Jan Steinman
  • Member for 9 years, 8 months
  • Last seen more than a month ago
Why do peppers grow poorly in Northern US?
2 votes

You need a greenhouse to grow peppers north of Zone 8 or so! It need not be expensive or complex. A cloche (single-plant greenhouse) or cold-frame (old window over a raised bed) will do nicely. ...

View answer
Growing a zone 5 tree in a zone 3
1 votes

One thing you didn't note in your otherwise excellent "Environment Variables" section is exposure direction, which could be crucial, since your winters in Livingston will tend to be clear and sunny. ...

View answer
Crop rotation: by season instead of by year?
1 votes

The thing with tomatoes is not so much rotation for nutrients, but rotation to avoid disease. A complete cycle of the seasons is better for defending against disease than just one season. If you ...

View answer
How to grow a tree on steroids?
5 votes

Your question implies an existing tree. But have you considered getting a new tree? Paulownia tomentosa (Empress Tree) is one of the fastest-growing trees on the planet, rivalling Normandy Poplar. It ...

View answer
Keeping lawn out of garden beds
2 votes

If you can get your hands on some cedar sawdust, cedar chips, or cedar bark mulch, that will suppress grass quite well. I'd put a trench along the grass side of your concrete barrier, and fill it ...

View answer
Is it possible to kill a large area of weeds organically/naturally?
10 votes

Something not suggested: sheet mulching for "lasagna" gardening. A local department store will probably give you 4,500 sqft of cardboard boxes for free -- they may even deliver them! De-tape and de-...

View answer
Are muskmellons self-fertile?
Accepted answer
4 votes

Curcumis melo -- the entire group of melons -- are monoecious, meaning individual flowers are either male or female, but a single plant produces both male and female flowers. See "Plants For A Future"...

View answer
When are ground cherries ripe?
5 votes

I agree with Tim, but it's a royal pain to do so. We put an old (but clean) eve trough in front of our ground cherries, then cut a slot in a piece of cardboard shaped like this "|\" and fit it around ...

View answer
Do I need to/should I till up lawn before putting raised beds on top?
8 votes

If you have enough soil to go on top, I recommend "sheet mulching" by putting down cardboard on top of the grass to kill it. Otherwise, it will inexorably work itself up, and you'll have a raised bed ...

View answer
How much fertilizer do I need for my vegetable garden?
4 votes

If you can get over the "ick factor," you have an easily-applied source of organic nitrogen fertilizer close at hand. It costs nothing, and you should be able to get several litres of it per day with ...

View answer
Identifying Broad-Leaf Plant/Weed
4 votes

It's certainly teasel if it has a row of thorns along the underside spine of the leaf. It's a dynamic accumulator, with a deep tap root. It pierces clay soils and brings up important micronutrients. ...

View answer
Please shed light on argument about weeding
Accepted answer
9 votes

I think almost anyplace is better for weeds than a dumpster, for the reasons you list and more. But there are concerns, too. A hot compost will kill weed seeds. Get a compost thermometer, and make ...

View answer
How do I know when to harvest my popcorn?
2 votes

Further to @bstpierre's answer: harvest as dry as you can, then bring indoor and shuck to seed, then spread that out and dry for some additional time. But don't apply heat to dry; just air-dry at room ...

View answer
Is it possible to do my own extensive soil/organic matter testing?
9 votes

The easiest test to do is also perhaps the most important: organic matter content. You do this with what is commonly called a "soil shake test." Find an area clear of weeds and growth where you can ...

View answer
Broken basil plant at the stem
4 votes

Has this happened to more than one plant? If so, it might be cutworms, the larvae of the click beetle. They characteristically "cut" small, young, tender plants at their base, thus their name. To ...

View answer