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25
votes
1answer
448 views

Onion seeds v. onion sets

You see onion seeds for sale but the literature, TV and advice from fellow gardeners always talks about onion sets and it feels as if sets is all anyone ever bothers with. So who are the seeds for? ...
25
votes
2answers
7k views

What actually occurs for manure to become considered "well-rotted"?

I know that you shouldn't use raw manure on plants because it's bad for them, but I don't understand why. I know you should stack manure before using it (i.e. literally stack it into a big cone), and ...
25
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I keep my compost wet?

During summer my compost bin dries out considerably and slows down. We have hot dry summers. What should I do to keep the compost moist? Should I add water or will this rinse nutrients away?
24
votes
9answers
164k 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
10answers
45k views

Can I put coffee filters into my compost?

I've heard that coffee grounds are a good "green"(nitrogen rich) to put in your compost, but I was wondering if I could throw the filter in there as well? They are the standard "accordion side" white ...
24
votes
4answers
3k views

Why are pots typically wider at the top than at the bottom?

Recently I needed a pot with a shape that would make it as stable as possible so that it's unlikely to tip over and fall from the shelve. I was looking for a pot as close to a cylinder as possible. I ...
24
votes
6answers
3k views

Can I harvest vegetable seeds and store for the next year?

This discussion of seed storage got me wondering if it is feasible to harvest seeds from vegetables (I'm partial to tomatoes) as I cut them up for consumption. Generally, I buy seeds each year. But ...
24
votes
4answers
18k 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 ...
24
votes
6answers
639 views

How can I naturally encourage birds into my garden?

We love having our garden filled with birds, thus we have put up a variety of bird feeders. We also make lots of water available for the birds. The result is a 2½ year old that can identify about 8 ...
24
votes
6answers
4k views

How do I keep an indoor plant hydrated while I'm away?

I'm trying to grow chili plants in my dorm room. So far I'm just starting, so I have just four small pots (until they grow larger and I have to give them a bigger home). I'm usually away for only a ...
24
votes
4answers
58k views

Why did my jalapeños turn black?

Last year I grew jalapeños. The fruits were tiny, but I was able to harvest a few handfuls. I noticed that many of them started to turn black on the plant. They were still edible, and they weren't ...
24
votes
3answers
15k 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!) ...
24
votes
4answers
22k views

Is it really important to give blueberry plants acidic soil?

I have two blueberry bushes which I planted at the end of the summer. Although I had read online that they prefer acidic soil, I didn't have the time to check the pH of our soil, and go out to buy ...
24
votes
2answers
12k views

What is this green-ish thing inside the orange?

So, inside this orange there is this "alien" thing. Before I want to say that this is GMO, I need an reasonable explanation about this. What is this thing?
24
votes
3answers
780 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 ...
24
votes
3answers
5k views

How does one determine when to pick corn?

Last year I grew a little stand (4x4) of short-season corn. I hand-pollinated it and everything was growing great. But I waited a little too long, I guess, and when I picked it, my corn tasted ...
24
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
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.
24
votes
3answers
4k 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 ...
24
votes
1answer
1k 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 ...
24
votes
1answer
69k 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 ...
23
votes
20answers
14k views

What are the (essential) Tools that every gardener should own?

Credit where credit is due, this idea is pinched from over here: Tools that every Do-it-Yourselfer must own What tools should every gardener own, have at their disposal (preferably essential tools)? ...
23
votes
5answers
79k views

Why do many landscapers put gravel around the base of buildings?

Where I live, I've noticed many buildings have a stone/gravel barrier between the building foundation and the lawn or flower bed. Why is this? Does it prevent insect or pest infiltration of the ...
23
votes
4answers
4k views

Why is it a problem to use manure as a fertilizing amendment over the long term?

I had my soil tested last fall. As part of the submission I checked the box that said I use manure as a soil amendment / fertilizer. In the results from the lab, they included a note that said that ...
23
votes
7answers
69k 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 ...
23
votes
4answers
795 views

Starting tomato from seed

We are wanting to grow tomato plants from seed this year. We've not done this before, so we have some questions. How big should the containers be that we start the seeds in? How long should they ...
23
votes
4answers
38k views

What do purple tomato leaves mean?

Sometimes the leaves of the tomato seedlings we grow in pots gain a purplish shade on the bottom; the plants themselves (don't know if this is a coincidence) also seem to turn out stockier, shorter, ...
23
votes
3answers
7k 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
72k 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 ...
23
votes
3answers
18k views

How can I tell if my lawn needs to be dethatched?

I understand that a lawn may need to be dethatched periodically so the roots of the grass can reach into the soil (instead of into the thatch layer). How do I tell if my thatch layer is getting too ...
23
votes
4answers
41k 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?
23
votes
3answers
22k 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 (...
23
votes
3answers
544 views

Should I insulate my compost heap?

I understand that compost heaps have an ideal temperature for the bacteria to decompose the material into compost. Living in the changeable Great Britain, the weather can be windy, rainy, sunny and ...
23
votes
2answers
67k 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), ...
23
votes
1answer
5k 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 ...
23
votes
2answers
1k 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 ...
22
votes
4answers
89k 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 ...
22
votes
10answers
31k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
3k views

What is the purpose of this bundle of sticks?

A friend of mine has bought a garden in Dresden recently. The previous owner has left a few strange bundles of sticks hanging around, but we can't figure out what their purpose is. Any idea?
22
votes
5answers
56k 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 ...
22
votes
3answers
4k views

How should I use corrugated cardboard for mulch?

I tend to have a lot of corrugated cardboard boxes laying around, due to getting various things shipped to my house. I have heard of using cardboard for a mulching material, but I'm not sure exactly ...
22
votes
6answers
10k views

Is there any way to prevent vole lawn-destruction during snow-cover?

The open area behind our back fence is home to hundreds of voles. The hills look like this: During the summer, I can successfully restrict their intrusion into my yard by putting poison into the ...
22
votes
4answers
14k 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 ...
22
votes
1answer
17k views

What is a 'Perched Water Table'?

In gardening, especially container gardening, you will run into the phenomenon called a 'Perched Water Table' (PWT). What is a perched water table, and how does it work?
22
votes
4answers
63k views

Advanced care of an indoor avocado plant

I have a 6-month-old indoor avocado plant that is growing nicely. I have cut it back a few times and it is now about 1 meter (3 feet) high: How often and how much should I prune my avocado plant? Can ...
22
votes
2answers
2k views

How and when to plant young grafted fruit tree?

Our backyard is in a Mediterranean climate (Adelaide plains, South Australia) and we've been gifted a young grafted apple tree which has its root ball still wrapped in plastic. It's about 1.3m (4ft) ...
22
votes
1answer
6k 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 (...
21
votes
11answers
106k 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. I'...
21
votes
8answers
44k views

Will I get lemons from a tree grown from a lemon seed?

I have planted seeds of a lemon and want to know, if I have to graft the lemon plant so I can get lemons? Or will they in time grow without grafting?
21
votes
10answers
89k views

How much lighting do I need for growing lettuce using indoor hydroponics?

I am beginning to get into indoor hydroponics to grow lettuce, I haven't figured out which type of lettuce to grow yet, I am thinking of a butterhead. I have been to many hydroponics stores and seen ...

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