

What are some sustainable alternatives to peat for potting compost?

I've just finished writing the tag wiki for organic and was thinking about wider issues of sustainability. Perhaps the best area where I could improve things personally, would be to use an alternative ...
30
votes
9answers
121k views

How do I remove dandelions without damaging my lawn?

My lawn is infested with dandelions. Although they're benign, the flowers are fun to play with and the plant has several useful properties, it sure is an eyesore and I'd like to get rid of it. How can ...
30
votes
5answers
2k views

Is it wise to reuse potting soil?

The potting soil in question is in medium to large sized pots that had/have tomatoes or small fruit trees in them.
30
votes
8answers
50k views

Is it OK to grow plants in clear (transparent) pots?

I was using old clear (transparent) plastic meat packaging to grow plants in. Is that a good idea? Are there any side effects of roots possibly being exposed to the sun?
30
votes
5answers
28k 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 ...
30
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
30
votes
7answers
1k views

How is an Avocado plant started?

I find ourselves buying one or two Avocados twice a week. It's one of these things that I've been wanting to do for a long time: grow an avacado plant. What is the ideal climate or exposure to ...
30
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?
29
votes
7answers
43k views

How do I keep mosquitos out of my fountain?

I found lots of mosquito larvae in my fountain. How can I get rid of them? A local store has the doughnut thingies but they are expensive. I'd prefer a homemade solution if possible. I tried ...
29
votes
3answers
62k views

How do I get rid of white flies on my basil?

I've recently noticed that my basil and other herb plants are infested by tiny white flies. They spread out like snow-flakes when I spray the plants with water, and there are scary looking number of ...
29
votes
6answers
41k views

How can I control thistle in a lawn?

Our back fence (an iron bar fence) borders a golf course, and between us and the fairway is about 50 feet of "native" landscaping. This mostly means long, native grass (some type of crab grass?). ...
29
votes
4answers
6k views

Is staking young trees helpful or harmful?

I frequently see small trees staked with some support twine or rope, presumably to aid against strong winds. However, I've heard or read somewhere that staking small trees can actually be harmful, ...
29
votes
5answers
4k views

What is a fast-growing deciduous tree for shading house in summer? (Long Island, NY)

My town recently took down a large 80 year old maple tree that sat on the south side of my house. Unfortunately that tree provided much-needed shade and now I have already noticed very high ...
28
votes
9answers
55k 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 ...
28
votes
5answers
2k views

How do I grow root vegetables in pots/grow-bags?

We have a flat (apartment) with no garden, but would love to grow root vegetables such as potatoes and carrots. Is it possible to grow these in a pot, container or grow-bag, or do they need too much ...
28
votes
5answers
7k 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
2k 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 ...
28
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
28
votes
2answers
2k views

Why do my upside-down tomato plants curve up and break?

When I try to grow "upside-down" tomatoes, they always curve back up towards the sun and eventually break, causing massive damage. Could I be doing something wrong, or is there a way to avoid this?
28
votes
2answers
16k 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'...
28
votes
5answers
875 views

What is "Compost Tea" good for?

I have read that you can get a tumbler type of composter and collect the "juices" from the composter. This is referred to as "compost tea". Does anyone know what the real usage of this is? Some ...
28
votes
2answers
714 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.
28
votes
2answers
307 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 ...
28
votes
2answers
1k views

How do I help my kitchen window herb garden thrive?

For the last couple of years, I've been nursing along a sort of kitchen window herb garden consisting of cilantro, parsley, basil and chives. What I've done is bought live herb plants at our local ...
28
votes
1answer
9k views

What woods shouldn't be used for hugelkultur?

I have a yard this year for the first time and I'm attempting various methods of building beds. For my first bed, I used double digging. But that was an insane amount of work and I'm not all that ...
27
votes
11answers
11k views

What is an easy vegetable to grow in a hot, dry summer / cool, wet winter climate?

I want to try growing vegetables. What is an easy veggie to start with? I live in a climate with hot, dry summers and cool rainy winters.
27
votes
10answers
73k views

What food crops grow well in a hot/dry desert climate?

I live in Las Vegas, where year-round rainfall is very low, and summer temperatures can be very high. The humidity is very low, the sky is nearly always sunny, and spring and fall temperatures can ...
27
votes
7answers
32k views

Which leaves should I harvest in a mint plant?

I am trying to grow mint. I did repot the plant cutting away excess roots. I placed the plant where it gets direct sunshine for about half a day and water the plant occasionally. It does pretty well ...
27
votes
5answers
140k views

Which side of a house will get the most sunlight?

Which side of a house will get the most sunlight? Articles on the internet seem to have conflicting answers. Is this because it is dependent on location?
27
votes
9answers
22k 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 ...
27
votes
6answers
4k views

What plants will deter mosquitoes?

Does anyone have any plant recommendations that could deter mosquitoes? The location is North Texas, and I am looking for something that could be used on or around the deck. This might make the deck ...
27
votes
9answers
49k views

How to keep chipmunks out of my garden?

Forget rabbits, I have a fence around the garden, my real pest problem is chipmunks. I've got a fence, with some below ground barriers, to keep larger pests out and to keep them from digging but the ...
27
votes
3answers
61k views

Why has my mint plant gone all woody/sparse/stringy?

I grew my mint plant in a pot to contain the roots, and that has worked well for 3-4 months. However, the plant is not really producing fresh leaves now. Is there anything I can do?
26
votes
9answers
7k 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 ...
26
votes
5answers
1k 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?
26
votes
7answers
10k views

What is this vine-like weed and how do I kill it?

I have a viney weed growing in my yard. Weed and Feed doesn't seem to affect it. It's slowly spreading to more and more of my yard every year. What is it, and how do I kill it?
26
votes
4answers
5k views

How true is the idea that weeding your vegetable garden is necessary?

I have heard constantly that weeding is a must for growing healthy vegetables else the weeds will "steal nutrients" from the plants you want to grow and your garden will produce less. How ...
26
votes
1answer
37k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
6k views

What house plants or flowers act like a dehumidifier

I live in a wet climate and the house I currently reside in gathers a lot of moisture on the windows, this is due to no ventilation on the windows among other factors. We are only renting so I'm ...
25
votes
5answers
11k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
146k 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 ...
25
votes
2answers
26k views

Why do plants root when placed in water, but die in standing water

A lot of plants need well drained soil. They're said to not like getting their feet wet. The explanation given is that the roots need oxygen; they will rot and die if they're in standing water for too ...
25
votes
4answers
5k 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 ...
25
votes
3answers
2k views

Does fruit on fruit trees need to be thinned?

Do fruits need to be thinned on the tree? For example, I have a young Pomelo tree that's producing fruit for the first time. In order to get bigger, nicer fruit, should I be thinning the fruit? How is ...
25
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...

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